Very sporadically addressing bike commuting, equity and justice, vegetarian food and cooking, public policy and a touch of politics, family, work, good books, movies, words, life, coffee, chocolate, in no particular order. More bikey blogging at bikestylelife.com
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.
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 www.bikestylespokane.com, 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.
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.
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.
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.