Last week, I had the pleasure of joining the CLIPPED Outdoors community for a social gathering. I say ‘pleasure’ with earnest honesty because we were all on our bikes, in the outdoors, and there was food involved. What better combination, honestly, could you ask for?
I am not the kind of person who easily partakes of new social engagements. I tend to be particularly shy going into groups of people who already know each other. Upon meeting with a few early-arrivals for the Thursday Bike Social, however, I knew immediately that I would be welcome with this engaging and diverse group of people. I didn’t feel left out because I was a newbie – everyone asked my name and there were smiles all around – and I was accepted into the clan despite my less-than-perfect bicycle gear.
My initial contact for finding out about the CLIPPED community was via Carrie Villeneuve, a lovely lady I volunteered with at Big Music Fest in early July. I am grateful to Carrie for encouraging me to come out and experience this group. Not only does CLIPPED host weekly bike excursions*, they also pursue climbing, biking, skiing, snowshoeing, hiking and paddling activities. Underlying these outdoor adventures is an appreciation for, and consideration of, the natural spaces we live and recreate in – as defined in the “Our Story” section on their website:
“Our dream is to see this community of women grow, advance and excel in their active outdoor goals while preserving the natural spaces we care for so profoundly. Through networking, capacity building and training opportunities, CLIPPED is embarking on a journey towards women’s active participation in outdoor pursuits while serving as leaders in environmental conservation and stewardship. It is with your passion, your enthusiasm and your commitment that this dream will become a reality” (Our Story, 2014).
If you have an interest in outdoor adventure, environmental conservation, or straight-up good conversation, consider getting involved in the CLIPPED Outdoors community! You can email them, Tweet them, Facebook them, or find their feeds on Instagram and Pinterest.
*Until September 25th, 2014, CLIPPED will be meeting every Thursday at 6pm in front of Kitchener City Hall for a casual bicycle ride to local eateries!