On Wednesday evenings, you can find bike enthusiast Veronica Salas getting ready to host and lead the Wednesday Ladies’ Bike Ride around downtown San Antonio.
“I know biking can be intimidating for women, especially riding on the street. So I want to provide a safe environment where they can meet up and ride together,” she said.
Salas has been hosting the Wednesday Ladies’ bike ride since October. She first created the event as a fitness bike ride and it quickly got attention from other women interested in biking. Women would reach out to Salas to let her know she has inspired them to become faster and build endurance. This led Salas to focus the ride more on making women feel confident and encouraged to bike.
“I just want to help others gain experience and bike knowledge,” she said. “To get that kid feeling again once you get on that bike.”
Libby Day, or Salas’ “right hand” has been riding with Salas for over a year. Day said Salas helped her build speed and endurance. Day often steps up to help Salas during the ride by making sure all the women stay together in a group and no one is left behind.
“I love it,” Day said. “It’s a cool way to help other women and get to hang out with them.”
The meet up points and times are different, but currently being held around 7 p.m. at scenic places like the Pearl and Woodlawn Lake. “I always ride the route alone first, so I can make sure the other women will be able to do it no matter the experience,” Salas said.
The rides are kept interesting by making stops at local bars like Little Death for $1 oysters or the Lighthouse for drinks, which the ladies never contest. She also brings gifts to give away for participating in the ride. In the past she has given out prizes like CBD products, bike equipment and even drinks on her.
“It’s what I love to do. Plus to hang out with some cool girls, mobbing through the street, people really turn their heads,” she said.
The ride lasts for approximately two to three hours, depending on the route, but women are welcome to stop and leave at any point. Rest stops are made to hydrate, but also to take pictures, upload stories on Instagram, have a beer that they may have snuck with them, and just connect through conversation.
“My hope is they gain confidence and find a place they can bond with other women. A place to come and ride, be comfortable and not feel awkward,” she said.
Salas was born and raised in San Antonio and has been riding for over eight years. She gained much endurance and speed by riding in men’s biking groups and has participated in the Redbull Race and local crit races, a lapped race on a closed circuit, organized by the biking community. Safe to say she has the experience to lead this event.
“What it comes down to is, I don’t judge people on their bikes. I have a girl who meets us at Woodlawn and she comes in her beach cruiser. And she loves it,” said Salas.
All women with different levels of biking experience are welcome to join. No need to reach out, you can simply show up ready to ride. You can find the latest information for the bike ride, like the meetup points and time, on her Instagram @sa_babesonbikes.