RAR New Haven started on a bikepacking trip. Kai Addae brought together a group of FTWN-B people (including Jesse and Ali), the bikes, the gear, and in three days and two nights, we formed friendships that felt much longer.
Over the long COVID winter, Kai held a Build-A-Bike class where we met more FTWN-B bikers and built confidence around wrenching bikes. We didn’t want it to end, and Jesse suggested we start WTF nights at the Bradley Street Bike Co-op. In Spring 2021, WTF nights started rolling with a handlebar bag-making class, a somatic healing lecture, and an intro to bikepacking workshop.
As a RAR Chapter, we already have our next adventures planned: bringing more folx bikepacking, holding more bike fixing workshops, and getting people riding bikes more, all while forming more bonds between people, their bikes, and the natural world around them.
Kai (she/her) is originally from the Pacific Northwest but is proud to have made New Haven her home. She got involved in the local biking community through the New Haven Bike party and volunteering at the local bike co-op. Since then she’s grown into an avid ride-coordinator, bike mechanic-teacher, route-planner, and cheerleader for any and all types of biking in New Haven. She currently works part-time as a bike mechanic/program coordinator at the Bradley Street Bicycle Co-op and sincerely hopes to motivate others like her– women, black folx, those struggling with anxiety and depression, to explore and get in touch with their bodies and nature via the magic of riding and fixing bikes with friends.
Jesse (she/her) works as a school-based Speech/Language Pathologist in the Greater New Haven public schools. She views cycling, being out in nature, and learning how to fix your own bike as a way to develop problem-solving skills, build confidence and meaningful life experiences. While working in public schools she has experienced the need for more opportunities for FTWN-B BIPOC youth to be out in nature and have the opportunity to develop problem-solving and relationship building in a natural environment.
Ali (she/her) is here for the friends first, and the bikes second. That said, she loves the empowerment of transporting, camping, and socializing on two wheels. When on legs, she works as a reporter, talks to strangers, and grows a haphazard garden. On rides, you can find Ali at the back, cheering the people in front of her up the hill.
Eleven RAR Chapters will advocate, support, and uplift BIPOC and FTWN-B cyclists in their local communities! Find a RAR Chapter in your area and learn more about each group.
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