Category: Women Bike

My first full day in D.C. in early March (following an evening bike ride and Women & Bicycles party) ushered in the 2nd annual National Women’s Bicycling Forum held just before the National Bike Summit. The National Women’s Bicycling Forum brought more than 350 attendees rallying around the theme “Women Mean Business”.

As summarized on the League of American Bicyclist’s site

“this all-day event showcased women leaders and entrepreneurs in the bicycle industry and highlighted the economic impact and rising influence of women in the bicycle movement.

The Forum included keynote addresses from industry pioneer Georgena Terry, Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth and NYC Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, as well as break-out sessions, a Women Bike Pop-up Shop and plenty of networking.”

Elizabeth with NYC Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan (JSK)

For the fun of it – following the keynote addresses – the New York Bike Dancers graced the luncheon audience with a lively performance:

A year ago, the first ever National Women Cycling Forum in 2012 was simply a 2-hour panel discussion the afternoon before the start of the National Bike Summit. For 2013, it has become a full-day of speakers and break-out sessions… overwhelming in such a good way. So many inspiring female leaders in the bike industry and who work in their communities shared their ideas for how to inspire more women to bike, and the day marked a celebration of the unique (and enhanced) perspective females give to cycling.

A breakout session panel. All sessions were full of attendees.

Add to that the pop-up shops featuring female vendors in the bike industry – each showcasing their wares with distinctive flare.

follow the Women Bike movement

In the spirit of the day – there was even an impromptu photo booth to express bike love:

accessories for the bike photo booth

[Note: this forum was not a repeat of the National Women’s Bicycling Summit (which was held last September in Long Beach).]

The result of this Forum?
“As a take-away for Forum participants and folks around the country, the group created a hand-out with 11 tips to engage more women in your cycling events.”

Nationwide women’s events are already forming and growing, such as the Venus de Miles Ride and CycloFemme.

CycloFemme Pledge:

Take the CycloFemme Pledge

Here in Chicago, our very own grassroots Women Bike Chicago has already formed… and hosted its very first Women Bike Chicago Forum (more to come in a separate post). More fun events to engage women biking in Chicago are in the works… along with planning already underway for a bigger and better Women Bike Chicago Forum in 2014. I was privileged to bring back ideas and energy from D.C. to Chicago; I hope all the people who in attended this National Women’s Bicycling Forum returned to their respective communities with energy to inspire women and all cyclists where they live.

For all you females (and males) now inspired to get more women on bikes in your community – the League may be able to help fund your ideas. Find out more about applying for a mini-grant.

Next up… the Women Bike Pop-Up Shops

This past March I ventured (for the second year) to Washington, D.C. for the National Bike Summit.

For those of you unable to attend the event “in-person” I hope that the insights of these next few posts about the National Bike Summit may inspire you to go in future years or to at least check out the presentations now available online for your viewing pleasure.

This year “more than 750 attendees from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian provinces participated in the 2013 National Bike Summit!”

Let’s start from the beginning…

Upon my arrival in D.C. (much chillier this year and not a cherry blossom in bloom!), I perked up at sight of the bright red Capital Bikeshare bikes.
capital bikeshare bikes

I, however, passed by the bikeshare bikes; instead I borrowed a bike from Miriam’s friend (who graciously lent me her bike “Cherry” last year and this year – thank you!).
Cherry

Once on bike, I was equipped to join an evening bike ride organized by the group Black Women Bike. Bundled up, we cycled past several D.C. monuments before circling back to a launch party for the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA)’s Women & Bicycles campaign – an outreach and education program geared to get more women on bike.

The event was full of bike love:

Plus books and such from Elly Blue and WABA:

My initial day in D.C. would set the pace for a jam-packed week of everything bike advocacy and meeting awesome bikey folks… especially meeting these other fine ladies named “Elizabeth”:

Ladies named Elizabeth

Alright, Cycle Ladies, after a brief stint of testing, here’s the Mir.I.Am ASAP review on Lululemon’s Fall Commuter “Pedal Power” threads!  As previously mentioned, the collection is only available for purchase online for a limited time – so I tried my best to make this review a quickie!  I posted as-soon-as-I-could-cajole-others-to-take-photos-of-me-in-the-clothes, essentially translates to a week or so.  Here’s a quickie overview of each of the pieces I was tasked to scrutinize:

Lululemon Pedal Power Wind Shirt in Dense Purple

Pedal Power Wind Shirt (in dense purple) – $128.00

Pedal Power Wind Shirt

why we made this

This shirt is as easy to throw (on) as Jennifer Grey, only it’s better suited for commuting as opposed to dance routines. The lightweight shell is made of Cire fabric to repel wind and rain and the back gathers so we can make adjustments for a perfect fit. Reflective details mean that even in low light we feel comfortable pedaling with gusto.

key features

  • wind and water-resistant finish helps us battle the elements
  • not one but two continuous drawcords make fine-tuning the fit a cinch
  • be bright – reflective details help with low light visibility
  • stow your phone in the secure zipper pocket
  • mesh panels let your arms breathe
  • long in back to keep your rear covered
Lululemon Pedal Power Pant in Black

Pedal Power Pant (in black) – $128.00

Pedal Power Pant

why we made this

We created these lightweight cycling pants to give us room when we’re busting a move during and after our commute. Transformable reflective details help keep us bright when we need it and inconspicuous when we don’t.

key features

  • button the pocket flaps open and switch over the ankle tab for added reflectivity
  • durable Commuter Stretch Woven fabric is treated with DWR to help keep you dry on the fly
  • stretchy denim luon side panels allow you the freedom to move
  • the articulated rise keeps you covered
  • store your stuff in the secure back pockets

*

Lululemon Pedal Power Longsleeve in Currant

Pedal Power Longsleeve (in Currant) – $108.00

Pedal Power Longsleeve

why we made this

Leisurely rides call for comfy gear. When we’re pedalling at our own pace, we want a layer that keeps us warm and lets us breathe. This long sleeve is the perfect fit – it’s cut long to keep us covered and has mesh paneling for us to let off steam. Let’s ride!

key features

  • the loose cut of this shirt gives you the freedom to move
  • thoughtfully placed Circle Mesh panels in high sweat areas help to keep you dry
  • reflective details help with visibility in low light
  • the drop hem with drawcord keeps you covered so you can tuck and ride
  • just say, “no,” to chafing with flat seams
  • thumbholes help keep your hands warm and makelayering easy

First Glance vs. In The Pants Impressions

Back to my first glance/first impressions/internal brain vomologue (vomit+monologue):

Whoa, these materials are slinky and sexual.  How the crap do they make this stuff… spin the golden saliva of Aphrodite!?  Maybe I should have ordered a size down, they seem flowy and scarfy.  Wait, is this a SCARF?  Must make extra efforts not to choke myself with scarf while cycling… Need scarf guard for rear wheel.

And in the pants/shirt/longsleeve impressions:

Finally! It’s actually cold enough to wear frickin PANTS!  Oh yeah, these Pedal Power Pants could use a little more snugness in the butt for my taste, but they are comf-tastic on the ride.  Correction: threads are spun from the Lorax’s truffula trees – silky smooth and still breathable and stretchy.  Oooh, I like adjustability of the wind shirt at the bust and waist…  Successfully executed getting dressed for rides on bike without playing scarf wheel hangman.  And I like thumbholes.  And Red.  And Reflective Fabrics!

More Details and Opinions… If you must.

Enough quickie overviews and product data from the Lululemon Pedal Power website.  So let’s get serious, velodactyls! (Or not.)  The Lululemon Pedal Power line is definitely a quality product suitable for real autumn weather – I’m talking crisp mornings and falling leaves, windy winds, and maybe a touch of rain.  This stuff may be pricy, but I would for sure put it on my back-to-school (grown-ups get those too, right?) wish list, since I’m “funemployed” at the moment.  Overall, everything looks chic, can take a bit of rain/muddy water, and is definitely passable attire in a business-casual work environment.  Me thinks some photo-narration is in order… good thing I have bikey friends with cameras and smahtphones!  Ready… set… GO:

Pedal Power Wind Shirt1Pedal Power Wind Shirt2

For the Pedal Power Wind Shirt, it definitely cuts out the wind and did the trick on an overcast day, but – per usual Hawaii weather protocol – it did make me sweaty from the inside despite the lightweight material.  The shirt is a bit shiny, and does pass for a great looking “elegant” women’s commuter blouse – but not passable if your workplace is a skirt-suit and heels type of gig.  Reflective detailing on the cuffs can be unrolled during the commute for extra flare and reflective visibility!  The shirt zips up and has two pull cords – making a very flattering fit, but they can dig into the middle of your back at times.  It also comes in black or white.

Lululemon Outfit1

Lookin' comfy and snazzy!

Lululemon Outfit2

Relfective ankle bands built in!

Lululemon’s Pedal Power Pants and Longsleeve were perfect for comfy “fall/winter” cruising about town.  Here I am before taking off for a 15 minute ride to my part-time day job at the local Unicorn Petting Zoo.  The Pedal Power Longsleeve was definitely comfy, very long (no instances of people shouting “crack kills!” on this commuter) and very red. It comes in black, white, red, and purple – and the sizing was a bit large for my taste.  I followed the Lululemon Sizing guide, but it seems comfort is the keyword with this piece.  The floppy collar buttons all the way up to protect your neck for those speedy morning downhills and I loved the thumbholes!  Again, despite the breathable panels installed from elbow to armpit to ribcage, I still found myself needing to wash this shirt after one day of warmish fall commuting in Honolulu.  When I wore this shirt, guys in the office said, “You look very cozy today!”

Pedal Power Longsleeve1

Thumbholes and button sleeve details

Pedal Power Pant1

Clever disco-reflective ankle strap

Pedal Power Pant2

Highwaisted in the back, and peekaboo pocket reflectors!

Pedal Power Pant2

Yay for button pockets and butt shots!

Awww, Pants! The pants were definitely my favorite and most useful.  Even though they were loose in the butt (compare model from Lululemon site with bunchy-butt Mir) they fit in the hips and waist.  The inseam was not too short since the leg opening is tapered at the bottom, no dragging hems for Shorty McMidge Legs over here!  And I even got compliments on these threads at the office from the women and men – passable as business casual!  Some funny things about the Pedal Power Pants included a seam that runs along the middle of your knee cap allowing for a gusseted stretchy knee panel and a seam going right through the crotch like a normal pair of jeans.  Works well on a hybrid/upright type of commuter bike, but I don’t think I would last long on the seam on a road bike!  My favorite disco-bling was the reflective panels at the ankle strap and pockets – both can be buttoned into either stealth office mode or flashy night-time ride mode!  Personally, I left it bling-side out all. the. friggin’. time!

So there you have it – for the fashion-conscious commuting ladies out there, if you’ve got cash to spend on some high-quality threads, hit up the Lululemon Pedal Power line for some fall fancies.  Hope you enjoyed the review… cross your fingers for more butt shots from RL and Hermes at Interbike 2012!

Please click here to read our review disclaimer as required by the Federal Trade Commission.

We published a link to the following article on our Facebook page, and it’s worth sharing here, too.

Biking with kids is all the rage in Portland these days, but biking with six kids between the ages of 2 and 11? That’s something I never would have thought possible before I met southeast Portland resident Emily Finch.

Finch, 34, is a powerhouse. Watching her pedal her bakfiets cargo bike with four kids in the front, another one in a child seat behind her, and another one on a bike attached to hers via the rear rack, is a sight that not only inspires — it forces you to re-think what’s possible.

Read the rest of the article and see more pics over at Bikeportland.org.

supermom
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

As the article mentions, and as we’ve talked about repeatedly here — if you have the will and the desire to incorporate two wheels into your life, it CAN be done! I’ve met too many people “on the fence” about bike commuting…many of whom get hung up in logistical concerns or questions about what to do with their kids/clothes/appearance/safety/etc. While not everyone can forgo a car and switch to a bike (we understand that and accept that, believe it or not), there are still a LOT of people out there who could do it if they only put their minds to it.

Oooh Cycle Ladies and Gents – please give a round of applause for our latest Commuter Profile starlette – hot, strong, and ready to bike down the red carpet… SARAH EBERHARDT hailing from Los Angeles, California!

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Sarah Eberhardt commutes in downtown L.A.

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Sarah bikes to LIVE, here she is in San Diego, CA.

Name: Sarah Eberhardt

How long have you been a bike commuter?

Since 2005- the inception of my cycling life as we know it! 1/4 of my life I have been commuting via bike! Yeah! =)

Why did you start riding your bike to work and how long is your commute?

Let’s rephrase the Q – I bike to live and know that 2 miles is my ideal commute. I drew a 2 miles radius around my workplace, and chose where to live that was precisely 2 miles away from work. Any more than that, I’d get lazy some days (come on – who doesn’t find an excuse to drive their car if they have one?); any less, it wouldn’t be enough cardio to jump start my day.

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Sarah with the baby blue Fuji Bordeaux, prior to thieving thievery… in Taos, NM.

How does Bike Commuting help you with your lifestyle (economics, health, relationships)?

How does bike commuting NOT help my lifestyle? I could go on for days, but bike commuting was the primary purpose of my move to Los Angeles – where all conditions align for the epitome of bike commuting environments – sunshine 364 days a year, no rain, no flash storms, acute temperature deviations from 70 degrees, mildly conscious drivers – all giving me a daily commute unlike the norm in Los Angeles.

sarahe

Definitely all smiles in Downtown LA, I love it!

I have a smile on my face every day I am going to work. My commute time is not based on traffic pattern surprises or sudden road closures – it is 12 minutes each way, plus or minus one minute for red lights. I save gas money. I save parking fees. I save parking hunt headache in downtown LA.

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Hmmm, this one doesn't look like commuting in Copenhagen… must be mountain biking the Rio Grande in Taos, NM!

What do you do for a living and in what city do you bike commute?

Architect by degree and banquet server by recession, I bike commute daily within downtown Los Angeles. I have owned a bike and commuted while living months at a time in Cleveland, OH; Cincinnati, OH; Copenhagen, Denmark; Berkeley, CA; and Taos, NM.

What kind(s) of bike do you have?

I’m on my 3rd road bike since 2005 and her name is Igriega (because it sounds like “egret” and it is my favorite Spanish word – she makes me fly past the egrets that wade in the LA River along many of my weekend warrior rides). She is a solid carbon fiber Trek Madone and the bike of my dreams. She soars me through the heavy clouds (cough cough *smog*) of LA.

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Thugs for Life, Bikes for Life – laying down with her black Bianchi in Cincinnati, OH.

Prior to her, my virgin roadie was an aluminum baby blue Fuji Bordeaux- stolen on Berkeley’s campus (NEVER USE CABLE LOCKS!!). My interim roadie was a steel black and teal Bianchi Imola – the thug bike – I suspect it was a stolen bike (even though I checked it with stolenbicycleregistry.com) and again, was stolen off the trunk rack of my car in Koreatown LA. That bike had bad bike karma – it was destined to be passed from thief to rider to thief to rider.

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Using the Iron Horse MTB for a leisure MTB ride on Catalina Island off coast of Cali

I also own a less momentous Iron Horse mountain bike for non-road friendly treks.

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"What the hell?!" – Mir.I.Am's reaction.

Any funny or interesting commuting story that you may want to share?

While living in New Mexico, I once carried home a 3 foot diameter tumbleweed on my back that I found to use as décor. It is a lot harder to bike one-handed with a large prickly odd-shaped object strewn over your shoulder!

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Response from Sarah, "Tumbleweed in Taos, NM!" Obviously.

What do people (coworkers, friends) say when you tell them that you are a bike commuter?

“Oh my, is that safe?” “Do you even bike at night?”

If you’re surrounded in steel, it’s not necessarily safer than riding on top of steel. So yes, it is as safe as driving in a car, and yes I use bike lights.

How about bicycling advocacy? Are you active in any local or regional advocacy groups?

No.

Anything else that you want to share with us?

YES, I’m renowned for a series of jumping photos in epic places — some of these places I was lucky enough to have had my bike along for the journey.

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Jump photo time on the LA River trail.

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Coronado Island in San Diego, leisure ride with Sarah's man Valentin for weekend warrior adventures.

Sarah, thanks for sharing your fun-fun photogs and awesome sauce profile with us.  You’ve reaffirmed my personal belief that women on bikes are just plain hot!  Want to show us your ride and tell us all about it, lovely Bike Commuters?  Then send an email and we’ll hook you up with a Commuter Profile questionnaire!  Email mir[at]bikecommuters[dot]com for details.