What’s your name and location?
Barb Chamberlain, Spokane, WA (a Bronze Level Bike-Friendly Community striving for Silver!)
What type of cycling do you enjoy?
Commuting, recreational, tooling around with friends for coffee, long rides
What is your first cycling memory?
Riding my banana bike with the streamers on the handles on the patio of our house in the country outside Lewiston, Idaho. We had a gravel driveway full of puncture weeds so it was better to ride on the pavement!
Who in the current cycling industry inspires you, and better yet WHY?
These aren’t people who necessarily consider themselves “in the industry”: Women bike bloggers. I’ve been compiling a list for several months now and have over 450 blogs to date. These women do everything from freestyle mountain bike competition to “slow cycling” to riding with kids to road racing and cyclocross. They write about fashion, frustration, and the joys of riding. They are the future of bike riding in the US and in the world.
I’ve set up accounts to let me share feeds from these blogs and am featuring a blog each day for as long as I can go. Every day brings me a new blog discovery and I already know I can keep this going for well over a year.
What was your best moment on a bike in 2010?
Probably the moment I powered up the hill toward my house after riding with my husband from our home in Spokane to Coeur d’Alene and back, a round trip of 84 miles. We chose a beautiful day that wasn’t too hot, went at a pace I could manage, broke for lunch in Coeur d’Alene, and came back late in the afternoon. Having enough steam left to actually push it up the hill felt fantastic.
In the next year, what are your goals with cycling and pushing yourself forward in 2011?
In the winter of 2009-2010 I started training with the idea of racing, but then succumbed to a really terrible case of bronchitis and missed a couple of weeks of work. That completely set me back and I haven’t been able to find that kind of time in my life for training this year, so my goals don’t have to do with that aspect of riding.
Instead I’m focused on getting great leadership lined up to take over what I have done the past three years as the founding chair for Bike to Work Spokane. We need to build robust and sustainable organizations to support all kinds of riding, and Bike to Work has been very successful. We are renaming and rebranding as SpokaneBikes because we are about all kinds of riding, not just going to and from work.
I’m also launching a new blog, BikeStyleSpokane.com, with the goal of inspiring and supporting more women who want to ride but who are put off by the idea that you have to sweat in Spandex.
I’m on a quest for the intersection of style and comfort and want to help others on the same journey. The more we can do to make riding a bike a normal and accepted part of life for people ages 8 to 88, the safer and more enjoyable it will be for all of us. Women represent the growth opportunity for the bike industry but the products have been slow to catch up to the potential demand, so we have to share what we find.