May 012011

Why launch yet another women’s bike blog? After all, there are quite a few (as I discovered along the way to building a growing list of women’s bike blogs).

Several reasons, really—

Reason : I love riding! I love the fresh air, the fun and freedom I feel when I’m on two wheels, the space and time free from electronica that usually feels as if it’s surgically attached to my hands.

Cold or wet weather doesn’t stop me; I’ve been riding long enough that I have acquired most of the gear it takes to stay dry and cozy. (I know cold-weather riding isn’t for everyone and I’m not saying it should be—you didn’t come here to be preached at.)

So even though Spokane is having its usual “late spring”–that is to say, arriving pretty much when it does every year, which is not nearly early enough for most of us–I’ve been riding all year. Sharing what I’ve learned about riding in style may help a few more women get riding, which would just rock.

Reason : I love making new connections with people–online as well as in real life. Prowling around online for cute accessories and more comfortable pants has led me to that amazing list of bike bloggers. When I read a great post about riding in Philadelphia or wherever, I realize we need more of that same kind of information out there for women in the Spokane region. We’re climbing the same hills and dealing with the same traffic, and we can support each other if we connect.

Reason : This quest isn’t just about riding a bike—it’s for women who lead an active life. You don’t have to bike to enjoy wearing a good-looking pair of pants that doesn’t cut you in the crotch when you run to catch the bus or walk to a coffee shop.

Similarly, if you’re walking in the morning or evening you need to think about being visible so drivers know you’re there, just like bike commuters. And keeping warm and dry while you’re moving actively presents a special challenge if you care about cuteness. Many of the tips and products designed for biking work well for walking and vice versa.

Reason : I need your help! As I’ll address in a future post, this all started because I wanted to find a good-looking pair of pants that were comfortable for riding and business-y and stylish enough for work. I’ve spent a lot of time looking to find some possibilities.

I figure if it’s taken me this much time to find a few pairs of pants, others are in the same hunt. Maybe we can find some great options together.

Reason : I love Spokane. It’s a great city often over-looked because it’s mid-sized, not a metro area like those big cities on the I-5 corridor to the west of us (on what we call the wet side). You know the ones I mean–their names start with P and S. (P in particular has a reputation for being a really cool city and a great place to ride a bike.)

But Spokane is the place that really does merit its slogan “Near Nature. Near Perfect.” We celebrate our four-season recreation. We take over our city streets for all-ages active events like SpokeFest, Bloomsday and Hoopfest. We have the Spokane River running right through the heart of our downtown. We’re a great place to live if you like an active lifestyle.

This is the kind of place where we aren’t at the top of the “trend-setting fashion mecca” list but we have a local design and fashion scene (check out this round-up of posts on The Spovangelist). You’ll see a wide variety of clothing in our downtown, from sharp suits and pointy-toed stilettos to jeggings and boots to vintage looks.

I think both our biking and our local sense of active style are worth celebrating. This is the place to do it.

When it gets so snowy and slick that I run the risk of playing the role of speed bump when drivers lock up their brakes and slide-slide-slide, I switch from riding my bike to riding the bus.
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