A long time ago I wrote an opinion article on why I didn’t believe women’s designed 29ers worked. Designers were being pushed so hard to get things to market that the result was lack luster, and in my opinion these bikes often handled like crap compared to their non-women’s designed brothers. The front end was flip-floppy, unless you had a crazy short stem and wide handlebar. While this works well for the true mountains, it doesn’t work well for women just learning how to mountain bike. Fast forward a few years, more experienced designers, brands with patience and maybe some more knowledge. Now you have women’s bikes that don’t have crazy head tube angles and carry well in switchbacks up or down. Thus, inspiring confidence and excitement to carry momentum through the trails.
What is your name and location?
Janette Sherman, Camarillo, CA
What type of cycling do you enjoy?
I have to say that my first love is and will always be mountain biking. Regardless, I also ride road and own a cruiser and a cross bike.
What is your first cycling memory?
Well, this one is a dozy. I was 5 years old when I got my first bike. It was white and purple with a huge white banana seat. When my parents gave it to me, I burst into tears and ran up the staircase to sob on the landing. I don’t recall if it was one of my siblings or parents who came up to talk to me, but everyone was baffled.
“Why are you crying, Net Net?” (Yeah, now you have one on me because you know my childhood nickname)
Between muffled, horrid sobs, I replied – “I don’t know how to ride a bike.”
“We will teach you. I promise.”
And just like that, I stopped crying. I guess I bring up this story because I think sometimes we can feel like this when we are adults and we face really challenging situations on the bike. Once we realize all the amazing people who are out there and can help us be better riders and human beings, well viola, problem solved.
No I don’t sob when I am scared of a feature on my mountain bike, but I am so grateful to all those people who have helped me through some really challenging times on my bike and made me so much better.
Who inspires you to ride? Better yet, why?
So many people. The funny part is that my mom doesn’t know how to ride a bike (so now I know for sure it wasn’t my mom who offered to help me to learn to ride, but she taught me a ton of other stuff. So that is okay). Here I work for a bicycle company for a living and my mom doesn’t ride. Don’t worry it is on my list of things to change.
Ironically, my mom inspires me to ride because she wasn’t really given that opportunity as a child and I think of all the women in the world who don’t have the time, freedom or maybe means to ride a bike and I am so lucky that I get to do this each and every day, if I wish.
I am also so inspired by all the women and men around me who ride and push me to new limits every day. Regardless of ability level, I learn something from every person I ride with whether it is to be more patient or a better way to corner or how to not take ourselves too seriously. What we can learn from each other is truly infinite.
What has been your best moment on the bike so far this year?
So many. It is so hard to choose, so I guess I will choose my most recent. A few days ago, I rode from the Liv/giant and Giant headquarters in Newbury Park mostly on single track to the ocean and back with some co-workers. Having moved to the Southern California region recently from living in Oregon, Alaska and Montana for the past 16 years has been a tough adjustment for me. Our ride was so great, filled with great terrain and tons of laughter. When we capped it off with an amazing destination, sitting on a rock outcropping overlooking the Pacific Ocean my perspective changed. Right there and then, I realized again how lucky I am to be here, now, working in the bike industry and that I needed to embrace being present. Boom! And now I can’t wait to make a million more memories like this in here in Southern California. Sometimes surrendering to all the awesomeness that is right in front of us is all we need to do.
Tell us what you ride
I LOVE MY BIKES! Here at Liv/giant and Giant we name all our demo bikes as our means of an inventory system. As a former demo driver I did the same with my own bikes. Coincidentally enough I happened to name my road and mountain bike after drag queens so I decided to continue the theme. Here is a quick run down of my “fleet” -
Trance X1 W (mountain bike)- Priscilla Queen of the Desert
Avail Advanced 1 (road bike) – Lady Chablis
TCX W (X-bike) – RuPaul
Via 1 W (cruiser)- Agador Spartacus
* * * * * *
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!
Liv/Giant teamed up with Young Survival Coalition for a 2nd contest to design a new Giant bike for 2013. Barbara’s winning design of cherry blossoms has very personal meanings to me (I have a large tattoo of cherry blossom’s on my left arm/shoulder.)
Check out the bike and continue to read Barbara’s story below!
Before her battle with breast cancer, Barbara Greenlee of Bothell, WA would not have considered herself an athlete and she certainly would not have called herself a cyclist. But that all changed when, like many young women around the country faced with breast cancer, Barbara sought out a support community to help her push through trying times.
“Young Survival Coalition really helped me get through treatment,” Barbara says, as she recounts the eight rounds of chemo and 33 radiation treatments that would eventually save her life. “I received the diagnosis at age 40. My doctor said the cancer had likely been growing for about 10 years. YSC had the resources and connections to help me through each obstacle I faced along the way.”
Young Survival Coalition (YSC) is the premier global organization dedicated to the critical issues young women confront in dealing with breast cancer – issues like higher mortality rates and fertility concerns. After chemo and radiation, Barbara suffered numerous challenges – among them, a total of eight surgeries, not including her final reconstructive procedure last fall.