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Motivational Monday with Nicole

0 Motivational Monday with Nicole

WHAT’S YOUR NAME AND LOCATION?

Nicole in Memphis, TN

WHAT TYPE OF CYCLING DO YOU ENJOY?

City cycling (commuting by bike), group rides with friends or my husband, light mountain biking

WHAT IS YOUR FIRST CYCLING MEMORY?

How about my most powerful cycling memory? I met my husband on my 1st metric century ride and he proposed on that same ride 2 years later. He put signs up near the end of the ride with a poem he had written. I didn’t get it at first (silly me) but when I saw the last sign, I knew. We stopped our bikes and he asked me to marry him. I said yes and like any good bikers, we finished the ride, ate a hearty breakfast and then came back for pictures!

WHO INSPIRES YOU TO RIDE, AND BETTER YET WHY?

I inspire me. Cycling in Memphis can be…challenging. It is getting better but you have to be committed to biking to take on a 15 mile, each-way commute to work on a 100 degree, 98% humidity day. But, the challenge is part of why I make it a point to do it. It is part of staying healthy, supporting a greener planet and being less car dependent.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BEST MOMENT ON THE BIKE SO FAR THIS YEAR?

Our city has been converting old train tracks into multi-use paths and recently I was out on my own, tooling down the path. It was a perfect 75 degree day, the sun was out, and no one was vying for space in front or behind me. As I reached the end of the path and prepared to head out onto a traffic-filled street, I realized to my amazement that the next section of path had been finished since my last trek. It made my week, to continue along for another five miles in quiet solitude enjoying the beautiful weather and zipping along on two wheels.

Motivational Monday, a Monday tradition at Bike Shop Girl, my goal to keep you motivated and to be striving on the bike even during a hard week or long hours at work. Are you a woman that bicycles? Fill out this easy form and be part of our motivational movement!

For the Love of Retail Experiences

3 Pinterest Retail Board

When you pair my love of design and retail you have a very, very, strong passion for the “retail experience.” What is a retail experience? A mix of great customer experience, accessorized displays and a well laid out “flow” of a store.

As I travel across the country, visit more bicycle shops and share stories of retail experiences with shops I am slowly watching a transformation. No more than 5 years ago most bike shops looked much like an auto parts dealers, aisles of bikes, slat wall, grid wall, and really anything that you could hang a bike or product on. While there still are many of these slat walled shops around you can watch the smarter shops transform into boutiques or speciality shop, REI’s and Ikeas. Less slat wall, more story telling and a beautiful EXPERIENCE.

Amazon and the online retailers of the world are changing what a bike shop has to do to be relevant. A good local bike shop will be three things: 1. A resource 2. Pillar in the local cycling community 3. Deliver a retail experience.

To encourage this retail experience I have started a Pinterest board to share others photos, my own from travels and hopefully encourage more shops to step up and create better experiences for their consumers.

Motivational Monday with Alicia

0 Motivational Monday with Alicia Vin Zant

WHAT’S YOUR NAME AND LOCATION?

Alicia Vin Zant, St. Paul Minnesota

WHAT TYPE OF CYCLING DO YOU ENJOY?

Cyclocross, and just getting out to ride. I’m thinking about trying out track this next year…

WHAT IS YOUR FIRST CYCLING MEMORY?

For Easter my mom would make clues from the easter bunny. It lead me to my very first two-wheel bike! It was pink with pompom like strands coming out of the handle bars.

WHO INSPIRES YOU TO RIDE, AND BETTER YET WHY?

Hope this doesn’t sound selfish…but I inspire myself. Getting out riding gives me time to think, and is a little break. This is the first time in a long time that I’ve found something that I absolutely love to do, and challenges me every step of the way. I can’t do it w/out the support of my husband and kids (we have 6 kids..ages 12-2). My new cycling friends inspire me, and the commuters I see riding to work every day. Especially the one this morning carrying his bike cross style over a snow bank!

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BEST MOMENT ON THE BIKE SO FAR THIS YEAR?

Just one? I actually started riding for the first time this year in June. (It had been since I was probably about 12, and I’m 33 now..) My friend talked me into doing a triathlon with her. I hate running, and swimming wasn’t a big deal, so I spent most of my training on a bike. I stumbled into a bike shop, and ended up YouTubing cyclocross…and in July bought my cyclocross bike. I’d have to say…this being my first season racing bike/cross IN MY LIFE that finally being able to ride through the blasted sand felt absolutely freaking amazing!!

TELL US ALL ABOUT YOUR BIKES

I am the proud owner of a KHS CX-200. It’s a beautiful bright green and my new addiction. I had butterflies in my stomach for days after buying her. I go through withdrawals if I don’t get to ride at least twice a week!

Motivational Monday, a Monday tradition at Bike Shop Girl, my goal to keep you motivated and to be striving on the bike even during a hard week or long hours at work. Are you a woman that bicycles? Fill out this easy form and be part of our motivational movement!

Ladies Night, a Guest Post

12 Michelle beer handups

I belong to a newborn bike team that was formed by a popular LBS as a way to bring more cyclists into the sport. I’m one of three women on the co-ed team and, through sheer terror that I will lose any fitness and no longer be able to keep up, I’m the most consistent woman on the group rides in town.

It’s certainly not because I’m the fastest. Not even by a long shot. I’m a forty-two year old mother of teenagers that only started riding anything more than a commuter bike in 2010. I believe in cycling for transportation and for health. I think cyclocross is the greatest sport ever invented and, someday, I hope not to crash my mountain bike every time I get on it. In other words, I’m just an average chick that likes to ride a bike. Yet I can’t seem to convince many other average chicks to join me out there.

I think it has to do with the fact that it’s intimidating to be a woman in a group of very fit guys. And when I say very fit guys, I’m talking about the fastest cyclists in our community. Nice guys, but very fast. Most of the group rides we do have a “catch-up” segment that allows the group to re-form before moving on down the road. I’m usually the last one in, or next to last if I’m having a good week, and often a few of the guys will swing around to accompany me to the end. This is what keeps me going. I love these guys and, though I hold things up, they always encourage me. Still, I will do just about anything to not have to be the one to ask them to dial it back a bit.

And they are guys. Though we may all keep a Lady Schick in the shower, cycling is a very testosterone oriented sport. With the one-up-manship, crude language and large amount of spitting, it’s hard to convince a girl friend that pedaling a bike for two straight hours in a harrowing pace line is sane, let alone fun.

I think women have a place here though. All of these guys have wives or girlfriends that only want a bit of encouragement to get them regularly riding. There are plenty of women in the LBS glancing at the zippy new road bikes, but talking themselves out of it because they have no one to ride with. Well, dammit, I’m going to do something about this. I’ve learned from the best how to be encouraging and supportive and it’s time I pay it forward.

March 2013 will see the start of a new Weekly Women’s Ride in our community that is fun, inclusive, and all female. No intimidation to keep up with the guys, no worries about how those funny shorts look, and no spitting. We will ride for the sheer joy of the wind in our faces and for the happy-hour margaritas we will consume when we’re done.

But I’m not done with the guys. As the year progresses, maybe I can convince one or two of the women to tackle the Thursday night group ride with me. Then, a few weeks later, maybe someone will try Tuesday Night Worlds. If I’m really successful, there will be a group of women enjoying cyclocross with me in September. The crowning achievement, however, would happen when another woman and I get on the front of the November gravel ride and we hear a masculine gasp from the back say “Can you gals slow it down a bit?”

Michelle Windmoeller Michelle Windmoeller first learned to ride in 1977 on a used gold chopper-style bike with a wicked banana seat. Since then she has toted schoolbooks, kids, household furniture, and, literally, a commercial kitchen sink on her bike. Based in Columbia, MO, Michelle owns Blue Cypress Solutions and writes about health and wellness issues. She officially invites you all to join her for a long, leisurely ride in Missouri sometime. She’ll bring the PBR. Photo Credit: Kate Woodard

Motivational Monday with Renee

0 Motivational Monday with Renee

WHAT’S YOUR NAME AND LOCATION?

Renee Jordan, Plano, TX

WHAT TYPE OF CYCLING DO YOU ENJOY?

Recreationally with a club or alone; commuting to work; occassional dirt ride

WHAT IS YOUR FIRST CYCLING MEMORY?

Riding my first bike, purple with a banana seat & ape hanger type bars, in semi-rural North Carolina up and down the hilly asphalted road in front of my house…these early times on my bike were my first real independent adventures (no parents, no little sister in tow.)

WHO INSPIRES YOU TO RIDE, AND BETTER YET WHY?

I’m not really inspired by anyone in particular, but rather by the fun of riding & the experiences you have while riding…it keeps me going back for more

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BEST MOMENT ON THE BIKE SO FAR THIS YEAR?

Some of my best moments were late this summer, returning to the bike after some time off for an injury, riding around the nature preserve alone, at sunset.

TELL US ALL ABOUT YOUR BIKES

A Cannondale road bike for pavement
A franken-bike single speed w grocery panniers for commuting
A Gary Fisher mountain bike for dirt

Motivational Monday, a Monday tradition at Bike Shop Girl, my goal to keep you motivated and to be striving on the bike even during a hard week or long hours at work. Are you a woman that bicycles? Fill out this easy form and be part of our motivational movement!

Motivational Monday with Amar

0 Motivational Monday Amar

WHAT’S YOUR NAME AND LOCATION?

Amar, Los Angeles, CA

WHAT TYPE OF CYCLING DO YOU ENJOY?

Commuting, Touring, Recreational

WHAT IS YOUR FIRST CYCLING MEMORY?

I didn’t learn to ride a bike until I was a senior in college, so my first memory is of being entirely certain that I was going to lose my balance and swerve into the path of an oncoming Metro Bus. Hasn’t happened yet, although I did lose my balance many times and became quite familiar with the pavement in the parking lot of the Federal Building on Wilshire Blvd.

WHO INSPIRES YOU TO RIDE, AND BETTER YET WHY?

My husband. He loves riding for the sheer joy of it and I always want to join in on that happiness. It was a lot more fraught for me for a very long time, until I started commuting regularly and didn’t have to focus so hard on the mechanics of riding. Now I can capture some of that freedom and joy when I ride too. Also, I hate idling in traffic and worrying about parking. To me, it’s easier to just bike everywhere and with our traffic it takes about the same amount of time as driving.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BEST MOMENT ON THE BIKE SO FAR THIS YEAR?

For our wedding anniversary my husband and I biked from Seattle to Portland with a friend of ours. It was so beautiful and fun. I think about that trip whenever I need to relax!

TELL US ALL ABOUT YOUR BIKES

Surly Long Haul Trucker in a pretty blue color. Setup is pretty upright since I have a bad back and am finicky about positioning. I catch wind like a kite but I’m not exactly built for speed anyways ;)

Motivational Monday, a Monday tradition at Bike Shop Girl, my goal to keep you motivated and to be striving on the bike even during a hard week or long hours at work. Are you a woman that bicycles? Fill out this easy form and be part of our motivational movement!

National Women’s Bicycling Forum: March 4th

2 National Women's Bicycling Forum

On March 4th, 2013, timing around the National Bike Summit, the League of American Bicyclists are hosting the second annual National Women’s Bicycling Forum. I asked Carolyn, Director of Communications at the League of American Bicyclists, some follow up questions to learn more about what the League has planned for this Forum!

About the National Women’s Bicycling Forum

Join hundreds of fellow advocates and enthusiasts who are working to engage more women in bicycling at our next Women Bike event! Register now for the second annual National Women’s Bicycling Forum on March 4, 2013 in Washington, D.C.!

With a theme of “Women Mean Business,” this all-day event will showcase women leaders and entrepreneurs in the bicycle industry and highlight the economic impact and rising influence of women in the bicycle movement. (The Forum will end before the start of the National Bike Summit.)

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER!

With an opening keynote address from Georgena Terry, break-out sessions, lunch plenary, networking and so much more, the Women’s Forum will be an opportunity to learn, connect and network with advocates and leaders from across the country who are working to close the gender gap in American bicycling.

Both women AND men are encouraged to attend!

A Recap of the First National Women’s Bicycling Forum

Carolyn: The first National Women’s Bicycling Forum was really a toe in the water — it was a first attempt to bring the discussion about gender to the forefront and gauge the interest and trajectory of where that conversation could take us at the national level.

First, we tried to pour a number of different perspectives into a two-hour panel. With incredible speakers like Elysa Walk (GM of Giant Bicycle USA), Marla Streb (former world mountain bike champion) and Veronica Davis (founder of Black Women Bike DC) some incredible insight floated to the top — but it was crystal clear that tackling “women in bicycling” is NOT a single conversation. It’s an ocean of content!

Secondly, the response was a tidal wave. We packed the room with more than 300 people, all of whom were just buzzing with excitement and ideas and energy to keep the conversation going. So the take-away was simple: A two-hour forum is just the first drop in a really big bucket. In September, we expanded to a full-day event with more sessions with more specific content, like family biking and marketing to women. In 2013, we’re expanding and sustaining that effort with a full-time program, so we can compile and create new resources, share stories and work on targeted strategies to increase the number of women riding, in between these killer events.

What are the Main Reasons the League is Putting Energy into this Forum?

Carolyn: The Women Bike initiative is really part of a more big-picture effort by the League to change the face of bicycling — or better represent and include the voices of the many diverse communities and people who ride. Clearly, since we’re 50 percent of the population, we need to engage more women if we want to mainstream / normalize bicycling as a means of transportation (like we see in European countries) and recreation, too. And it’s not just about equity in numbers — our voices our powerful. Women are role models for the next generation, decision makers for their households, persuasive political constituencies and ingenious entrepreneurs. Bringing more women into all aspects of the bicycle movement, from lobbying on Capitol Hill to designing product at major bicycle manufactures, is in everyone’s best interests.

What is the Second Annual Forum Focused On?

Carolyn: The second annual National Women’s Bicycling Forum on March 4 in Washington, D.C. With a theme of “Women Mean Business,” we’re focusing on how the industry and retailers are working to close the gender gap and highlighting efforts that are changing the culture of cycling in new and innovative ways.

The speaker line-up is off the chain: Georgena Terry, Jacquie Phelan, leaders Red Bike & Green, reps from industry leaders like Specialized, Giant and ASI; editors from Bicycle Times and Momentum; the founder of Cyclofemme; the woman behind the nation’s largest bike share systems… and so many more. And we mean business when it comes to making this event accessible to all. Bring your kids: We’ll have free childcare. If the $85 registration fee is a barrier, apply for a scholarship.

Motivational Monday with Louise Cheetham

0 Louise Cheetham

WHAT’S YOUR NAME AND LOCATION?

Louise Cheetham, Baton Rouge, LA

WHAT TYPE OF CYCLING DO YOU ENJOY?

Road, Mountain

WHAT IS YOUR FIRST CYCLING MEMORY?

I used to sit on the back of my mom’s cruiser, on the gear rack. We went to the neighborhood store like that until I got my foot caught in the back wheel. Foot in the back wheel is what I remember.

After that my parents bought me a kids size Raleigh racing bike. It was red to white fade. Man, I miss the 80s.

WHO INSPIRES YOU TO RIDE, AND BETTER YET WHY?

My mom, Janet and my coach, Stacey. These two women ride their bikes through it all. My mom is recovering from cancer and got back on her bike as soon as she could. Stacey is a very busy businesswoman and mom and still rides her bike every day.

I want to love it and be as dedicated as they are!

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BEST MOMENT ON THE BIKE SO FAR THIS YEAR?

This year? Has to be leading out my teammate, Allie Hurst, for the win at the Vuelta d’Acadiana. Just a local race on our calendar. But I got my 1 min max power and took her to the line to outsprint some out of towners. Take that Texas!

TELL US ALL ABOUT YOUR BIKES

I have a hand me down mountain bike that I bomb around on and raced for the first time this year :)
My road bike is my dream bike, a Cannondale Supersix Hi-Mod with dura-ace. Best bike I have ever ridden.
That’s the complete stable. I have to err on the side of too few as my wonderful cyclist man has 4 and its getting cramped in here!

Motivational Monday, a Monday tradition at Bike Shop Girl, my goal to keep you motivated and to be striving on the bike even during a hard week or long hours at work. Are you a woman that bicycles? Fill out this easy form and be part of our motivational movement!