Riders warming up and celebrating after the 1st Frigid Bitch in 2014 – Photo by Michael Orellano
“A ladies’-only ride that is aggressively NOT pinkified – not shorter, not easier, no gimmicks”
By Ngani Ndimbie
I hate being out in the cold, but for the past two years I’ve put that aside to participate in the Frigid Bitch.
The Frigid Bitch is a ladies-only event like no other. Organized by the indomitable Anna-Lena Kempen and held near Valentine’s day, this race has become the highlight of my February despite the cold and sometimes snowy conditions. This year it will be held on Saturday, February 13.
“Can I borrow snowboard/ski goggles again???,” a Frigid Bitch veteran has asked in the Facebook event. She knows what’s up.
Last year’s Frigid Bitch was just that. I vividly remember the temperatures in the low teens, with wicked gusty winds brought it down to the negative teens with windchill. My conscience dragged me to the event’s start with hand warmers in each glove, foot warmers between layers of socks, and a grimace on my face. I left with a pannier stuffed with prizes, feeling elated.
Worst thing about the Frigid Bitch? That’s easy: Snot freezing to your face.
The best part of the Frigid Bitch? So many things. Especially:
• Scoring swag from the always amazing prize table
• Reaching the checkpoints and getting encouragement from awesome volunteers
• Meeting other women who ride
• Finishing the ride exhausted and cold, then opening the door to the House of Raging Women to be met with all forms of warmth: warm house, warm things to drink/eat, and warm greetings
• Bike with appropriate tires for the weather – snowy conditions merit switching out your smooth tires for some knobby ones
• A pannier or backpack for carrying supplies (handwarmers)
• $5 to participate, + some extra cash in case you want to stop somewhere for a hot chocolate along the way
How it works
Luckily a perfectly worded primer was recently posted the Facebook event:
“The “barebones” details are: when you show up and register to race, you will be given a manifest, a map and a spoke card. The manifest is your list of ‘instructions,’ aka the checkpoints to hit for the race, aka all the stops scattered around the city you want to get to. Your spoke card will have your racing # on it, by which volunteers will recognize you at checkpoints and make note that you got there. The map….is a map.
When you get your list of checkpoints, you will be able to hit them in any order, by any route of your choice – so it’s to your benefit to show up BEFORE 2pm, so you can plan your route!”
Gifts from Surly, Chrome bags, Chrome coveted jersey, BikePGH membership in a bottle, a BikePGH BikeFest tshirt, and a BikePGH sticker pack, really cool earrings, Wheel Mill passes, ABBRA racing gifts, 10 free spinning classes from Steel Revolution, a BICYCLE donated by Iron City Bikes, and more!
I could go on forever about this event, but I won’t. Check out the details and join the conversation on Facebook. See you there!
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