June 25, 2010 Posted by Trek Women

Thank you for the stories. And what's next...

A huge thanks to Amy, Caitlin, Mary, Rebecca, and Roxzanne for sharing their stories and inspiring us to ride. They've fulfilled their time as Women Who Ride bloggers but we fully expect them all to continue inspiring their friends, family, and neighbors.

While we're pausing the blog at this time, be sure to visit us at http://www.trekbikes.com/women/ for the latest Trek Women news, products, events, and more. Also please join us on Facebook to connect with other Trek Women Who Ride at http://www.facebook.com/TrekWomen.

As for the next group of Women Who Ride? Stay tuned to the website and Facebook to be the first to hear.

May 3, 2010 Posted by Amy King

Wait! There's one more thing you need to know!!!

I know I'm supposed to be done blogging, and I don't mean to take away from my fellow Women Who Ride and their fabulous posts, so please indulge me, BUT...

Do not walk, do not run...pedal furiously to the next Trek Sponsored Dirt Series for Women!!!!!!!!!  The wealth of skills, the incredible coaches, and the absolute fun that is to be had on a bike at this camp is not to be missed.  So do yourself a favor and sign up for one of these!

In one weekend, I learned front-end wheel lifts, manual jumps/drops, how to do switchbacks, straight-line riding, proper climbing technique, and tons more than I even imagined was possible.  And I got to do two very fun rides to show off all my new skills!  The coaches, a bunch that could be very intimidating, are just the right blend of tough and encouraging...and so confident in their coaching that they're confident in you - they know you'll get it!  

I'll be doing this series again; I want more!!  But in the meantime, I have lots of new skills to practice while I ride.  If you've ever had an inkling that you want more skills on your mountain bike, go sign up.  Don't wait!

May 3, 2010 Posted by Roxy

A year in the life...

It was a year little over a year ago that the five of us met for the first time in a hotel in Madison, Wisconsin. Five random women, brought together by one common bond: we love to ride our bikes. And so we were to be the poster girls for TREK Bicycles Women Who Ride. What an honor and what an opportunity. All kinds of new bikes and gear were thrown at us. It was a lottery ticket that had all the numbers. We hit the bike jackpot, in our minds. 

So, what has been my take away from this experience, this lucky duck label? Well, I've seen first hand how TREK wants people, all people, to ride bikes, not just the ladies. No matter which one or for what reason. The goal is to get the masses on a bike and onto living a better, healthier life. But they really do support women. Flat out. When we went to the TREK headquarters, we met at least a dozen female employees, and most were in decision making roles. Very inspiring! And just the vibe around there was infectious. It seemed like a happy place.

On the home-front, this experience has been pretty cool, to say the least. My boss wrote an article about it and published it in a local women's magazine. I received a lot of feedback and support from the bike community, which felt great. I guess just knowing what I was doing on a bike could be influencing another to do the same was empowering. It gave me another new reason to ride.

Also, over the past year, I've been able to read about the amazing adventures the other women have done on their bikes which has reminded me to always reach beyond what I think I'm capable of doing. I was on the edge of my seat while reading about Rebecca's next stop on her ride across the US. Caitlin always had some interesting bike ride story. If she wasn't commuting, she was touring or taking part in some grand bike event. Mary, sixty-ish years young, was hopping around the US and abroad, with ceaseless energy that I can only hope to have in twenty years. And my favorite story has been witnessing Amy, a timid bike enthusiast, become a full on hard core racer after receiving her new TREK Madone and then soon after being asked to join a racing team. It gave her wings and a new, improved self image. I believe she can do anything she sets her mind to and surely she has inspired other ladies to try and take flight just like she did.She is really the success story of the WWR program. 

In closing, I'd like to thank TREK for choosing me as one of the Women Who Ride. It has been an honor and a privilege to represent all the ladies out there that swing a leg over every day. The bike is a magical instrument. It is an empowering tool. It brings us good health and is capable of taking us places where we may not have normally gone. The bike took us five to Waterloo and will continue to take us wherever we dream to go.

Ride on, ladies. Ride on.

May 1, 2010 Posted by Mary Strupp

My Year as a TREK-Y

A year ago I was pinching myself, asking “really? me?  One of 5 in the US to represent WSD Trek bikes?”  What a hot diggity dog honor - at my age!  And then I met the other 4 Women Who Ride at Trek Headquarters, they came from both coasts and one from the middle to be on the Trek “blog team” for a year.  Now THAT was the real honor! What spirit and encouragement AND talent!  After absorbing their biking lingo and vicariously living their experiences I knew I had a lot to learn about cycling styles, statisitcs and hardware!

 

My racing skills were limited to a dozen or so triathlons.  My long distance riding had taken me across a few states (one at a time) and a few 100+ mile riding days, plus a Trek Travel trip.  But, my mountain biking/off road experiences had been pitiful!  Once, I had an egg-size bruise and hematoma from a fall on rocks: by the way, it was in the saddle  area: you-know-where!  Then there was the time I read about the Red Rock Canyon ride out of Las Vegas: it was touted as one of THE best!  I HAD to try it!  For me?  It stunk!  After an hour of doing V’s down one gully and up the next, getting off my bike to accomplish the “up”,  I 'd had it.  I told myself that was one aspect of cycling that had passed me by and I didn’t need to do THAT again.  Well, here I am to tell you that my apirations have again changed and I feel challenged to "ride the wooded, hilly trails and ease myself into some good mountain biking, maybe rocks".  This, because of my year with the Women Who Ride.  Expanding my biking horizons has been just one of the alterations in my biking life with Trek!

 

I've met fabulous biking icons like Sally Edwards and Gary Fisher;  become interested in all aspects of bike racing; forced myself to sign up for rides because I was a WWR (and after the ride thinking "I'm glad I didn't miss this one");  I started to ride in cold weather (I used to put my bike away after  it dropped to 50 degrees); I do short errands by bike instead of the car.  I support bike legislation and advocacy and plan to participate in the Ride Of Silence on May 20.

 

I  fell in love with cyclocross racing after trying it just one tim.  Again, without Trek - I wouldn't have attempted it.  Now I have my sights on participating in a few more CX races, can't believe it!    Never thought I'd buy another new bike but I'm waiting for a great fit session with my bike gurus at Wheel and Sprocket Delafield when my carbon Top Fuel 9.8 WSD arrives.  Off-road, here I come!

 

Will I give up triathlons?  Not for a few years - there's an 85 year old woman who is going gangbusters around here  plus the 90 year old man I recently blogged about who started riding at 85!  So I have my set my sights on the future, Thank You Trek!  It's been one heck of a ride this last year.

 

April 30, 2010 Posted by Amy King

What a Ride!

My friend, Jen and I were talking the other day about where we were in our lives a year ago.  She was commenting on how much she has changed as a rider in just one year, remembering her training for her first century:  how she didn't eat properly and had never gone more than 30, then 40, then 60 miles before on a bike.  And now she's done TWO centuries (one with serious elevation), has interest in mountain biking, and has joined the VeloGirls to expand her repertoire of skills.  Go Jen!  Wow!  I had been thinking about my riding in the last year, too.

A little over a year ago, my husband said, "Hey, Trek is having a contest.  You should enter!"  I read the details and decided that it would be interesting to at least dust off my brain and write about why I rode my bike.  I never would have imagined how much that one essay would impact my life!

I thought I rode a lot a year ago.  I thought I was content with my "relaxed" (aka: slow) riding, enjoying the scenery and exercise.  I thought racers were crazy people.  I thought I wasn't a competitive person.  And I thought I had no desire to go anywhere different on my bike.

But then I wrote that essay.  And I waited to hear if I would be picked.  I didn't think I would be, but I secretly hoped.  And before I knew it, I was making arrangements for the kids to be left over a series of days with Chris and two (very wonderful) friends so I could go to Trek Headquarters and become an official Woman Who Rides.  And it's all been (biking) downhill from there!   

A year is simultaneously long and short.  In this year, I've done a couple of centuries, done my first road and mountain bike races, met and hung out with some truly incredible people, and completely changed how I view myself as a cyclist.  I've taken my role as a Woman Who Rides seriously, and I truly hope that people have seen that you don't have to be perfect or even good on a bike to enjoy it and where it takes you.  Yes, I have had the advantage of the incredible support of Trek (I am a very lucky girl!) and my fellow Women Who Ride.   But Trek started the bike rolling with opportunities.  It was the bike that continued it:  My new Madone and Fuel EX led me to the guys at Trek Store of San Jose and more rides with Lorri and the Velogirls...which led me to consider racing...which led me to do bike skills classes...which led me to my fabulous teammates... all which led me to the bike community I've been searching for for a long time.    

Tomorrow I go to do the Trek Dirt Series mountain bike camp.  I'm incredibly nervous and doubting my ability to learn to ride cool things like wheelie drops and how to ride skinny teeter-totters.  Today, my friend Constance taught her first Boot Camp class at the YMCA.  She did a great job!  I saw her afterward and she was so excited.  She said, "It was completely outside my comfort zone.  But if I don't do something new, I don't grow, so I have to do this for myself."  Perfect.  That is exactly how I could sum up this year.   

April 30, 2010 Posted by Caitlin Hollister

Seriously

My final blog comes just as I organize my school's spring bike program.  I spent yesterday afternoon visiting 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade classroom to announce our May classes, signing up 90 students to play on bikes.  They are "super psyched" and so am I.  I've never been too excited about bike gear and I still need reminders on what's what on my frame (seat tube? seat stay?)...I feel much more confident riding with kids, focusing on helmets, chains, tires, and brakes.  Once all that technical stuff is taken care of, it's all about fun.  Games and sprints and showing off and crusing down hills.  Words like performance, endurance, components, and spandex never come up with third graders.

Thanks to TREK, I don't need to worry much about my bike's hardware.  My 520 has carried me through 3 long bike tours and is ready for another trip through Washington state this summer.  So I focus on serious fun, watching my students experience the power of two wheels.  Reading the posts of RJ, Roxy, Amy, and Mary, I'm reminded of so many thrills that come from cycling - whether racing or commuting, cruising or climbing...There's still a whole world of cycling to explore and I just might find myself a mountain bike someday. 

April 27, 2010 Posted by Mary Strupp

Time to Get Fit!

"Fit" as in getting your bike fine tuned to your body - core, legs, arms, shoulders, back, hands, behind, soft tissue areas, etc.  Really, a perfect fit makes for a smooth, efficient ride with no soreness at the end of your journey.  I'm lucky to live just a couple miles from my friendly bike "gurus".  Not just any gurus either...I get to hobnob with the store and service managers, Matt and Derek at the #1 Trek Dealer in America, Wheel and Sprocket of Delafield. Nice guys? You bet!  Know how to fit? You bet!  Cater to your needs, answer your questions?  You bet!  It all starts with making sure your bike frame is the right size for your height and weight and matches the kind of biking you intend to do: trails, road, cross country, cruise, race, commute - to name a few of the styles.  If you are lucky - have a bike for each purpose or at least 2 or 3!  You'll really get a kick out of riding a variety of roads and trails for pleasure or racing.  As Wheel and Sprocket says, "Enjoy Your Ride".  And to ENJOY it, get fit!

Your bike shop will guide you to the right bike selection and let you test ride, preferably where you will do most of  your riding.  The seat is a really important component of riding comfortably and the Bontrager inForm will guide you and your bike guru to find the best saddle for your shape, you'll sit on a form, make an impression on it with your bottom and viola! a saddle can be selected that fits your form.  We all vary back there and down there!  So start there and you'll be a happy camper!  Then, the handlebars are another testy little variable - go to the pros at the bike shop for help and proper fit and selection.  Matt, the "master fitter and manager", you'll know him by his fashionable blue glasses, did all of this for me when fitting my Equinox, a superb triathlon bike and yes, it is fast and comfortable.  Well, fast, as in fast-for-me!  From the start of our fit session (plan on an hour and a half or so) to walking out the door a few days later, after Derek in Service put all the pieces together, I have been flying down the road feeling fit, too.

DSCN1161 DSCN1155 
 DSCN1163

DSCN1177 GO ENJOY YOUR RIDE!

 

April 20, 2010 Posted by Mary Strupp

You're Never Too Old To Start Riding

I'll admit that I am the oldest member of the Women Who Ride AND I never started to ride with gusto, never owned a bike, didn't know how to shift or ride up a hill until I was about 45 years old.  OK, I did ride on a borrowed bike when I was a teenager a couple times, but that doesn't count!  Before I read about this gentleman who rides 15-20 miles a day and didn't start his riding "career" until he was 85 years YOUNG, I thought I was THE oldie but goody!  So I say to anyone out there who has a desire to ride with the your friends or your kids but has been afraid to get on a bike because you think you're too old, too wobbly, or too out of shape - now is the time to start, don't wait until you're 85!  Although Mr. Braun did and he does it well.  Today IS the first day of the rest of your life.  Go for it, ladies (and gents)!   Biking is fabulous exercise: it firms those back sides, thighs, calves and gives you balance and works your core.  What more can you ask for?  Well after some training, you might ask to try different terrain or you might want to race or even compete in a triathlon after you've gotten your sea-legs so to speak.  All this is possible once you turn that first wheel.  You can read more about Amy and Roxy's racing adventures on Trek's Women Who Ride website.  I just hope that all the stories and experiences will entice you to get on a bike and experience the freedom and confidence you gain from just riding a bike, it's that simple.  Got For It!
April 9, 2010 Posted by Caitlin Hollister

Big City Riding

Manhattan Bridge Verazano Br  
 

A perfect Easter weekend in NYC, starting with our bikes on the Fung Wah bus, Chinatown Boston to Chinatown NYC.  In a busy city, I was delighted to meander slowly through the masses, glad to see so many people out enjoying the sun.  We stayed with our good friends Micaela and Nathan who cooked delicious meals for us and shared some lovely walks through Brooklyn.  My last time cycling in NYC was May 07, for the Five Boro Bike Tour.  No better way to see the city - but don't skimp on locks.  Lots of good bike signs and extensive lanes made our travels smooth.  Even spotted an HBO film shoot in Prospect Park - like true tourists, we stopped to gawk.  After the torrential rains of March, April is looking good for cycling.  

March 22, 2010 Posted by Amy King

Women Who Race

First things first:  Happy Birthday to my sweet Delaney!  7 years old; I can't believe it!

Bariani Road Race (as in Bariani Olive Oil):

I was nervous the whole 2 hour trip to the race.  To be more accurate, I've been nervous for the last 2 weeks, feeling the passing of time acutely.  I keep thinking about this crazy bike year:  Last year at this time, I was a committed recreational rider (newly picked by Trek to do this blog!), and thinking that anyone who raced was either super-fit or just plain crazy.  And there I was a year later, on Saturday, in the car on my way to my first race...nerves and anxiety on full blast.  On Friday we had hosted a birthday party for my daughter and ten of her friends, then my two-year-old appeared to have the stomach flu.  Not the most relaxing or focused way to spend the day (and night) before my first race, but perhaps it took my mind off of my worries.  Saturday morning, I finished prepping my gear, and Declan looked well enough to leave with the grandmas (who had both flown in to celebrate Delaney's birthday) which meant Chris could come with me (hooray!).  In the car, despite the deliberate non-cycling conversation, I kept focusing on one aspect of the race:  would I be able to clip in to my pedals and at least leave the start line with the pack?

Continue reading "Women Who Race" »

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These women shared their stories and captured our hearts, convincing us that they should represent Trek. Of course they ride for the love of it, but more importantly, they ride for opportunities cycling offers. Read about these opportunities. Their stories will put a smile on your face and inspire you to experience life by bike. They are Trek Women.
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