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  • Women in the Bike Industry

    WOMEN YOU WANT TO KNOW BECAUSE THEY ARE BADASS

    SaraiPhoto: Nikki Inglis

    At first glance, the Element.ly article “These Are the People You Need to Know in the Bike Industry” is a solid list of industry rockstars. Everyone wants to know the quiet (and not so quiet) leaders, the mainstays, the ones who have been around the block, using their passion and experience to drive the industry.

    But Element.ly failed to notice all the other people that you need to know in the bike industry. You know, the ladies.


    There could have been at least a few women in the lineup without much additional effort, but it does indeed require effort. On the surface the bike industry and sport is made up of a lot of dudes. The term MAMIL (middle-aged men in Lycra) exists for a reason.

    It is a real thing.

    However, it doesn’t take long to realize that while they are a large part of the whole, they are still only part of the whole. I’d like to add a few amazing women to this list but instead I’m going to call them “Women You Want to Know Because They Are Badass”

    Kate Rau—Executive Director of the Colorado High School Cycling LeagueBailey Hundo Board of Directors.

    Nicole Preston—Director, Special Events at American Diabetes Association (Tour de Cure), League of American Bicyclists Board of Directors.

    Nona Varnado—Founder and Executive Director of Bicycle Culture Institute, Founder and Editor at Bird Wheel.

    Sarah Lehman—CEO Enve Composites.

    Susie Wunch—Founder and Editor of VelojoyWomen Bike Advisory Board.

    Robin Farina—President of Women’s Cycling Association.

    Tori Bortman—Founder and Owner of Gracie’s Wrench, Author of theThe Big Book of Cycling for Beginners.

    Leah Flickinger—Executive Editor at Bicycling Magazine/Rodale.

    Carolyn Szczepanski-Reinertson—Director of Communications atLeague of American BicyclistsWomen Bike Advisory Board.

    Karen Bliss—VP of Marketing at Advanced Sports International.

    Elayna Caldwell—Brand Director at SRAM Mountain BikeIMBABoard of Directors.

    Cindy Koziateck—Co-Owner and CFO of Stan’s NoTubes.

    Dorothy Wong—Series Director of SoCalCross.

    Elly Blue—Founder at Wheelwomen Switchboard, Publisher at Elly Blue Publishing.

    Anna Schwinn—Lead Engineer at All-City Cycles, Team Captain atKoochella.

    Kristy Scrymgeour—Owner of Velocio Sports, co-founder of Velocio.

    Lindsey Vories—Founder and Director of Ladies AllRide.

    Joan Hanscom—Marketing and PR Manager at ABUS Mobile Security.

    Carla Huckee—Global Marketing Manager at Niner Bikes.

    Jenn Dice—VP of Government Relations at PeopleForBikes.

    Kate Powlison—Senior Marketing + Communications Manager atPeopleForBikes.

    Deanne Buck—Executive Director at OIWC.

    Tanya Quick—Co-founder of CycloFemme, Founding Principal atLanguage Dept.

    Of course, there are many, many more names that should fill this list. Having worked in the industry for a decade, I focused on the women that I personally know and have had the distinct pleasure of working with. These women are incredible examples of leaders, elemental components of companies and advocacy organizations, as well as innovators and entrepreneurs.

    On a side note, I would be remiss without mentioning the other blatant truth here. Gender diversity is not the only diversity that we as an industry and sport are lacking. Race, ethnic, cultural, age, and economic diversity is largely absent.

    Diversity creates equality and breeds innovation. Without those things we risk stagnation and miss out on an entire population of would-be cyclists and bike riders.

    I won’t pretend to know how to fix all of these issues but if we start with growing women’s cycling, I think we can make some progress. Women are generally known to be incredible community builders.

    We could go on at length about why or how we got here. But I believe there is a universal sort of idea that we can start with to be our guide to a better future.

    While the bicycle played a significant role in women’s history, women have not played a significant role in the history of cycling, or so the story goes. Just like in the tech world, women have largely been omitted from the history book of cycling.

    Women are left without the stories of endurance, grit, innovation, leadership, and heroism. We are left without a history of women riding bikes.

    So, how do we go about creating that inclusive culture, one where we all have a place?

    The first answer is simple, we all need to invite someone different from ourselves into the world of cycling. We can do this through programs, clubs, teams, group rides, and other initiatives that speak to an audience that we are not a part of.

    The second answer is simple too, support those that are doing the inviting. And make a commitment to stick with it for the long haul.

    The third answer, also simple. Tell really good stories with words and images of the different bikers and cyclists, old and new, the inviters and the invited.

    Here is your challenge Element.ly. I challenge you to write really good stories and take really good pictures of people riding bikes who don’t look like you, act like you, smell like you, eat like you, talk like you, or even live by you.

    Sarai Snyder is the founder of girlbikelove.com and co-founder of CycloFemme.

     

  • Get Ready to cx Rumble!

    It’s ALMOST here! ‘Cross season that is. And even though southern California suffers nearly perfect weather all year long – SoCalCX puts on the most fun, creative events – EVAR! With the S.W.A.T. ladies getting into it, the women’s field will be bigger and crazier than ever. Mark your calendars!

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  • Get TUNED into the Wolfpack Civic Center Crit2

    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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    Wolfpack Hustle (Official) instagramtwitterfacebook

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    Women Race Bikes instagram #womenracebikes on twitter

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    S.W.A.T. (She Wolf Attack Team) instagramtwitterfacebook

  • Ritte Women’s Team: Racing Done Right

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

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    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.

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    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.

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    Follow the Ritte Women’s Cycling Team on:

     

  • Weekend in LA at The Hotel Wilshire
  • Half the Road

    “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
    CANADIAN PREMIERE! TUE MAY 13 in SASKATOON, SASK. at Broadway Theater
    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
    AUSTRALIAN PREMIERE! MON MAY 19 PERTH, AUSTRALIA Windsor Theater, 6:30pm
    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
    THUR JULY 24-27 in ST. LUCIA, CARIBBEAN info Here
    SUN OCT 5 in BLOOMINGTON, IN at Buskirk-Chumley Theater
  • Video from RHC Women’s Race

    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.

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    photo: Ben Rosser

  • Women Take Center Stage at National Bike Summit
  • The Backstory

    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.

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    (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…)

  • Save Wolfpack Hustle’s #marathoncrash
    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 mayor.garcetti@lacity.org

    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 mayor.garcetti@lacity.org

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