Empowering women in cycling

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Motivational Monday with Mandy in Rome, GA

3 Motivational Monday with Mandy

What is your name and location?

Mandy Loorham Rome, GA

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Mountain Biking

What is your first cycling memory?

I was five or six and I had been learning to ride without training wheels. One Sunday my mom had gotten me ready for church in a nice white dress. I snuck out of the house and took my bike to the neighbor’s driveway and worked on my riding skills. I mastered my riding but got covered in dirt and grease. I went back into the house so proud. My mom took one look at me and flipped – so much for the white dress! I think I’ve been wearing dirt and grease ever since.

Who inspires you to ride? Better yet, why?

My husband and my boys – our whole famiy rides. If I can’t keep up I may miss something!

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

As much as I love riding with my family – my favorite moments on my bike this year have been when I’m alone. When I can listen to the birds and the wind. I just take the time look around and just enjoy the trail.

Tell us what you ride

I ride a Giant Trance XO. She’s the little engine that could. The more I learn to trust her the easier the ride gets.

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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! 

Motivational Monday with Janette

6 Motivational Monday with Janette

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

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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! 

Mailbox Question: Larger Sized Cycling Shorts

15 Mailbox Cycling shorts

Daily I receive a good amount of email questions from the Ask a Question form. As I find frequently asked or interesting questions I will be answering them from the Mailbox.

Mailbox Question

I have decided to begin to ride a bike to lose weight and get fit. I am currently a size 18/20.

I want some gel bike shorts but not only can I not find any big enough but also none that are big enough for my chunky thighs. I don’t want saddle soreness to put me off so can you suggest any answers? The bike gel seats that you can buy to go over the saddle seem to be made for small mountain bike saddles and mine is a normal wide sprung saddle.

My Opinion

There are two parts I want to address, the first is finding a pair of shorts that fit.

Many manufactures have women’s XX-Large shorts that fit much like an 18/20. Also, I’ve had great success with women over size 14 wearing men’s shorts or bibs. I highly suggest trying a bib short on (it will feel weird in the dressing room but amazing on your bike) as the spandex is removed from your waist and pulls everything together under your jersey.

You mentioned gel short and saddle. I try to push folks away from gel under your rear as much as possible. The first reason is that gel compresses after some saddle time and causes more pressure in areas you don’t want. The second reason is that it wears out/moves and breaks down rather quickly. If your handlebar and saddle are in proper height you shouldn’t feel any extra pressure that you wouldn’t when seated on a wooden chair.

Recommendation

Pearl Izumi has a good Select In-R-Cool short that goes up to 2x if a shop doesn’t have anything near you. If there’s a good shop near you try on things, don’t be scared of the guys. When you are trying on, use underwear but no after you buy them!

Disclaimer: I work for Pearl Izumi but those are awesome shorts.

 

Motivational Monday with Terry

1 Motivational Monday with Terry

What is your name and location?

Terry in Santa Clarita, CA

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Road and Mountain

What is your first cycling memory?

Oh my. I was in, probably, 2nd grade. My g-pa bought me a girl’s bike, used, and painted it ‘Candy Apple Green.’ It was beautiful. I remember falling on the bar and dragging my toes on the ground and scraping them badly. Also, hitting that bar with my crotch was so painful. That’s my first memory of cycling. That was 45/46 years ago.

Who inspires you to ride? Better yet, why?

At this time, just my own motivation keeps me going. I bought my road bike in Nov. 2012 for my 52nd birthday. I wanted to be able to ride farther on our city’s bike paths. My mtn. bike was holding me back. I’ve only ridden 250 miles since getting it, but they’ve been good miles. I challenge myself each time I ride to 1.) Go farther and 2.) Go faster. I’m still slow and the farthest I’ve gone on one ride is about 23 miles. But I’m so excited to keep trying.

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

…Moment…Was a ride. From the beach parking in Ventura up to Ojai and back. Riding up and back down was great. I’ve done it twice and can’t wait to try again. There was some walking uphill, but mostly I rode. I felt so proud of myself.

Tell us what you ride

I have a 2012 Giant Defy 3 and a 2008 TREK WSD. I forget the details. Both bikes are great. When I’m just cruising on Venice Beach or someplace flat, I have a basket on the front of my TREK and put my small dog in the basket.

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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! 

5 Fundamentals of Riding Everyone Should Take Note Of

10 womenroll

When I tell people I run a website with the goal to empower women in cycling they automatically hear “feminist.” This is as far from truth as you can get as I simply want more people on bikes, and realize that a huge opportunity is to empower women on two wheels.

Last week the Bike League released a report wrapping women’s cycling stats and misconceptions together. The report, Women on a Roll, is a great summary of the state of cycling but not just for women – for everyone. Anyone working to get more people on bikes could benefit from reading the stats and assumptions found in this report. Stripping the spandex and politics from getting more bikes on the road this report gives a great baseline for many shops and advocacy groups to build forward momentum off of.

Focus on the 5 C’s

Catchy, but effective. The 5 C’s will help increase ridership in all communities (and across most niches.)

Comfort
Convenience
Consumer Products
Confidence
Community

If brands, product managers, bike shop owners, and advocacy directors focused on the 5 C’s cycling will be headed in a positive direction.

Motivational Monday with Christy

4 Motivational Monday with Christy

What is your name?

Christy

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Long group rides and tackling hills

What is your first cycling memory?

Learning on the old red Schwinn all four siblings learned to ride on in the back yard.

Who inspires you to ride? Better yet, why?

People in my riding group who encourage me to challenge myself.

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

60 mile group ride loop including beautiful scenery I had not seen before.

Tell us what you ride

Trek Domane 5.2 named Velvet.

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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! 

Liv/Giant Goes to Only 27.5″ for Mountain Bikes in 2014

11 Liv/giant 27.5

While I’m only half way through the review of a Liv/Giant Anthem X 29er, Liv/Giant rocks us all back on our heels with the news they will only be doing 27.5″ wheels on their mountain bikes starting in 2014. Over the next week I’ll be featuring all the new models, spec and pricing. Make sure to follow the search term “Liv/giant 2014” over the next week.

Liv/giant 27.5

Liv/giant is dedicated to providing women with the best possible off-road cycling experience. The evolution of the 27.5-inch wheel size has led Liv/giant’s engineers and athletes to one conclusion: 27.5 is the optimal wheel size for all riding styles and levels of female riders. It perfectly combines the most desirable attributes of 26 and 29-inch wheels, giving you a ride that truly delivers the best of all worlds. This year Liv/giant’s entire off-road line-up, from sport-level to elite, features bikes with 27.5-inch wheels.

  1. Lighter Weight
  2. More Efficient
  3. Better Control

In comparison to 26 and 29-inch wheel size options, our research shows that 27.5 offers the ideal combination of light weight, efficiency, and control for female riders. Here are the factors that make this wheel size especially ideal for women.
These three factors combined create the best possible ride quality and bike fit for female riders. The inherent light weight and efficiency of 27.5 gives you the energy to elevate your riding. And 27.5 allows Liv/giant to design our 3F frame geometry to better balance female riders of all heights over the bottom bracket and front wheels for unparalleled control. It is this balance that truly defines the Liv/giant riding experience.

Motivational Monday with Kristin

1 Motivational Monday with Kristin

What is your name and location?

Kristin Apotsos, Melbourne Beach, Florida

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Cyclocross, mountain biking, riding bikes to school with my 2 kids, I want to like road cycling

What is your first cycling memory?

I felt like a hot shot when I was given my neighbor’s robin egg blue Schwinn with a sparkly banana seat. Several years later, my Dad painted it metallic copper. I was proud of that bike. It’s a shame that my kids have not experienced the beauty and comfort of a banana seat.

Who inspires you to ride? Better yet, why?

There is nothing more motivational than been getting spanked in cyclocross. Since moving up to CAT 3, I’ve been blown away by the power and endurance of my competition. I also have huge admiration for cyclists who compete in RAAM (Race Across America) and other extreme cycling events. Two years ago I followed the progress of an amazing local competitor & part-owner of our local bike shop (INFINITY Bike Shop!). He must have superior pain management skills.

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

Hands down, the best moment on a bike thus far in 2013 was taking an an orange popsicle hand up from a man wearing an orange full body suit during the Florida State Cyclocross Championships. It was my second race of the day. It was hot. It tasted awesome.

Tell us what you ride

I own four bikes and am seeking a fifth. My oldest bike is a green ’98 Specialized Stumpjumper. We have a long history together. We’ve done mountain bike races, 12-hour races, triathlons, and now cyclocross races together. I also own a full suspension Trek Fuel EX, a WSD Trek Madone 5.2, and a turquoise vintage Raleigh cruiser which is used for errands and towing surf & paddle boards. I am shopping for a carbon CX bike with a lot of character and a small price tag. As corny as this sounds, I trust destiny will bring us together. I’d love to add a single speed to the family as well.

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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! 

Motivational Monday with Jessica

0 Motivational Monday with Jessica

WHAT’S YOUR NAME AND LOCATION?

Jessica Schilling, Boulder, CO

WHAT TYPE OF CYCLING DO YOU ENJOY?

Road and recreational

WHAT IS YOUR FIRST CYCLING MEMORY?

My itty-bitty blue sparkly Schwinn with the blue-and-white streamers!

WHO INSPIRES YOU TO RIDE, AND BETTER YET WHY?

Who … well, I live in a town full of cyclists, and seeing folks on bikes around me all the time is a near-constant inspiration to stay on two wheels. Why? Because riding is the most awesome thing ever: it’s transportation, freedom, exercise, a moving meditation, a way to quiet the mind while letting the body do its thing, a way to make the planet a better place, and a shameless excuse for ogling hot guys and girls in spandex.

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

Pulling into the tiny general store in Hygiene, CO on my weekly Saturday ride for a halfway-there break of fresh lemonade, a water-bottle refill and a lounge on their lovely green lawn. Such a perfect routine!

TELL US ALL ABOUT YOUR BIKES

Shiny Red is a Globe Daily 3 (step-through, seven-speed internal hub) with a bitchin’ handmade wooden milk crate that my dad built out of scrap cedar from my folks’ back porch and a badge from Farnsworth Bicycle Laboratory, my friend’s art shop in Lawrence, KS. I spent three months tracking this bike down and ended up finally finding her on a weekend road trip ten hours away from home.

Ruby (who is blue) is a Specialized Ruby Comp, my first real road bike, purchased this summer after a months-long Craigslist saga that actually involved two separate bicycles and a little bit of heartbreak (and broken carbon). We’re still getting to know each other in one of those sort of slow-blooming romances. Shiny Red is jealous, but they’re both taking it pretty well.

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 Julia

0 Motivational Monday with Julia

WHAT’S YOUR NAME AND LOCATION?

Julia, Gainesville, FL

WHAT TYPE OF CYCLING DO YOU ENJOY?

All: Road, MTB, multi-use trails with the family

WHAT IS YOUR FIRST CYCLING MEMORY?

Crashing on my banana seat bike in the second grade and getting stitches from splitting my lip on that big Y frame handle bar!! Good times!

WHO INSPIRES YOU TO RIDE, AND BETTER YET WHY?

Myself, my friends and family. I enjoy being healthy and riding outside. I love riding in Gainesville, we have so many trees and wonderful places to ride. San Feslasco is a mountain bike paradise with beautiful deer and challenging elevations.

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

Sharing events with my son. I am really excited about the youth development races that I am starting to see pop up more and more. I think it is important to spark more interest with outreach programs like youth races and youth mountain bike series or occasional lessons in the community. I have seen a few LBS sponsor not only a Summer MTB race series, but also a meet and greet with a few lessons. I love this. I think it fosters a long term love not only for cycling but for the places where they get to cycle.

TELL US ALL ABOUT YOUR BIKES

We have nine bikes in our garage at this moment: My old MTB, my road bike, my boyfriend’s road bike, his rain bike, his commuter bike, his MTB, My son’s road bike, his commuter (MTB) bike and my other son’s commuter bike. We will be adding a Cx bike and another MTB bike this year. SO excited!!!

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!