IT’S Back in Vegas?!?! What the…?
I was so excited that Interbike is finally leaving Las Vegas. What happened to a time for change? There is a reason it is called INTERbike and not the “Bicycle Retailer Trade Show”: it’s a boys club playing in Sin City and calling it work. Can you say Sausage-fest? Guys drooling over fake tits and components while drinking beer, what more could you ask for? I am pretty sure that the service providing most of the “models” for “the Show” (as they like to refer to this gathering) is called an escort service.
I do have to give props to my sisters that braved the testosterone to show their wares at the show. The LUNA CHIX had it going on in there club house and seemed to be doing a fine job of defending their Girl Power. Thanks to OIWC, the Women’s Lounge was a sweet little spot to connect the few amazing women that were present. Overall, however, the conversation about women specific was a phallic perspective of pretty in pink: “Women are small and like to dress in pink flowers like their 8 years old”.
At least the creators of the Urban Lounge had some style. This was by far the most fun space on the floor. A cute fresh chic spinning digital tunes high on a platform with a beer bar beneath her, could have easily turned the Fashion Show into a dance party. Instead the crowd instantly dissolved as all the bike rats retreated to their dens for cheaper beer. Realistically though, you can’t have a proper dance party with only 5% of the crowd being women (most of which were paid by men to be there).
As for the fashion show itself, it was very difficult to absorb any sense of style as the models whizzed by in one lap of the circular runway per outfit. The clothing was buried under enormous strappy bags on bikes that wanted to be highlighted for their commuter friendly brilliance. I must admit even I am “Bike Geek” enough to have a hard time taking in the fashions and the components in just a 10 second window. It was, however, less of a costume show then last year. I did appreciate that there were two raised ramps for the models to stop and demonstrate their rides and rags. The only outfit that had enough time to sink in with just one lap was MOVMODA’s performance lingerie. I don’t believe any guy in the room will remember the specs on the bike she was riding!
All in all, don’t be fooled into thinking that women are not key players in the bike movement. There is a lot more feminine leadership then meets the eye. Take Vanessa Hauswald as a great example. I am excited to see her leadership as the new Executive Director of then NorCal HS MTB League. Her new focus will surely have an inspiring effect on the quickly emerging NICA. With an overwhelming response to the expansion of high school MTB racing as an interscholastic sport, Matt Fritzinger has his work cut out for him in bringing the vision to fruition.
So to bring the wheel full circle, after last year’s “Show”, I was thrilled about the venue switch. It is about time for this industry to change its atmosphere to allow women to be a part of the Women’s Specific conversation in a powerful way. An urban environment where people actually ride bikes would just make sense. Look at OR in Salt Lake City. It is a prime location with urban just minutes from the pristine Park City terrain. Why not find a perfect place for the discussion of real life applicability, of the bike lifestyle, to unfold. Let technology meet practicality and functionality meet fashion-ability in a way that offers society inspiration rather then elitism.
This is a re-Post from 2010. Super sad to find it still quite applicable. IT'S 2015 GUYS!!! Where is that pool of funds to empower women to support more women on bikes??? Over the past decade I have watched many Awesome Women step up and get beaten down by this bike industry. While I may just be one of them, as anyone reading this knows I AM NOT A QUITER! I will never stop pedaling the bike integrated blifestyle forward. It's not about me, or my bottom line, profits or publicity... it's about empowering every single women to find the way in which riding a bike works for her and giving her to tools to do it effectively. Since women have 85% of the buying power in American households, it's hard for me to phathom the ludicricy of the way that the Bike Industry likes to throw us all into one little "women's specific" box. While venting is neccessary, actions are required for us to make change. If any of this resonates with you, connect with me, pass it on to others that might collaborate for solutions, and above all Speak out and don't surender to the objectifying. Smile and Ride with Passion!