Brian Copeland has always loved to ride his bike.
While he enjoyed the serenity of a solo excursion, he felt that the best rides were shared with a group that enjoyed the fun together. Although he had been riding with a club that is accepting and inclusive, he still sometimes felt like the odd man out.
“I always find myself to be the only GLBT person in the crew, it seems,” he said. “While everyone is friendly, accepting and inclusive, I just noticed a huge gap in a city our size for a GLBT-specific cycling group.”
So Copeland decided to fill the gap by creating Qadence, Nashville’s first GLBT-specific cycling group. The group will assemble at Shelby Bottoms Nature Center for its first meeting Saturday, April 21, at 9 a.m. The ride will stay on the greenway, allowing the riders to get to know each others’ skill levels and styles. After that, riders will be able to form rides and join in on Facebook and Meetup.com.
“Most riders want to ride and ride often,” Copeland said. “This gives them the vehicle to grab some like-minded friends at take to the roads.”
Along with impromptu rides, there will also be official, more organized rides monthly. Copeland said he envisions themed rides such as “Bikes and BBQ” where riders can sample some of the area’s best barbecue joints and “Pride Ride” where cyclists visit some of the area’s most GLBT-friendly neighborhoods before Nashville Pride.
There are some requirements for riders to be aware of before taking part:
- Understand the rules of the road
- Have the equipment and stamina necessary to ride for twenty miles in traffic and non-traffic situations
Beginners are welcome, and as the group grows, packs will probably begin to split into slow, medium, and fast groups.
Copeland said the ultimate goal is to create rides and events that will raise funds specifically for Nashville’s GLBT who have hunger and food deprivation issues among others.
“There are several local cyclists who ride for a national ride in San Francisco every year for 500+ miles for HIV/AIDS research,” he said, referring to partners and AIDS/LifeCycle participants Keith Little and Sam Felker. “We actually have a crew going out to it this year. I’d love to show off our area like this in the future for a good cause.”
While many of the group’s new members may not yet be ready for a ride as extensive as the LifeCycle, Copeland said he hopes the new group encourages everyone to get on their bikes, meet some friends, and work on their Qadence!