May 192011

I absolutely love the way this Saturday’s shopping event came together. It exemplifies everything about why I know a blog and associated activities will help grow the world of women riding bikes in Spokane and far beyond, and the path demonstrates the power of human connection, especially among women.

Maybe I believe that because I’m the middle of three sisters and know the warmth of the sisterhood. I have a personal connection to everyone involved with the event, so they’re all sisters of a sort (and one brother).

That’s just the kind of town Spokane is: where everybody knows your name, and knows someone who has just what you need. I have a story about each and every vendor but I’ll just tell you about two here: Bookmark it, check it out on Facebook, and join the Women Who Know!

Angela Brown, co-founder of Sistahpedia, became a friend years ago—I think before either of us was much of a cyclist. She now trains and has done STP (Seattle to Portland) a couple of times and I’ve become the area poster chick for bike commuting in a skirt.

When I saw Angela associated with something called “SistahPedia” on Facebook I automatically gave it a thumbs-up. Then I learned that she and her sister actually co-founded SistahPedia, which she describes as the place for WWK—Women Who Know.

From the website they’re launching that will be packed with information on health, beauty, entertainment, careers, education and more:

“Whatever our Wonder Woman powers are, we women are usually in the know. That’s what is all about. Sharing our collective knowledge to give our Sistahs a head’s up, leg up, word up (couldn’t resist). Whatever you want to call it, our goal is to provide women with the resources and support we need to be successful on whatever path we choose.”

Along the way I had also learned that work colleague Kris Pitcher was writing a health blog, which I’ve been highlighting through the Spokane Blogs Facebook and Twitter accounts I founded to support local bloggers. And then—surprise! Turns out she’s the health blogger for SistahPedia.

Read Fitness Bliss with Kris on her blog and at

Kris’s background is exercise science & nutrition, and she spent 11 years working full time in the industry. Ironically it wasn’t until her full-time work took a different direction that she was able to focus on her own personal fitness and health/fitness writing pursuits.

Kris is a lightweight bodybuilder and a writer. She says on her blog, “I hope you’ll enjoy the Fitness Bliss journey with me, it’s often rocky & sometimes unpredictable, but always rewarding.”

Kris will be giving a short talk at the event: “Finding Self—Body Image and You.” For many women this represents a lifelong struggle. Some women won’t get on a bike because they think they won’t look good or because the Spandex shorts reveal more than they conceal. If only they would go for a spin! They’ll learn that the joy of riding takes away the fear.

I know over the years I’ve done my share of obsessing about lumps, bumps, and bulges. I’ve been too thin (my daughters called that my “Skeletor” look because I have fairly angular facial bones) and I’ve been heavier than I consider healthy. I’ve raised two daughters and have done a fair amount of screwing up as a mother in an effort to encourage healthy habits in them.

Now I’m old enough that it would be pretty silly to worry about whether my tummy is flat (had two babies) or my thighs have cellulite, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have those moments with the cold, hard truth of the three-way full-length mirror at Nordstrom’s (or the skinny full-length mirror and the harsh lighting at Goodwill or Value Village, for that matter).

I’m looking forward to Kris’s talk. Come by the Bike Style Treats and Shopping event Saturday at noon to hear it. And to meet your sisters.

Your Turn

  • Has biking (or something else) changed the way you think about your body image?
  • Who are the women who have inspired, supported, motivated, encouraged, or pushed you to try something new?

Sharing is karma--pass it along!

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