Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tri-Flow Continues Sponsorship of Racing Development Program!

In 2006, I started a new racing development program.  My concept was to provide women with a team-oriented program that would teach them skills + tactics to begin road racing.  This would offer women the opportunity to really experience what it's like to race as part of a team without making the full-year commitment that most racing teams (including Velo Girls) required.

For a woman who has never raced, committing to a full season of racing could lead to failure.  If she hasn't raced, how would she know that she liked it?  And if she didn't like it, what's the motivation to fulfill her commitment to a team?  See what I mean?  

We'd been there.  In the first year of the Velo Girls Racing Team (2003), I recruited 40 new women to the sport of road racing.  I was like the Pied Piper and they were the children of Hamlin, following me out of town.  These were fast women.  If they were fast, they must be racers, right?  Of the 40, approximately half of the women realized after a race or two that it just wasn't the sport for them.  They failed.  But really, I failed them.  

This cycle continued for a couple of years until I had the brilliant idea in 2006 to start a six-week learn-to-race program.  At the end of the six weeks, if the women enjoyed racing and wanted to continue, they could potentially join the Velo Girls team (or another team).  Some of the women did just that and have continued to race for many years.  And some of the women who have participated in our development program raced one race, checked it off their bucket list (as a success) and have continued to ride their bikes for pleasure.

When I first thought of the concept, I realized that I needed to underwrite program costs in order to make it affordable to participants.  I wanted to have a team kit that was similar to the Velo Girls team kit but somehow different.  I wanted to provide the women with coaching (in-person and also a training plan).  I wanted to provide a realistic team environment with support on race-day.  

So, I contacted one of my sponsors at the time, Marguerite Loomis at Tri-Flow Superior Lubricants, to see if she was interested in sponsoring the program.  Tri-Flow was our first bike industry sponsor.  They loved Velo Girls and women's cycling.  Marguerite jumped at the idea and the Tri-Flow Women's Development Racing Program was born.  

Now in our 7th year, close to 100 women have participated in the program.  Many of those women have continued to race and compete locally, nationally, and internationally as Elite and Masters category 1, 2, 3, and 4 racers.  And for 2012, Tri-Flow has once again stepped up to sponsor the program.  

So, THANK YOU, Tri-Flow, for your commitment to women's racing.

The next Tri-Flow program runs from March 20th to May 6th, culminating in the Turlock Lake Road Race.  Registration is now open at http://savvybike.eventbrite.com

Team Velo Girls + the Tri-Flow racers @ Henleyville Road Race -- Sept 2011.

Monday, January 23, 2012

munday funday -- 23 January, 2012

We like bikes. We like women who ride bikes. We like photos of women who ride bikes. So does Pamela Palma, a San Francisco-based photographer who's put together a rad calendar of women's bike photos for 2012. Check out the awesome norcal women and place an order. Ordering instructions are on the Flickr page (good old fashioned email and send a check kinda system).

Pamela said to me "there are still too many women who fear riding a bike and I hope this will inspire them to get out and ride."  I share that sentiment.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Cinderella Series Kick-Off this weekend

The Cinderella Classic is one of the oldest (if not the oldest) women's cycling events in the US. Each year, 2,500 women cyclists converge on the east bay of San Francisco in the spring to ride and revel in all things women's cycling. This event, now in its 36th year, was one of the inspirations for the founding of Velo Girls.

Team Velo Girls is again leading a FREE series of progressive training rides on Sundays beginning January 22nd to help women prepare for Cinderella on March 31st. Check out our calendar for more details on these and all our rides + events.

Please note that this is a FREE series of rides, but is open to Velo Girls members only. If you're not already a member, come on out and check out a ride and then join at:


January 22nd -- Woodside Town Hall -- 15+ miles
January 29th -- Orinda BART -- 22 miles
February 5th -- Mike's Bikes Sausalito -- 30 miles
February 12th -- Woodside Town Hall -- 35 miles
February 19th -- Orinda BART -- 40 miles
February 26th -- Mike's Bikes Sausalito -- 45 miles
March 4th -- Woodside Town Hall -- 50 miles
March 11th -- Orinda BART -- 55 miles
March 18th -- Mike's Bikes Sausalito -- 55 miles
March 25th -- Mike's Bikes Sausalito 30 miles + post-ride BBQ

Monday, January 16, 2012

Munday funday -- 16 January, 2012

If you're on Facebook, you've probably seen this at some point this week (as it's quickly going viral in the cycling community).


#5 reminds me of a gentleman I met on a week-long tour almost a decade ago. He proudly showed me his collection of 52 playing cards -- all from different decks and all found while riding his bike. Kinda cool, huh? I had a boyfriend for a couple of years who stopped every time he saw money in the road. On a tour down the coast, we collected almost enough for a nice dinner.

What have you found on your rides? When you see something interesting (or valuable) do you stop to pick it up?

Monday, January 9, 2012

munday funday -- 9 January, 2012

the BEST way to teach a child (or adult) to ride is on a balance bike. training wheels are a crutch that is hard to let go of. check out this awesome footage of the Balance Bike World Championships.

Friday, January 6, 2012

links I Like -- 6 January, 2012

Happy New Year! I know, it's January 6th but I reserve the right to wish you a happy new year at least throughout the first month of the year. This week's links focus on some of the bike-related blogs I really love.

http://www.ecovelo.info/ -- Eco Velo is a fabulous site focused on the bike commuter lifestyle and is, unfortunately, being retired by the creators. But, they're keeping the awesome content on line for all of 2012 so check it out while you still have the chance.

http://ladyfleur.wordpress.com/ -- Velo Girls alum, Janet LaFleur, has created a fabulous blog focused on her bike lifestyle experiences. The writing is solid, the photos are beautiful, and the topics are sometimes gritty and sometimes whimsical. If you love cycling, women, bikes, the bay area, you should share Janet's experience.

http://norcalcyclingnews.com/ -- Norcal Cycling News has taken on many different iterations over the years, but it's still got solid readership focused on norcal bike racing. If you love bike racing, this is a must-read, with a good mix of gossip, editorials, interviews, and news.

http://counterattackingreality.com/ -- Rand Miller is the best local underdog you love to love. His blog focuses on his pro racing experience with more than a touch of sarcasm and heckling. Rand makes you believe that if he can do it, anyone can.

http://bethbikes.blogspot.com/ -- Beth Newell is one of the funniest writers in the bike world. I've watched her struggle and rise to stardom over the years and am thrilled she's racing in the big leagues now. Let's hope she holds true to her promise and blogs more regularly again in 2012, because her writing is spurtle-my-coffee-on-my-keyboard funny.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Welcome to our new sponsors for 2012!

Velo Girls has developed some amazing relationships in the past decade with businesses and individuals who support our mission: to help women improve their lives by riding a bicycle. Many of our sponsors have supported us for many years. Our goals in sponsorship are to support local, California and US businesses, develop long-term relationships, and to truly endorse the companies with whom we align ourselves.

For 2012, we'd like to welcome the following NEW sponsors to the Velo Girls family:

Alioto Centoni Restoration + Development -- Presented by Mike Alioto & Gina Centoni, their restoration and development services include design development, floor plans, pest repair, facade makeovers, specialized restoration & development projects, and whole house remodels. Gina is an active Velo Girls member and one of the only female general contractors in San Francisco.

John Hendricks Law -- Renowned for their strong commitment to client advocacy and representation, the Law Offices of John T. Hendricks offer full-service legal representation to businesses, their owners and other enterprises worldwide. The firm was founded with a singular focus: to provide clients with the highest level of legal services, from litigation, to advice and counseling, to transactional matters of all sizes. John is an active cyclist (with a very tall bike) and participates in the AIDS/Lifecycle event annually.

Pactimo -- Pactimo is thrilled to be the official outfitter of all Velo Girls programs for 2012 and 2013. Based in Colorado, Pactimo creates the most comfortable, technical, and visually stunning clothing in the cycling industry. As a relative newcomer to the custom clothing industry, they bring a fresh energy and innovative spirit to their work and have been honored as one of the fastest growing companies in Colorado.

Savvy Bike -- Savvy Bike is the evolution of a successful, 10-year coaching program in northern CA, offering professional bike fit and skills coaching services to men and women. Founded as Velo Girls Coaching Services in 2002, the business has expanded to serve more than 1,000 cyclists each year. About 40% of our clinic participants and about 60% of our bike fit clients are men, so it was time to create a brand that reflected that. Check out our 2012 clinics + camps schedule at http://www.savvybike.eventbrite.com/

Specialized Bicycles -- Specialized is more than just bikes! Yeah, they make some of the fastest, lightest, most awesomest bikes in the world, but they also focus on the ergonomics of cycling and create helmets, saddles, shoes, gloves, and other clothing and components that help the rider get the most from his or her cycling experience, whether it's shredding the gnar on a favorite trail, commuting to work, or competing in world championship events! Velo Girls is excited to begin a partnership with Morgan Hill, CA-based Specialized Bicycles for 2012!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2012 Team Velo Girls AIDS/Lifecycle Partnership

Each year, Velo Girls chooses a charity partner to support. For 2012, we're thrilled to be working with the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. Our support will be multi-pronged, with sponsorship of AIDS/Lifecycle, a team for the event, and additional fundraising and awareness campaigns. Also, Team Velo Girls will be leading a 20-week series of progressive training rides leading up to AIDS/LifeCycle in June.

Join Team Velo Girls on this 20-week series of co-ed rides designed to prepare you to take part in AIDS/Lifecycle. All series rides will meet at Woodside Town Hall in Woodside. You do not need to be registered for ALC to participate in this series, but please note that you will be required to listen to the ALC safety speech, sign an ALC waiver and that all ALC rules apply. RSVP to ALC@velogirls.com

January 21st – 35 miles
February 4th – 40 miles
February 18th – 45 miles
March 3rd – 55 miles
March 17th – 60 miles
March 31st – 70 miles
April 14th – 80 miles
April 28th – 90 miles
May 12th – 100 miles
May 26th -- celebration ride + BBQ

You'll find details about this series and all our rides + events on the Velo Girls calendar at:


If you'd like to support Team Velo Girls for AIDS/Lifecycle, you can join our team as a rider or roadie, or make a donation on our behalf to the San Francisco AIDS Foundation.  You'll find more information about our team and the event here:


How easy is that?  You can ride, you can roadie, you can donate.  Won't you join us in supporting the San Francisco AIDS Foundation this year?

Monday, January 2, 2012

munday funday -- 2 January, 2012

as a lover of short films, it's interesting to think about the messages in this film on a bike level, a gender level, and an equality level.  what does this film say to you?

MARRY ME - Tropfest 2008 Winner

by Michelle Lehman