"Bike Like a Girl" - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

"Bike Like a Girl"

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It was a record-breaking feat that took six days, 12 hours and 58-minutes to cross a dozen states with 170,000 vertical feet in elevation change. The athletes battled the elements, exhaustion and a 3,000 mile course - on two wheels. "Eight women who decided to compete in the Race Across America. That's 3,000 miles across the country from Oceanside, California to Annapolis, Maryland,” explains team member Michelle Faurot. The team name? Bike Like a Girl! And together they did something special. "We realized we were only the second, all-women team to have ever done the race in 30-some years of history. And we said, 'That's just not right. We need to get more girls and women on bikes!'" That is how Bike Like a Girl’s mission gained momentum.

The record-breaking cycling team earned bragging rights and thousands of dollars for the non-profit that now shares its name. Faurot, who co-founded Bike Like a Girl, and her team teach girls and women the nuts and bolts of bikes and how to ride. They host camps, clinics and rides – all designed to empower riders and give them confidence on and off the course.

We met up with some young riders at this year's Tour de Nez race in downtown Reno. Some of the girls are new to the sport. "I never really rode a bike before," shared 11-year-old Kendall Larkin. She was exposed to cycling at Rollan Melton Elementary School this past school year when Bike Like a Girl offered a month-long camp. “We went for two hours once a week for four weeks in a row,” says Faurot.

Training included cone and board work and even riding on the grass – to tackle challenging terrain. Kendall competed in the Tour de Nez kids’ race and has no plans to pump the brakes on this sport any time soon. In fact, she encourages other girls to give it a try, too. "I would like to encourage girls to be in this club because Bike Like a Girl is very inspiring. It gets girls outside instead of watching TV and stuff. It's an outdoor experience."

“We’ve had over 40 girls go through our camp in the Reno-Tahoe area. So it’s a pretty big milestone. We’re really excited and looking forward to more.” While there’s a minimal fee for camp - to cover insurance - part of Bike Like a Girl’s mission is to make camp available for all girls – even if their families cannot afford a bike and helmet. Scholarships are available.

Bike Like a Girl also hosts regular women's rides for all skill levels - in a safe, fun and non-intimidating environment. To learn more about that, to bring Bike Like a Girl to your school or to make a donation, log on to http://www.bikelikeagirl.org/. You can also find Bike Like a Girl on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/bikelikeagirlnonprofit/.

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