Empowering Our Cyclists: The Philosophy of ‘Lead the Ride You Want to Ride’

Empowering Our Cyclists: The Philosophy of ‘Lead the Ride You Want to Ride’

Unity on Wheels: Celebrating Diversity and Leadership in Cycling

As the president of MTC3, a vibrant predominately Black cycling community, I’ve witnessed firsthand the power of cycling in bringing people together, promoting health and wellness, and fostering a sense of belonging. But one of the most empowering aspects of our club is the philosophy we’ve embraced: “lead the ride you want to ride.”

This simple yet profound idea is at the heart of our approach to ride leadership. It’s not just about guiding a group of cyclists on a predetermined route; it’s about creating an experience that resonates with you, as a leader, and sharing it with others.

Why This Philosophy Matters

In our community, we understand that every rider has their unique style, preference, and pace. Some enjoy leisurely scenic routes, while others seek the thrill of speed and challenging terrains. By encouraging our members to “lead the ride they want to ride,” we’re empowering them to take ownership of their cycling experience and share their passion with the club.

How It Works

When a member steps up to lead a ride, they’re not just volunteering to be at the front. They’re given the freedom to design the ride – the route, the pace, the stops, and the overall vibe. This personal touch turns each ride into a unique adventure.

Benefits of This Approach

  1. Diversity in Ride Experiences: Our rides become as diverse as our members, catering to a wide range of interests and skill levels.
  2. Leadership Development: Members who might not see themselves as ‘leaders’ in the traditional sense find a comfortable space to grow and develop these skills.
  3. Increased Participation: Members are more likely to participate in rides that align with their interests, and even more so when they’re part of creating them.
  4. Community Building: This approach fosters a deeper sense of community. Leaders share a piece of themselves, and riders connect more personally with the experience.

My Experience

As a leader myself, I’ve seen how this approach creates a more engaged and enthusiastic club. The rides I’ve led, tailored to my own preferences, have not only been fulfilling for me but have also attracted members who enjoy a similar style of cycling.

Invitation to Lead

Strategic Collaboration: Cyclists Uniting for Progress

I encourage every member of our club to think about what their ideal ride looks like and consider leading it. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never led a ride before or if you think your style might not appeal to everyone. Our club is a tapestry of tastes and talents, and your unique contribution is what makes us stronger and more vibrant.

In conclusion, “lead the ride you want to ride” is more than just a slogan; it’s a philosophy that empowers each of us to be creators of our cycling experiences. It encourages diversity, fosters leadership, and most importantly, it brings us together in the most beautiful way – on the road, under the open sky, united by our love for cycling.

As we continue to embrace and celebrate the ‘lead the ride you want to ride’ philosophy, we extend a warm and enthusiastic invitation to you – our readers. If you’re not already a part of our dynamic cycling family, we invite you to join us. Whether you’re an experienced cyclist or just starting out, there’s a place for you in Major Taylor Chicago. Who knows, you might just discover a hidden talent for leading rides! As a member, you’ll not only enjoy diverse cycling experiences but also have the opportunity to contribute your own unique rides. Imagine leading a group through your favorite routes, sharing your passion for cycling, and inspiring others. That’s the kind of leadership and community spirit we foster. So come, ride with us, be part of our story, and perhaps one day, you’ll be the one at the front, showing us the way. Together, we’ll explore new roads, create unforgettable memories, and build a stronger, more inclusive cycling community.


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Winfred Burns

Thank you. I look forward to attending the ride leader training on 3/16, as well as participating in more activities this year. Thanks for being the best type of leader; one who serves as he leads. Be encouraged!

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Danielle McKinnie

Excellent article and beautiful imagery. Thank you.

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