Bicycle Dialogues Transcripts: Natasha Waschek and Cheyenne Wolfe

Cheyenne: Hi, my name is Cheyenne Wolfe. I am 27 years old, about to be 28. My roommate Natasha and I, we started riding bicycles together (and loving it) for the past year almost.  

Natasha:  I am Natasha, and yes, we have known each other for about one yea. And I moved to Kansas City just over a year ago.  I met you in November, I believe somewhere around there (so it’s almost our friend-a-versary), and all because we were riding bikes together. 

People ask all of the time, “Oh yeah, when did you decide to start riding bikes?” and I’m like, I never stopped. I started commuting by a bike when I was in college and I was in charge of my own transportation.  I think riding a bike was a moment I realized I can do anything. I can ride my bicycle across an entire state and I can do anything and everything on a bicycle! And so that was like pretty much the moment that I don’t ever need to own a car.  

Suzanne: What is your first-time-riding-a-bike story?

Cheyenne: When I was a kid, I rode around the neighborhood, went to friends houses on the weekends, and whatever.  And I had like flipped my bike a couple of times, like running into car doors when I was a kid.  I got my first bicycle scars. I rode a unicycle around for a while, and I liked doing tricks. I was a ballerina for 18 years so I wanted to get a like a fixed gear and actually do tricks.  But then I moved, and I stopped riding bicycles after childhood. So then I was gifted a bike when I moved to Kansas City three years ago. I went over and picked up the bike. It was a Schwinn hybrid, and it was fine except that it weighed like 40 pounds and so I would just ride it up and down the river front here in Kansas City.  I lived downtown so that was a lot for me like to go down the river market, ride the strip a couple of times and then ride back up through downtown to get to 12th Street. So that was really hard when I started riding again.  

Suzanne: Anything you guys hope for the next generation of female cyclists, or what are you doing to promote cycling to younger generations?

Natasha: Well, I am a teacher, and I ride my bike to school every single day and it sits in my classroom. So that’s really fun because the kids get to ask about it. I teach high school seniors and even at the senior level none of my students have ever met anybody like me.  None of my students have ever met anybody that has never owned a car and has always ridden a bicycle. So it’s really cool to get to show them that this is something that is possible and it’s something that I love, and that I’m passionate about and that I really care about.  I also work for BikeWalkKC (shameless plug!) so I get to teach little kids how to ride bikes. Which is awesome, and one of the most rewarding things that I have ever done.

I just think there are specific challenges as females that we face, whether it be like safety, whether it be just presentation when you go to work.  Like all of these other things that maybe aren’t as big of a deal for our male counterparts, and I think just showing up as a female cyclist, somebody who is living that life every single day and doing that proudly and happily has a really, really big impact on young kids.