Deann’s Encounter with Deirdre ‘Dee’ Mulligan, a Fellow Heels on Wheels Biker

Executive Director of PhillyGayCalendar

It's always so exciting to run into other women who ride their bikes in Philly. It reminds of when I started South Jersey GLBTQ Pride almost seven years ago. It was just so rare to see "OUT" people where I lived, so I'd sometimes literally wave people off the road to tell them about South Jersey Pride. I made so many beautiful connections. Today, I find myself chasing random women down the street (not that it's a bad thing…hehe) to see if I can interview them for my Heels On Wheels blog. The looks on their faces are so stunning and memorable when I first approach them, and then the pure glee after I explain my initiative is quite rewarding.  Every woman thinks that I want to interview her at that very moment, but of course that's absurd because I'm always on the go and they're on their bike, for crying out loud. I simply get their email, number, name (in that order) and jot down the location we met for a journal that I'll start in the near future.

Well, my first interviewee, Deirdre "Dee" Mulligan, isn't my acquaintance, even through I've worked with her for the past two years through the Jewish Federation where she is the manager of the Mitzvah Food Project (MFP). MFP provides nutritious non-perishable food and produce to food-insecure seniors and families through five pantry sites in the Greater Philadelphia region. Dee was recently acknowledged by the Federation for her dedication, longevity, passion, and hard-work to the agency. This resilient Cancer is originally from Connecticut, but currently resides in a cozy corner of South Philly. Dee's been riding her bike for fun since a child. Once, when she was a kid, Dee brought home two gallons of milk. They were in her side baskets, which unfortunately for her weren't equipped to handle these big-ass jugs of milk and she ended up dragging all that milk on the ground all the way home! LMAO! Too cute!

Now, as an adult, she thinks biking is a great way to see Philadelphia, exercise, get to work, and run errands. Dee loves to cruise on her 2004 Mongoose along Kelly Drive, Forbidden Trail, and the towpath. She rides around 10 to 20 miles per week, which averages to about 50 to 75 miles per week (Random Fact: The average woman between the ages of 25 to 35 who cycles at least two times per week burn up to an extra 3,000 calories per month). The longest distance Dee has ever ridden her bike in one day was about 20 miles because she wanted to see how far down the towpath went; she probably could have rode further!

Dee enjoys cycling alone (like me!) or with a group of friends. Dee likes to wear regular form fitting clothes to avoid getting materials stuck in the spools. She always puts safety first by avoiding cycling in the rain/snow, wearing her helmet, and avoiding slick roads.  Safety is so important because drivers aren't attentive to bikers and uneven streets can cause problems too.

Thank you so much Dee for letting us take a cruise into your path! Until next time…

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