By Alec Ozawa
If anyone has been following along with my short clumsy articles, you
may have noticed the quintessential tirade about how much we appreciate
riding season in Chicago because of the Apocalytic Fucking Winter. Yet
again, this article starts this way. Winter was miserable. For god’s
sake it fucking snowed in April!
This story starts on Tuesday, May 14, 2019, once all the soul-numbing weather was behind us and it was FINALLY riding season. The weather was perfect and it was the first bike night of the season with the all-women’s riders group, The Bleeders. If you live in Chicago or surrounding areas, you may have heard of them, or know someone who is involved with the group. Their numbers vary, but this is by model of design. It’s non-exclusive, and they have open arms for any women looking for friends to ride with, or who want to learn more about getting on a bike. They are a pack of strong, loud, and loyal women who have an utter lack of bullshit and a penchant for fun and supporting people of all diversities.
Being of the dude chromosome, I am not a member of the group, but became
friends with a couple of their core members, Michelle Halweg and
Natalie Murray, a few years ago when they allowed me to move into their
garage and have a spot to finally work on my bike after a year without a
stable. This was my first experience with the group, and I feel very
fortunate to have become friends with more of their members since.