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.
One of the best things I enjoy about ringing in a new year is looking back at 2010 and taking inventory.
A recap of sorts, we’ll touch on popular post, link traffic in, and Bike Shop Girl elsewhere in the world.
Most Popular Post in 2010
The Bicycle Industry is Regressing – In 2011 I plan on picking up the podcast with more steam and bringing many people in (not all women!) to touch on this subject more from behind enemy lines.
Women in the Bike Industry – Who is to Blame? - Another one of those that tickled those women that work in the bike industry, or try to shop within a male dominated industry. We will continue to make forward progress and continue to teach store managers, owners and suppliers how to better server all customers (especially women.)
Thank God for Spandex – I’ve Gotten Fat - This officially change officially starts tomorrow with a bike ride and detox. Water, green tea and salad, but I’m open to more educated suggestions.
I was Hit by a Car on Friday – This was originally posted on Arsbars.com, and has many, many, many loving and thoughtful comments. You, my readers can never understand how much your support through the recovery has helped me.
Safety is Important - Only days before my accident on October 1st 2010, I wrote about how safety is important and cyclist have no chance against automobiles.
SRAM Force Brakes, Breaking? - I pissed off my media contact at SRAM for pulling this old news out of the sewer, but I still feel like people should be reminded to check their NOS (new old stock) brakes as they keep resurfacing.
Women’s Designed 29ers – Gary Fisher has done it and introduced 29ers with a women’s fit and part. Amen, I’m excited and can’t wait to get my hands on one for review!
Another Cyclist Hit in Charlotte, NC - One of many cyclist injured or killed in 2010 within our region. Sad and sickening.
Can I Wear Men’s Cycling Shorts? - YES, but know what to look for.
Top Referrers to Bike Shop Girl in 2010
Commute By Bike - As you know I sold this site in October, but hope to start contributing again in 2011
Kent’s Bike Blog – Dear Kent whom wrote kind words of encouragement to get me back on the bike
Cycling Weapons of Mass Destruction
Arsbars - My own personal site
Bicycling Design - Educate yourself on design an upcoming technology
District Cycling – Mostly a podcast, centered around road cycling and Washington D.C
Bike to Work Barb - I can’t forget Barb, whom started a hashtag for me on Twitter! #youcanride
Found Elsewhere in 2010
Bike Shop Girl NAHBS on YouTube – I was fortunate enough to do quick/dirty interviews for NAHBS 2010. Looking back I had a lot to learn, but glad I was fortunate to help!
Bike Shop Girl on Facebook - I don’t utilize this channel as much as I should, but at the time of writing this there are 880 people liking the page, and I’m honored
Bike Shop Girl on Twitter - @BikeShopGirlcom I enjoy twitter and have been active since 2008 with my personal account @arsbars. With @BikeShopGirlcom I try to dedicate my tweets to cycling oriented, retweeting or promoting the site and others. At the time of writing this I have 3,457 followers and 2,825 tweets. (Compared to @arsbars with 1,157 followers and 5,827 tweets)