As part of its ongoing effort to support the participation of women in cycling, Trek Bicycles recently introduced its Women Who Ride Club. The official launch came at the Sea Otter Classic. The mission of the club is to engage women of all sizes, shapes, ages, abilities and ethnicities to ride.
The idea was born out of a contest the company ran last year. "We got 2,400 entries - all 500 word essays and we read them all," said Trek's Krista Rettig to Cyclingnews. "We learned that what women want is community. The social part is important for women in a male-dominated industry." The contest collected information from women ranging from 20 to 60 years-old who considered themselves to be fitness riders, triathletes, road racers, mountain bikers and commuters.
"We launched the Trek women's [travelling] demo program four years ago, and every year we learn something new. Last year, we did the 'Ladies Night Out', but the problem was those experiences ended that night," said Rettig. "We wanted to keep the community going."
Trek already sponsors four teams which support women in cycling including America's Dairyland (Madison, Wisconsin), Team Revolution (Kansas City), Team 19 (Florida), Trek / VW (elite - international and national team), and Little Bellas (Vermont), the group of young women run by elite racer Lea Davison, but the first local Women Who Ride chapters will start out of local shops in California. Trek is hoping the chapters will grow and spread nationwide. As part of the club, five women have also been selected to write blogs about their experiences as women cyclists.
For more information, visit www.trekbikes.com/women.