Learning to ride a bike can be intimidating as a child, and even more so as an adult. The city of Boston is helping women get over that fear, get on a bike and hopefully stay on it as their main form of transportation while staying healthy in the process. Right now, Boston estimates more than 90,000 daily bike trips and they hope these bike clinics will increase that number.

In the parking lot of the Mildred Avenue Middle school in Mattapan about 15 women are fitted for bike helmets. Tshanukah Matheus is one of them.

“I’m here in hopes that when I leave I can ride a bike," she said. "My parents were a little over protective, they did get me a bike but I fell off one time and that was it. So, throughout my childhood kids would ride and I didn’t know how to ride.”

Matheus is hoping that will change after a few hours at the Learn to Ride clinic, on a bike provided by the city. 

After a safety check including tires, chains and brakes, the ladies are off, riding around the lot, stopping and starting nervously.

Kim Foltz is the city’s active transportation coordinator, who encourages people to bike and walk. She says these clinics are important.

“This is primarily adult women and they come from all areas of the city, mostly here in Mattapan, Roslindale, Dorchester, kind of the southern neighborhoods, but we do this in all neighborhoods in the city," she said.

This is the third clinic in Mattapan. Foltz joins other instructors to teach the women, some of whom have never gotten on a bike. 

Others, like 72-year-old Norma Lawrence, just started riding again after she attended last year’s clinic and she says she now comes back to help.

“I used to ride my son on the back of my bike, 40 years ago. That was when they had brakes on the bike that you roll back to stop. When I came here I had to learn how to use the gears and how to use the brakes," she said. "You know, I wasn’t comfortable at first, but once I got the feel of it, it does come back to you.”

Lawrence now rides regularly for transportation and recreation like many others, such as Vivian Ortiz. 

“I just celebrated 10 years of not having a car," she said.

In the last annual study in September, the city counted nearly 30,000 bike trips a day during a three-day span. Kim Foltz hopes that number increases, which is why they also teach beginners how to ride in city streets. Those lessons helped Ortiz ditch her car, though she admits it’s not always easy.

“Riding on a street with traffic in East Boston, riding on a street with traffic in Back Bay, riding on the street in Mattapan is challenging," she said. "Now one thing that we lack in Mattapan that other neighborhoods may have, even though there’s lots of cars on the streets, we don’t have the bike facilities. We don’t have the infrastructure. Our communities are not used to having people riding bikes.”

For people who are not used to riding bikes and don’t have them, Kim Foltz says the city tries to help.

“The city of Boston owns the hubway bike share system along with Cambridge, Somerville and Brookline," she said. "There’s stations of bikes that are available in lots of different parts of the city and we have a low-income membership program. It’s $5 for the year and that allows people to access the bikes at any of the stations they can use them, as often as they’d like.”

The ultimate goal is to get people like Tshanukah Matheus on the road, and she is on her way — pedaling, steering and pushing along. Not bad for a beginner.