Hitting the Pavement and Paving the Way: Black Girls Do Bike Founded in Pittsburgh

Black Girls Do Bike: Pittsburgh and members of Pittsburgh Major Taylor Cycling Club before taking off on their "Light Up the Night" Ride during Bike Fest in 2015. Photo courtesy of Monica Garrison.

Black Girls Do Bike is connecting Women of Color in Pittsburgh with a passion for cycling! As this organization bikes through Pittsburgh’s streets, they break down the racial and gender barriers of the sport and spread with them a powerful message of inclusion.

Black Girls Do Bike members, courtesy of founder Monica Garrison

Black Girls Do Bike members, courtesy of founder Monica Garrison

Though the first chapter was not in Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh-native and Black Girls Do Bike’s founder Monica Garrison runs her nation-wide group from right here in the city. Founded to create visibility for black female bikers, and to encourage more women and girls to join the sport, the organization now has 58 chapters nationwide and is still growing.

Black Girls Do Bike’s interest is in growing and supporting a community of Women of Color who share a passion for cycling. They are championing efforts to introduce the joy of cycling to all women, but especially, black women and girls, by creating a comfortable place where female cyclist can support, advise, organize meet-ups and rides and promote skill-sharing. Black Girls Do Bike shares positive images of ladies and their bikes to affirm the truth that black girls do indeed bike!   They support bike advocacy, education, volunteerism and safety in all communities and corners of the world.

They are introducing a new generation of Pittsburgh-area Women of Color to the camaraderie of cycling, as well as the health benefits. As Garrison writes in an article for “we are witnessing a health crisis. Leading causes of death in the African American community — heart disease, stroke, and diabetes — are mostly preventable diseases. If we encourage ladies to get moving and they, in turn, encourage their mother, daughter, sister or friend to do the same, then we’re all better for it.”


Black Girls Do Bike founder Monica Garrison, courtesy of Monica Garrison

Through the very nature of their organization, Black Girls Do Bike is also demystifying certain green elements of the city, like the Healthy Ride Initiative, making the city more accessible sustainability by bike.

Pittsburgh has benefited from Monica Garrison’s vision for Black Girls Do Bike, and we are lucky to have a powerhouse force for change here in our own city.

Black Girls Do Bike’s National Page

Read a 2016 profile on the group from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette here


Monica Garrison, Founder