Bike Style Spokane: New Blog, Fun Event

If you've read this blog for any length of time you've seen my rants about the challenges of shopping for women's office-appropriate professional clothing that's comfy for biking. (If you missed those posts, I linked a few at the bottom.)

This has led me to the inescapable conclusion that there's something missing in the Spokane bike scene: The cuteness.

We have increasing bike infrastructure, great local bike shops in the area that provide equipment and service, clubs putting on races and rides, and super family events like Summer Parkways and Spokefest

We have Spokane Bikes putting out a comprehensive bike events list (check the May 12 Inlander for a full-page ad) and putting on the Bike to Work Week events happening right now. (Are you registered? Sign up no matter what kind of riding you do--there's safety in numbers and we want every last Spokane County bike-riding fan to sign up).

The missing pieces are information and products aimed at women who don't want to wear Spandex or clip in--they just want to look good and feel comfortable on the bike. They want to feel like they're part of a supportive community like Belles and Baskets that welcomes the beginner and the experienced alike. And while they're at it, they want chocolate.

So I'm doing something about it, inspired by the many women's biking blogs I've been discovering and highlighting via Women Bike Blogs on Facebook and @WomenBikeBlogs on Twitter for the past few months. (I've put the comprehensive list up, too.)

I've launched Bike Style Spokane, a bike blog, community, and associated shopping event business that seeks to help women who share my quest for the intersection of style and comfort.

The blog, at, will feature articles on the challenges associated with biking in regular work clothing, particularly for women; interviews with Spokane people who ride a bike and make it look easy; and "bikespeditions": destination shopping reviews that look at a neighborhood center for its mix of places to shop, places to eat, and places to park your bike safely. 

For an introduction to the blog, see the inaugural post, "Bike Style=Active Style=Spokane Style."

The first Bike Style Spokane shopping event is this Saturday, May 21, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Roasthouse Coffee, 423 E. Cleveland. I'm bringing together local businesspeople who have something unique to offer, so the event isn't just for women who bike. (And guys, you really should stop by and get your sweetie a Nuu-Muu. Trust me on this.)

  • Roasthouse Coffee: Coffee produced with the "Farm to Cup" philosophy that connects you with the people who feed your caffeine addiction, made by the coffee roaster donating "Ride the Edge" blend for the Bike to Work Kickoff Pancake Feed.
  • Petunia's Marketplace: Local, organic and handmade gourmet goodies
  • 40 Candles: Paper products and fine art photography prints
  • Robby Eldenburg, LMT: Chair massage ($1/minute or $10/15 minutes--treat yourself!)
  • Sistahpedia: Health blogger and amateur body builder Kris Pitcher will give a talk on women, body image and health shortly after noon and Sistahpedia cofounder Angela Brown says she's bringing stuff for WWK (Women Who Know)
  • Futurewise: Complete Streets Zine #1--the bike issue. If you missed the awesome Zine Launch Party at Jones Radiator last week, here's your chance; $3 gets you the zine and supports Futurewise.
  • Hydra Creations: Custom stickers--bike images and much, much more. Deck out your bike, your backpack, your butt--whatever you want to stick these babies on.
  • Bike Style Spokane: Po Campo bike bags and panniers; Nuu-Muu exercise dresses (the cutest dress you'll ever sweat in); Bike Wrappers (like reflective clothing for your bike); BPA-free Bike Style Spokane steel bike bottles; and more.
Future shopping events will be announced on the Bike Style website and social media accounts (Bike Style Spokane on Facebook and @BikeStyleSpok on Twitter). Most vendors accept checks or cash only.

For more information, see:

PS: This isn't meant to compete with the local bike shops. I consider the owners my friends. This is about growing their potential market by helping women feel comfortable riding and tapping into our inner shopper to provide a little extra motivation. And it's about the chocolate.

Related reading

Political Scandal? Just Add -Gate

When I was a kid we never watched TV at dinner—a rule that was broken night after night beginning May 17, 1974, with some somber news program on the tiny black and white on a corner shelf over the kitchen table. I was 11 years old.

My primary memories: We couldn’t talk, no matter what. Dad shushed us furiously if we so much as whispered. He was angry—very angry—about something. And someone important had done something really, really wrong and was getting in trouble.

This all came back to me as I watched the opening lines of “Frost/Nixon” at the Spokane Civic Theatre the other night.

The somber news over our dinner table, of course, was the Senate Watergate hearings. Nixon indeed did something really, really wrong and got in trouble. And Dad was mad because he had voted for Nixon.

I don’t have any memories of the actual interviews David Frost conducted with Richard Nixon three years after Nixon left office. The era came vividly to life in the show, thanks in part to the dreadfully accurate leisure suits (OMG, the polyester with top stitching!), loud ties, and plaid pants. The show’s opening montage of images of protesters and “Tricky Dick” in historic encounters on two TV sets, set to the Beatles’ “Revolution,” got the show off to a strong start and it only got better.

Wes Deitrick as Nixon anchors the show. Simply stunning. The voice, the mannerisms, the psychological depths. When he unburdened himself of his guilt at last in the closing interview with Frost—admitting that he let the American people down—it moved me to tears.

You knew this was a man overly obsessed with power and control, but at the same time genuinely honored and in some ways humbled by the chance to have served as President. To have flown so near the sun, Icarus, only to plunge seaward thanks to your own hubris: This is the historical lesson Nixon teaches us.

The entire cast delivered. Kelly Hauenstein as Frost uses body language effectively as the seemingly shallow dilettante, a mere talk show host but not a true journalist as measured by other journalists, dominated by Nixon in the early interviews but then coming back with newly discovered evidence and pressing Nixon to the point that the former president says, “If the president does it, it’s not illegal!”

Yes it is, Mr. President. Yes it is.

Go see “Frost/Nixon.”

Your turn

What do you remember from the Watergate era?

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