By BOB NORBERG

THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Shirlee Zane, chairwoman of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, a self-described “biker chick” who recently rediscovered cycling, will be leading some easy to moderate rides to encourage more women to take up the sport.

Shirlee Zane. (COURTESY OF SONOMA COUNTY BICYCLE COALITION)

“I see three times as many men as women cycling,” said Zane. “Women feel unsure about biking by themselves or even with other women, and having to deal with the mechanical issues.”

Particularly daunting may be the prospect of changing a tire.

“I went to buy a bike and spent two hours with the Trek staff to learn how to do it, how to change a tire, and what tools to keep with the bicycle,” Zane said. “I did it myself.”

The rides for “Biker Chicks” are for all ages and levels of ability and in cycling parlance are “no drop,” which means no one will be left behind.

They are being sponsored by the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition and the Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation. The rides are free, but donations are requested.

The first rides are April 15, May 6 and June 10. The routes have not been set yet. Information is available at www.BikeSonoma.org/BikerChicks.

You can reach Staff Writer Bob Norberg at 521-5206 or bob.norberg@pressdemocrat.com.