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“Cycle Sisters” teaches Black and brown women to bike with confidence

Cycle Sisters is back this summer with a schedule of community rides for all people who identify as women, with a focus on BIPOC residents.

Led by environmentalist and community activist Kristel Porter, Cycle Sisters organizes group rides that end at local businesses. Organized in partnership with Venture North and Cherry Cycles, the rides help women of color to feel more comfortable on bikes, while also encouraging environmentally-minded transportation and promoting the local economy.

Porter came up with the term “Cycle Sisters” in 2018 and began recruiting young Black and Indigenous women to join the group on a ride, providing bikes and assistance as needed. It’s since bloomed into a full program.

Porter said engaging Black and Indigenous women is key to building community. As a young girl in love with the outdoors, she struggled to find a community that reflected both her passions and her neighborhood. She wanted to change the narrative that loving the outdoors was “weird” or “uncool,”, especially as a Black and Indigenous woman from North Minneapolis.

Porter said she believes adopting an outdoor lifestyle played a major role in helping her overcome her childhood trauma. After growing up in poverty, she said biking in the community was a form of therapy. With Cycle Sisters she wants to create a support system for women who’ve had similar experiences.

As a young mother, Porter had to rely on biking as a primary form of transportation. Now, many mothers join in on the rides with their children. Porter says this is the essence of the future of Cycle Sisters, as she wants to inspire young mamas to pioneer wellness in the hood.

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