Empowering women in cycling

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Booth Babes at Interbike are a Turnoff

8 Interbike Booth Babes

This past Interbike I saved my vacation time and dollars for other things, leaving my coverage to be from industry friends and stalking the internet for worthwhile product to talk about. On return from Interbike a few female friends that work within the bicycle industry emailed or texted about the outrage from an article running in the daily version of Bicycle Retailer.

Booth Babes have a Hard Life

The attached scanned in version of the article talks about how difficult the job is. The women are paid between $100-500 a day, and are paid to “attempt to charm strangers and lure them into trade show booths by talking about products you know little about.”

As a woman in the industry that does know what she is talking about this insults me. Pretty faces and large breast may attract guys to the booths, I get that. The ways of marketing to guys isn’t something that bothers me, hell I even second the notion if it means you see more women in the industry supported.

There are Beautiful Women in the Industry

I could give you a list of a 100 women that either work or race within the bicycle industry that could compete in the “looks” category of the booth babes. Here’s a thought :

Hey Mr. Bike Industry Guy, if beautiful women attract people to your booth, why not support more women (that actually ride bikes) year around to attract more people in general to bicycles.

Think of that cute shop girl that sold you a tire a few weeks ago, or the mechanic with full sleeves that could kick your butt in the alley cat. These are the woman we need to turn into poster girls. I bet most women in the industry would be happy talking shop in a booth, to be paid for it would make it that much better.

That $2,000 you spent on the booth girl at Interbike could be spent sponsoring a well deserving female athlete to get to the next level.

Is it the Boobs or That They are Women?

Women are needed in the industry. I wish I could throw you a fancy fact about how women in the bike shop or at shows give off more participation but I can’t. Somewhere there must be one if companies are spending such large amounts of marketing cash for the booth babes at Interbike or Sea Otter.

A friendly, KNOWLEDGABLE,  woman with a contagious personality is going to attract all types of people to your booth, shop or company. Women tend not to be as intimidating to strangers, easier to approach and less cliche.  This isn’t always true but if you are a bicycle shop employee or consumer you have probably felt the “boys club” feeling when walking into a random bike shop.

This goes for booths as well. A bunch of guys in sweatshirts, tshirts and baggy cargo shorts, guys that could be super nice but not over the top welcoming, I would say this is 7 out of 10 booths at any show I’ve been at. If it isn’t sweatshirts and cargo shorts it is crisp polo’s and khakis that you feel they are above you, if you aren’t going to talk to the about Campy Super Record that they are waiting to put their nose up at you.

Look are Everything

Boobs sell, so do colors, smiles and warm welcomes. An early morning at Sea Otter, a booth with free coffee will have more traffic than any booth with tank top clad boobs. The Luna Chix team trailer at Sea Otter is always slammed. These women are friendly, gave away free food and took the time to talk to everyone interested. They are real women that come back from warm up laps muddy, that are well versed on the bikes they are riding and to me, are the best sales representatives for Orbea that you could ever have.

Find the Women

You want to attract people to your booth with boobs? Put out a call, place and ad for bicycle industry models or racers. Ship in some shop employees that already SELL your PRODUCT.

You want more people riding bikes? Put more women behind your product, on the front of your booth selling it, in the design meetings, on the sales calls, and so on.

 

Introducing the 2012 SRAM Gold Rusch Tour

0 2012 SRAM Gold Rusch Tour

Rebecca Rusch is back at it again. Events across the country to encourage women to get on their bikes and ride!

2012 SRAM Gold Rusch Tour

2012 SRAM Gold Rusch Tour

The Sea Otter Ladies Lounge at the Sea Otter Classic: April 19-22

Drop by the SRAM booth and meet your favorite female pros. Ask questions, check out new gear and listen in on our mini tech clinics. Rebecca and the other pros will also host short ride clinics and pump track sessions. For more
information on tour specifics and updates, please visit www.goldruschtour.com.

Dirt Rage Dirtfest Dirty Girls Clinics in Raystown, PA: May 17-20

Join Rebecca and SRAM/Specialized female athlete, Katie Holden for Specialized demos and free ride clinics during the three-day mountain bike festival.

Sun Valley Media Camp in Sun Valley, ID: July 4-9

By invite-only, eight lucky female representatives will meet Rebecca, Katie Holden, Meredith Miller and Lea Davison for a personal tour of the world class riding in Sun Valley. The camp coincides with USAC XC National Championships in Sun Valley (July 5th-8th) to allow the attending media to cover the event and experience Idaho riding at its best.

“Wheel Girls” Mountain Bike Club in Sun Valley, ID: June through July

Rebecca and her local female mountain bike posse will coach a 6-week teen riding camp for the second year. The classes will meet in June and July for weekly riding sessions on different trails in the Sun Valley area. The camp will focus on riding skills, trail etiquette and volunteer trail work.

Kokanee Crankworx Dirty Girls Clinics in Whistler, BC: August 13-19

The biggest freeride festival in the world, Crankworx is a magnet for the world’s best riders. With a collection of some of the best trails and parks on the planet, Rebecca and SRAM/ Specialized female pros will guest instruct and lead rides for all ability levels throughout the week.

Levi’s Granfondo Ladies Lounge and Media Camp in Santa Rosa, CA: September 29

Activities will include a pre-event social hour with complimentary bike fit and equipment check at NorCal Bike and ride tips from the pros. Rebecca and other female pros will offer a pre-ride preview of some of the toughest parts of the course. Post-event activities will include a SRAM/Specialized VIP reception for women and their guests with refreshments and GU recovery drinks.

Roc D’Azur Ladies Lounge and Dirty Girls Ride Clinics in France: October

This French mountain bike festival is open to riders of all levels and hosts races, fun rides, a huge bike expo and parties. Each day at the SRAM booth, female pros will be available to answer questions and lead mini-tech clinics. The pros will also be hosting short ride clinics and pump track sessions.

Camelbak Octane 18X Hydration Backpack Preview

0 Camelbak Octane 18X Preview

Camelbak Octane 18X Preview
MSRP: $99.00
Water Capacity: 100oz
Size: Expanded 20L, Closed 16L
Weight: 1LB

Details from Camelbak

The CamelBak Octane 18X weighs in at just a pound and with 18L of fully expanded cargo capacity, this pack is perfect for 3+ hours of nonstop action. The Octane 18X features an independent suspension, easy to reach stash pockets, a harness pocket and an expandable cargo pocket so you can comfortably carry everything you need which moving fast. Great for extended trail runs or adventure races. The CamelBak Octane 18X also includes the new 100 oz. Antidote reservoir which has a quick-snap cap that tightens in a quarter turn and a quick-disconnect tube system.

Video Preview from Camelbak of the Octane 18x

Initial Thoughts and Feelings

I try to use water bottles as much as possible.  Too much weight on my back can kill me on hard and fast rides.  When I venture further away from the car or house, I need to carry things.  If it is to be more of a boy scout with things to fix trail side or more water and food for longer rides.    In the past I have used bags from Camelbak (the Lobo), Deuter, Osprey Packs and more .   Several of these will have final reviews posted in the coming months as well!  I have always wanted something lighter, and Camelbak seems to have delivered that.

The material of the bag reminds me of a parachute.  The zipper in the center helps keep things nice and tight when I don’t have a jacket or extra clothes in the bag.  My only concern is the lack of support on the bag.  It literally can be rolled up (without the reservoir) and put in a large jersey pocket.

Full review after Sea Otter

I will be taking the Octane 18x with me to Sea Otter and will be able to provide a full review after I abuse it a bit more in the heat and sand!

Charlotte Cycling Classic: NODA-Freedom Park-NODA

0 nodaclassic

Let’s see if I can convince my GF to do this on Saturday…

From 36th Street Racing:

On Saturday August 18th, at the crack of 11AM Noda-Freedom Park-Noda, the premiere “one day classic” comes to Charlotte and Dolce Vita Wines! Event Starts in the Historic North Charlotte Neighborhood (NoDa). We will race a “tortuous” route through the notorious Charlotte Hinterland to Freedom Park and back.

We ask everyone to read and revere “Rule Five”. This family friendly ride is not for the faint of heart. The organizers have scoured the Charlotte roads and have found multiple “Cols” “Bergs” and “Pave” sections, including the world famous “Greenway”.

Registration opens at 10 am with start at 11am. A $10 entree Fee gets you a feed at the halfway point and lunch at the finish. There will be Music and awards ceremony at the finish.

Answer Products PINK ProTaper XC Flat Handlebar: On Review

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I’m a color freak. Ask anyone that I’ve built a bike for, I love things to compliment, match and fit pieces together well.  Colored housing, grips, zip ties and spacers – they all matter for the end product.   For women especially, wanting to ride a bike is almost as important as how well the bike rides.  While walking the grounds of the 2011 Sea Otter Classic I spied color, ProTaper XC colored handlebars from Answer to be exact.  There aren’t enough bike components made in green, and we all know my love of pink.

Answer ProTaper XC MTB Handlebar

Answer Products ProTaper Handlebar

I was caught taking photos by one of the Answer guys, I inquired if they were making a flat bar in pink.  29ers ride very well with flat bars… The nice guy said “Yes, yes I do! How about you check out the matching gloves?”

How could I turn this nice guy down?  White gloves, pink accents, and a clean subtle feel to the palm.   The graphics on the handlebar and gloves are matching, the main graphics will be hidden under a grip other than the very prominent brand and model logo’s displayed in the middle of the stem.

Answer Pink Handlebar and Gloves

The gloves have been used daily for riding and a couple times for wrenching, they work perfectly so far.  Longer term I’ll document the fit and a full 360º of the glove as well.  The handlebar will be installed this week and tested for fit, weight and awesome color flare!

This product was given to me at no charge for reviewing.  I was not paid or bribed to give this review and it will have my honest opinion or thoughts through out.

First Taste of a New Bicycle

0 Airborne Goblin 29er Preview

When I was first notified that I had made the cut for the Airborne Flight Crew my selfish first thought was “when do I get to try out the bikes?”

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No longer do either the dreaming of bikes, or critically going through the specifications or grams of a bicycle do it for me. Every bike is built different, and other than the geometry of a bike your early can’t know how all the ingredients of the end recipe will turn out. Every piece of the puzzle matters and even in sales I often would tell a “upgrade crazed” consumer to simply give their new ride a few weeks as stock.

Some great examples :

I cycle through 4 different saddles. Depending on the bikes reach, drop, handlebar width, seat tube angle and “cush” I may fit on one saddle better than the next.  There are 3 tires I prefer on my mountain bike. If it’s a suspension bike, full suspension bike, 29″ or 26″, and finally how aggressive the fit is. All of these things change the handling of your bike, which will change how you ride your tires. Do you have more weight on your front tire through the turns, are you able to run lower air pressure, will you ride rockier trails (all mountain style) and the list goes on.

The First Taste of a New Bike

Where was I? Oh yes! I know the generic spec off paper of how the bike will be built. I don’t know how all of those spec’s in this “bike recipe” will taste, and I can’t wait to get my butt on the bike to taste my new bike!

Today’s the Day

As I walk into the 2011 Sea Otter Classic I have a few things on my mind, and a few things to take care of but I am ultimately excited to be testing out what I’ll be riding the rest of 2011. Between the Airborne Goblin 29″ and the Airborne Delta CX my butt will mostly be rotating between some variation of these two bikes.

Look for an initial preview of my first test ride

!

Batavus BUB on the Way

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A very well talked about bike at Interbike in the upright, euro style, bikes was the Batavus BUB, or Batavus Utility Bike.  The bike has a “paper clip” look to it but holds all the function and design that we know of Batavus.

From Bespoke :
The Batavus BUB is the classic omafiets-meets-Rem Koolhaus. Expressively modern, the Batavus BUB (Batavus Utility Bike) deconstructs the classic Batavus omafiets while constructing a more cosmopolitan – yet equally iconic – iteration of the classic Batavus bike.  True to the essence of the original, classic Batavus bike, the BUB keeps clothing clean, the rider comfortable, and maintenance to an absolute minimum while eschewing nostalgia. The Batavus BUB design presupposes the currents present in Dutch architecture, urbanism, and contemporary design and establishes itself as a new icon.

At a mere $550 the BUB is pure Dutch quality. Everything is present. The chain is completely covered. The gears and brakes are completely internal. The riding position is straight-up, allowing for clear safety sightlines and less visits to the chiropractor. The frame is light enough to take indoors, but durable enough to be stored outside all year in a tough Northeast winter. Like an Eames chair, the design is thoroughly urbane, recalling the clever tricks of Dutch architects and a measure of frivolity admist stern Calvinist practicality. A smashing success in previews throughout Europe, the BUB challenges North American designers to innovate function into form while pushing the native Dutch bike industry to challenge its inbred insularity.

Shortly, Bike Shop Girl will have a BUB for our reviewing pleasure.  Be bopping downtown, the daily commute and the daily life is what the review will be about.  If you have request, questions or any thing else you would like out of the review please let us know!

Links for your reading/research pleasure:

Los Angelos Cycle Chic
Bespoke
Joe Bike

Motivational Monday with Wendy Davis

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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!

What’s your name and location?

Wendy Davis in great Missouri

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

mountain, single-speed, gravel, cross, road

What is your first cycling memory?

June 16 2007 was my first mountain bike ride as an adult. I pedaled 1.5 miles and launched myself over a cliff. A visit to the ER confirmed a broken elbow. In that short time I found my destiny. I fell in love with mountain biking that day.

Who inspires you to ride, and better yet WHY?

I ride to inspire others to ride. I want people to see that if I can do it, so can they. The bike has made me happier and healthier. I keep riding because it makes me a better human.

What has been your best moment on the bike so far this year?

Racing at Sea Otter courtesy of Airborne Bicycles and crushing gravel at the Dirty Kanza 200

Tell us all about your bikes

2009 Specialized hard-tail singlespeed
2011 Kona Jake the Snake
2011 Airborne Goblin

Read more about Wendy over at her blog!

Things I am Thankful For

0 Montana

Currently I am on vacation with my family in Bozeman, Montana (if you live around here let me know and we can get coffee.) The post are limited, and the thinking of bicycles is rare. I’m doing my best to spend time with my family, meet new family and freeze my rear off in the snow.

Christmas is a great time to look back and be thankful for what you have and what you were able to achieve in the past year. I’m not a very religious person but the Christmas holiday always leaves me feeling very humbled and thankful for my life and loved ones.

My List of Thanks for Cycling

EM:PWR Cycling - a great group of cyclist coming together to get more people one bikes

The Memory of Jeff Papenfus – Jeff was an amazing figure in cycling in the Southeast, he is missed.

A Patient Partner at 6 Hours of Warrior Creek - Thank you Melissa for not making me do another lap.

Airborne Flight Crew – A great opportunity to ride a good bike, a free trip to Sea Otter and meeting new people.

Motivational Monday – It inspires me weekly when strangers will answer my questions about their cycling lives.

My Support Team at 24 Hours of Burn – Patient, funny, great cooks, horrible mechanics and amazing people.