10 Women Doing Cool Things for the Cycling Industry - Total Women's Cycling

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10 Women Doing Cool Things for the Cycling Industry

The cycling universe is vast and expanding, and amongst the growth are some truly inspiring women.

Total Women’s Cycling is passionate about women who ride, regardless of age, skill or discipline. We’re always excited to celebrate the professionals, and the amateurs, and we endeavour to recognise women’s contribution to the industry.

We’ve compiled a list of 10 brilliant women who are doing some really awesome things for the development of women’s cycling.

Olivia Bleitz – Brand Manager for Specialized Bikes

Olivia is a Brand Specialist for Specialized Bikes and her job is to help Specialized become a better brand for female riders everywhere. She actively promotes women in cycling by frequently visiting stores across the UK, training in sales and marketing.

Olivia will go to great lengths for the female rider, even holding various open forums in the UK to learn and better understand the needs and wants of women, especially in off-road cycling. These information gathering sessions are then relayed to the Specialized HQ in the US, to help the development teams when producing women’s kit and bikes.

We love that Specialized has a dedicated team player like Olivia on board to help them cater for the needs of female cyclists, and listening to us!

Jenni Gwiazdowski – Director of London Bike Kitchen

Having bought a bike frame in London, Jenni was shocked that there weren’t any open workshops for her to build and maintain her bike. Seeing this gap in the market, Jenni seized the opportunity to open up the London Bike Kitchen.

Run primarily by women, the LBK has become a cycle hub for riders to use their workstations to fix up their bikes, take courses in bike repair and maintenance, or even just go for social events. Each month the kitchen runs Women and Gender-Variant nights (WAG nights). These run twice a month, for one hour, and are designed to be a place where women can learn new skills, meet one another and share cycling experiences.

Hannah Wilson – Brand Specialist for crankbrothers

Having spent her youth riding bikes, entering competitions and being bike mad, Hannah pursued a career as a police officer… naturally. However, after 3 years the call of the bicycle bell was too loud to ignore and now Hannah works as a brand specialist and mechanic for Crankbrothers.

She travels the UK teaching and training the sales teams in stores, and can often be found servicing pedals at major race events. Being one of the few women in the industry, Hannah often finds herself the only female working on the technical side of biking, but is determined to promote it as a viable career option for women everywhere.

Hannah Myers – Founder and Director of Flare Clothing Company

We love to see our fellow female riders taking charge and storming the cycling industry, which is exactly what Hannah Myers did with her women’s mountain bike clothing company, Flare.

Fed up of the lack of variety in women’s kit, Hannah took it upon herself to introduce stylish and functional wear for the MTB woman. We’ve seen Flare Clothing flourish, expanding from just providing women’s wear, to sponsoring young female riders and even branching into men’s clothing. In the short space of 3 years, Hannah has certainly made her mark in the cycling industry.

Emily Brooke – Founder and Director of Blaze

We recently caught up with Emily from Blaze upon the recent launch of their new innovative backlight. Having spoken with Emily about her journey, we couldn’t leave her out of this list.

Emily’s idea to design and manufacture high quality bike lights with a laser to help avoid ‘SMIDSY’ moments quickly became a reality and her smart design concepts can now be seen all over London on their Santander hire bikes. Emily’s worked hard to launch her products to provide better lighting and visibility for all cyclists, especially commuters in the city. We can’t wait to see what future developments will come from Blaze.

 

Dr Rachel Aldred – Senior Lecturer in Transport, University of Westminster

Cycling doesn’t ever need to be dangerous, but it can be when drivers don’t take notice. Even more worrying than statistics around accidents is the number of ‘almost’ accidents that occur daily which put potential cyclists off.

In 2014, Dr Rachel Aldred undertook a study of cyclists experiences in the London area, called “The Near Miss Project“, and was astonished to find that nearly every one had a negative experience each day on the bike. The study is being repeated this year, and Aldred is now working closely with Transport for London and Blaze lights so that her research will be considered by planning offices and policy-makers to improve cycling in the city.

Isla Rowntree – Founder of Islabikes

Image: Jey Brooks (motelstudios.co.uk)

A top 10 women in industry list wouldn’t be complete without Isla Rowntree. She’s been doing some really cool things encouraging children to ride bikes for years.

After having seen the lack of suitable bikes for children, Isla ventured from competitive racing into the world of business to provide affordable, quality and fun bicycles for children.

It isn’t just a case of making small bikes though, Islabikes have completely restructured and designed the cockpit of a bike to make it more suitable for smaller and weaker hands. Getting your first bike is a fond memory for many of us, and even a gateway to our cycling passion, and an Islabike keeps that in mind with the development of every bike they produce.

 

Chris Garrison – Trek “Media Maven”

Arguably one of the biggest advocates of women in cycling, is Chris Garrison. She’s done so much for the industry, it’s difficult to keep track of! Famous for her ladies’ nights, Chris often travels around the country leading talks, seminars and workshops to help women get the most out of cycling. She endeavours to help restructure the way the media reaches out to women, how it connects with them, and having the correct information available which is easy to understand, and without all the technical jargon.

 

Rochelle Gilmore – Team Manager/ Athlete/ Wearer of Many Hats

You can’t find a harder worker in the women’s cycling industry than Rochelle Gilmore. A born athlete, Rochelle started competing from the tender age of 3 in BMX races only to grow into a professional career in road cycling. Winning the gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, Gilmore has gone on to become a team manager of Lotto Ladies and the Wiggle Honda dream time, whilst riding and promoting women’s cycling on a big scale.

All her riders are encouraged to promote female riders and contribute to the growth in the industry. She’s an inspirational woman doing great things for the sport, and we excited for the future of Gilmore’s women.

Alessandra Cusatelli – Cinelli’s Art Director

Having grown up in the fashion hub of the world, and studied at European design Institute in Milan, Alessandra Cusatelli went on to work at Cinelli’s in 2001, where she is now the Chief Art Director. Her creative flare is hard to miss with the Cinelli’s range of bright, colourful and imaginative designs. It’s great to see a talented and motivated women at the top of a great bike company, designing the way for riders all over the world.

You don’t have to be a professional cyclist to make waves in the women’s industry. These woman are using their talents, skills and raw passion to make their marks, and help further the development of women in cycling. Women’s riding is on the up, and no doubt there will be more faces and more inspirational women to keep an eye out for in the future.

Of course, there are loads of women doing great things in the industry, and we couldn’t mention every one. If you’d like to read about more inspirational women, check out our post on female pro athletes with BIG personalities. 

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