Build It and They Will Come

Female cyclists are the largest growing demographic of cyclists in the United States. This was something Dick Drummond, owner of Drummond Custom Cycles in Enfield, New Hampshire, told me a few years ago and I chose to believe it. I never questioned his statement or researched his claim, I simply chose to believe it because I liked it.

Jen Barden and Dick Drummond at the  Velocio  Warehouse Sale 2018

Jen Barden and Dick Drummond at the Velocio Warehouse Sale 2018

A few of my friends and I created a local women’s cycling club because we liked that idea too. In our fourth year, we continue to coax women to convene with other like-minded women once a week for a social ride through the scenic countryside of New Hampshire and Vermont. We accommodate all cycling abilities and drop no one. This is our pledge. We don’t allow statements like, “Sorry I’m slowing you down” or “You don’t have to wait for me” on these rides.

Upper Valley Women’s Cycling Club  ride through Pomfret, VT

Upper Valley Women’s Cycling Club ride through Pomfret, VT

These rides are made up of women of all ages from all walks of life: Nurses, Teachers, Coaches, Writers, Lawyers, Mothers, Doctors, Physical Therapists, Engineers, Professors, Students, Occupational Therapists, top-level Cyclists who race, Artists, and we even have a Strava GIS Metro Engineer. We offer A, B, and C paced groups, we create the routes, and we lead the rides.

We offer clinics on bike maintenance, skills, training, gear exchange, pacelining, and how to navigate Strava and other technology.

We have received only positive feedback as well as the support of many local businesses. With this club, we’ve created an environment where women cyclists can do what they love, connect with other women, and have available to them information, support, guidance, and answers to their cycling questions in a comfortable environment.

We built it, and they came.

Since the inception of the women’s club, I’ve had the pleasure of watching it grow. Some of our members have many years of cycling experience, while others do not. Our newer cyclists benefited greatly from riding with those with more experience. They became stronger, more at ease riding in a group, and comfortable on their bikes because we encouraged them to get a good fit, a good seat, and the right apparel. (And don’t forget the chamois cream.)


I’ve witnessed countless rides and the amiable exchange of stories and laughter among our members. I have seen women who were intimidated to join become confident, regular participants. I’ve made some of the best friends I’ve ever had and met some kick ass women!

What was truly astonishing was this: The first year of our club, Dick ran out of his inventory of women’s bikes, and he attributed it to the creation of our club. He’s kept more in stock ever since. So whether or not his claim about the growing demographic of women riders was correct, it BECAME correct, at least in our little slice of heaven here in the Upper Valley of New Hampshire and Vermont. We built it, and they came.


My hope with bikekitz is to create something similar, but on a larger scale.

A community for female cyclists of all ages and abilities in an environment that is relaxed and comfortable.

A place where we encourage one another, provide opportunity, network, exchange information, and share what we love: Cycling.

A place to have your cycling-related questions answered, to learn about events and races, female-friendly bike shops and events, good places to ride, and to treat yourself right!

A platform that ultimately results in the growth of women’s cycling.

My aim is to gain support from businesses and entities in the cycling industry who support women’s cycling and want to see it grow.

I want women cyclists to know this: You do not have to be a pro to be deserving of the best gear, the best apparel, the best training, and the best information.

This site is for you. Tell us what you want. We will build it. You know what to do.