by Cheri Felix
Domestic violence. I know you came here to read about bikes but watch me weave it all together. Domestic violence. No matter how many times I say or write those words, no matter how many years pass by, I can’t not think about Laura. If you’d seen her on the street, riding her bike, pulling her kids along, you’d think she was carefree but that’s the black magic of domestic violence; it’s often a secret. And so women who looked like Laura, women who look like your neighbor, your aunt, your child’s teacher and yes, women who look like you, can be victims of domestic violence. They say that women are hit/pushed/threatened at least seven times before the cops are called. If ever. For Laura, no cops will be called again because she died that day in her north Boulder home, at the hands and the knife of her then ex-husband and while her sons were down the street in childcare.
I know. It’s intense but it’s real. If you’re like me, you hope that will never happen to you or someone you love. You hope your daughter won’t be affected by domestic violence. But let me be very frank; the odds are not always with us. Here’s the bike part. There’s a ride called The Tour de Ladies (TDL). It’s in Parker and the proceeds go to the Crisis Center in Douglas County.
The Crisis Center provides women and families the support they need to leave abusive situations. The Tour de Ladies is a women only cycling event. All levels of cyclists welcome! The ride is July 8th in Parker. There are distance options (so no worries if you’re worried about your fitness), fully stocked aid stations, pre-ride coffee and bagels, post ride massages and some men in drag providing SAG. Seriously, it sounds fun. But outside of the bagels and the coffee and the men in drag, you’ll ride knowing you’re making a profound difference in women’s lives.
So, I know what you’re thinking (cause I’m a mom and I read minds). You’re thinking to yourself that you really want to do it but you already have plans. What else can you do? Am I right? I thought so. You can buy a gift card to King Soopers, Walmart or Target and send it directly to The Crisis Center. Those gift cards will be used to buy a family food when they have none. Those gift cards will be used to buy a family who had to flee their home, clothing and perhaps some school supplies. Those gift cards will send a message of love and support to a family when they need it the most.
So, go do the ride. Get all your friends. Even if your life has (amazingly) not been touched by domestic violence, do it for someone else. And if it has, ride in solidarity. Ride knowing that life is precious and fleeting. Ride knowing that simply pedaling your bike sends a message of empowerment to all.
The Crisis Center
PO Box 367
Castle Rock, CO. 80104