Thanks to the platform provided by the Wolfpack Hustle Civic Center Crit2; women’s bike racing is heating up in LA in a big way. 200+ racers (60+ ladies!) are going to be killing it around LA City Hall/Grand Park with hairpin turns, food trucks, vendor fair and team tents to check out along the course. LACBC will be providing FREE Bike Valet at Grand Park. If you can’t be there, check out all the action via instagram, twitter and facebook.

{ Check out the KPFK – Kill Radio interview w/ Nona Varnado for a longer audio discussion }


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Women Race Bikes instagram #womenracebikes on twitter


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If you haven’t seen the amazing things coming out of the Ritte Women’s Cycling Team, it’s time to pay attention.


With super strong podium wins for their first 2013 season, they’ve doubled down and created beautiful, compelling ways of showing the world that women’s racing is fun and awe-inspiring. It doesn’t hurt that with each season the team kits are the most attractive in the field (same goes for the bikes). But more exciting for spectators and women curious about getting into the sport – the blog, rider profiles and social media are cleverly organized to show moments of glory and suffering in ways that show strong, beautiful athletes that are also badass women.



Of the many great things coming out of the Ritte Women’s Team, much of which are the efforts of the multi-talented Kelli Samuelson-Hathaway. Part of that is working with larger organizations like the WCA to support women’s cycling from the top-down, but also in keeping everything fun and accessible to women just starting out. It’s exciting to see women’s cycling and the larger American grassroots cycling movement exploding in participation, creativity and talent.

Yesterday Kelli and team mate Becky Siegel hosted a free introduction to Crit Racing Clinic at the Pasadena Rose Bowl for any women interested. Co-organized by S.W.A.T. (#SheWolfAttackTeam) a women’s rider development team based out of Echo Park in Los Angeles in preparation for the Wolfpack Hustle Civic Center Crit2 coming up, Saturday, July 12. Broken into road/track groups everyone had a great time learning from the more experienced Kelli & Becky while getting excited about entering what is going to be a first race for many.

While the Ritte Women are on another level of racing, they’re also laying down some important fundamentals for growing the sport as a whole: showing up, being friendly, sharing knowledge, helping others enjoy the process of learning and getting stronger. As we finished our final stretch around the Rose Bowl, Kelli reminded us that any shit talking or drama in a race stays in the race. Better to say nothing, but to always remain friends and practice good etiquette in supporting other women in the sport. After all, we need all the encouragement and friends we can get.


Follow the Ritte Women’s Cycling Team on:


vest-originally published June 27, 2014 in Momentum Magazine

Before breaking down the pros and cons of Giro’s New Road women’s line, it’s important to ask yourself where along the cycle chic matrix you fall. Many people philosophically don’t want to wear technical or specialized clothing, while others get excited about bike specific features and aesthetics. There’s the economic barrier between high-end or designer labels and the reality that many bicyclists don’t have $200+ for a nice pair of pants to ride to work in. With my brand, I saw that the women’s market needed a label that could hit certain price points, focusing on key pieces and being flexible enough to complement existing wardrobes, fit a range of body types while being pretty enough to inspire. That’s a tall order. And unlike the men’s market, there’s no clear distribution channel or process for women to discover this kind of apparel. And yet, now is an exciting time with more women riding than ever before, the perfect moment for an inspired new line.

Honestly, my expectations for Giro’s New Road – after seeing dull online product images and one mannequin display at Interbike – were not very high. But right out of the box it was clear that somehow Giro had managed to do something surprisingly beautiful. The key pieces: pants, shorts, jackets, and jersey-style shirts are all there with a few others, a much larger offering than any other women’s line. The colors are lovely and sophisticated. By avoiding prints and super trendy colors, the pieces look like things you can not only wear to work, but feel good about investing in for a few years’ worth of use.

Perhaps trying to be too flexible, there are certain irregularities: the fit between the pants, capris, and shorts are surprisingly different. The shorts are almost too baggy, the capris are perfect, and the waistband on the pants fit a little too slim. But that’s just my body, and having a range of fit types may make the collection more accessible to different builds, if a little more confusing. Giro has updated their online site, where items can be purchased directly, to show images of everyday ladies with different builds, bikes and styles; giving a better sense of the pieces and how they look in the wild.

The bottom line is that the pieces are pretty great: the women’s long awaited New Road collection is well-designed, well-made, and well-priced. Giro as a brand has the size and momentum to get things right, even if it isn’t on the first go. Like lots of indie designers in the space, there are a few pieces being made domestically in California, but for the most part the collection is made in China and designed in Santa Cruz, CA. Waiting for a full women’s release after the men’s has yielded several successes: the pieces are an authentic equivalent to the men’s line with enough sensitivity to finally reject the industry pitfall of “shrink it and pink it.” It’s very exciting to see a major bike brand take women seriously enough to go through that legwork.

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“Half The Road” trailer from kevin tokstad on Vimeo.

The Bicycle Film Festival Womens Program at the 2014 Los Angeles stop of their tour had only two films: a short by local racer and former BFF producer, Jen Whalen, and the documentary ‘Half the Road.’  There seems to be a lack of women focused or directed films about biking out there, so perhaps it isn’t a surprise that the major take away is: gender bias in cycling is freakishly bad and geared towards silent acceptance. With 10+ years of riding, racing, organizing and advocating for bikes behind me, I was thrilled to see so many legendary female racers open up about their personal stories, lives and how the shameful lack of respect for women in professional cycling is unnecessary.

When the the film reviews for ‘Half the Road’ started getting published online, I agreed and felt defensive. Was it too long? Yes. Did it take an aggressive name calling stance towards the evil UCI officials/henchmen keeping women from opportunities or respect?  Yup. The cinematography and production values could have been better too, but seriously? In telling the movie going audience that a movie is too long and negative, you’ve just killed off the audience that will be the most impressed by this movie: the ones who are not already super familiar with these issues and are more likely to have that “ah-ha” moment watching it.

For those of us tired of hearing how things are broken, it was actually really awesome to watch director Kathyrn Bertine point fingers at specific UCI officials, name names, cite specific discriminatory rules and respond to dismissals with epic stories of a forgotten women’s TdF, massive endurance events and the incredibly moving first hand story of Kristin Armstrong’s latest olympic gold medal. Bertine points out exactly how things can change. Is it biased? Absolutely. Now, it’s up to the audience to act on it and thankfully ‘Half the Road’ provides that roadmap.

Go see ‘Half the Road.’ Bring a snack and get a coffee afterward. Then start a revolution where you are.

FRI APR 25 in SAN FRANCISCO, CA at Bicycle Film Festival
SUN APR 27 in NEWPORT BEACH, CA at the Newport Beach Film Festival 11:30am
MON APR 28 in NEW HAVEN, CT at Rave North Haven 12 at 7:30p
WED APR 30 in NEWPORT BEACH, CA at the Newport Beach Film Festival 8:15pm
WED APR 30 in GRAND JUNCTION, CO at Carmike Seven at 7:30pm
SAT MAY 3 in SILVER CITY, NM at the TOUR OF THE GILA / Besse-Forward campus auditorium, 7pm
TUE MAY 6 in BALTIMORE, MD at the Landmark Harbor East at 7:30pm
WED MAY 7 in BOISE, ID at Northgate Reel Theater at 7pm
WED MAY 7 in SEATTLE, WA at Landmark Harvard Exit Theatre at 7:30pm
THUR MAY 8 in MEQUON, WI at Marcus North Shore Cinema at 7:30pm
TUE MAY 13 in BOULDER, CO at Century Boulder 16 at 7:30pm
THUR MAY 15 in NANTUCKET, MA at Nantucket Dreamland
FRI MAY 16 in DENVER, CO at the SIE Film Center
MON MAY 19 in BOCA RATON, FL at Cinemark Palace 20 7:30pm
THUR MAY 22 in CHATTANOOGA, TN at Carmkike Majestik 12 6:30pm
SUN MAY 25 in PORTLAND, OR at Hollywood Theater 7pm
SUN-TUE JUNE 1-3 in ALBUQUERQUE, NM at the Guild Theater
TUE JUNE 3rd in CHICAGO, IL at AMC River East 7:30pm
SCOTLAND PREMIERE! MON JUNE 12 in EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND at Edinburgh Festival of Bicycles 
TUE JULY 15 in SALT LAKE CITY, UT at the Utah Film Center
SUN OCT 5 in BLOOMINGTON, IN at Buskirk-Chumley Theater

The Red Hook Crit in Brooklyn is an amazing race that just gets bigger and more epic every year. This year the women’s race (and the rainy conditions) stole the show. It’s a gorgeous, amazing event that’s incredible to watch, but often it’s easy to look at this kind of race and disconnect from how inspiring these athletes are. If you’ve ever been a little ‘meh’ on the subject of women’s bicycle racing, 2014 should be the year that turns into a giant FUCK YEAH!

Consider that of the women’s filed most of the racers were unsponsored, unattached individuals racing purely for the challenge of it. Want to see what that looks like from their perspective? Veronica Volok took ‘Go Pro’ footage of the race giving anyone the chance to see it from the rider’s point of view.

Check out the RHC women’s race results.  It’s pretty rad to see the lap times and just how many women were making it happen. Ladies: interested in racing: study these videos cause this is what it’s all about!

It was super exciting to see LA’s hometown criterium champion & Wolfpack Hustle rider: Jo Celso win the overall women’s first in an awesome final sprint.


photo: Ben Rosser

So happy to see Carolyn Szczepanski’s profile of the last 10 (!) years of bicycle + culture projects get published in Momentum Magazine today. My favorite thing about press is that it’s like knowing you’ll get a present, but you never really know what it is until a bunch of your friends send you links or have a giant smile on their face while waving a magazine in the air.


(PSST:  Also, it was super fun to shoot that image in downtown LA with the awesome Hal Bergman.  I’m already thinking about what a gallery installation of his apocalyptic #bikeLA photos and stop motion pieces would look like…)

Wolfpack Hustle's L.A. Marathon Crash Race is a really big deal in its' 5th year.

Wolfpack Hustle’s L.A. Marathon Crash Race is a really big deal in its’ 5th year.

Action alert:

  • Call Eric Garcetti/ LA Mayor’s office and let him know that without Wolfpack Hustle thousands will still crash the L.A. Marathon; without control, safety checks or insurance. Save#marathoncrash 213.978.0600

While at the National Bike Summit in Washington DC, I learned from Don “Roadblock” Ward that the Wolfpack Marathon Crash Race, due to take place in only a few days – had receive a letter from the City of L.A.

(Wolfpack Marathon Crash Race) “is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment in county jail for a period not to exceed one year. You may incur liability for any costs related to City services deployed for an event held in violations of Section 41.20.”

Standing next to my co-workers from the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition and other LA bike advocates, we couldn’t help be a little shocked and wonder who was responsible for pulling the plug on an event that had been happening with the support of the LAPD and the wide acknowledgement of the City – while also being a transformative “cicLAvia” like experience awakening people to the wonders of being able to ride 26.2 miles through Los Angeles, car-free. So wonderful is the experience – for first time racers and first time recreational participants – that the event has encouraged a whole new generation of racers and urban bike racing.

Streetsblog LA (as usual) broke the news with an excellent story,

Wolfpack Hustled: City Pulls Support for Marathon Crash, Threatens Legal Action

when the LA Times picked it up with their article, Popular pre-L.A. Marathon bike ride canceled after city permit snag

StreetsBlogLA then had some salient points on the LA Times article here.

LA Weekly followed that up with:

Bicyclists Plan to Crash L.A. Marathon Course — Despite City Shutdown

Indeed so much hype, lack of clarity and contention between the city’s questionable ‘tactics’ resulted in the LA Times going live with an open discussion on what might actually be happening:

L.A. Now Live: Discuss fallout of cancelled pre-L.A. Marathon bike race.

While in DC – advocates from LA and nationally participated in a photo campaign to urge L.A. City to “Save Marathon Crash Race.”

What You Can Do (NOW!)

Call Eric Garcetti/ LA Mayor’s office and let him know that without Wolfpack Hustle thousands will still crash the L.A. Marathon; without control, safety checks or insurance. Save#marathoncrash 213.978.0600