Annually Gregg’s Cycles opens their doors to W.O.W. (Women on Wheels), an evening dedicated to all things bicycling for women. And every year the turnout forms a line around the block waiting for the doors to open. Gregg’s offers a valet service for the women’s bikes, and many bicycling take advantage of the service. This year about 350 women flooded into the Greenlake store where they were greeted by employees, handed drink tickets and given gift bags.
The line at the wine bar formed quickly. Beyond the wine bar, women chatted and learned about activities, rides and organizations available to women. Companies such as Trek, Cannondale and Specialized were present with representatives to explain their lines of bicycles. Nutcase helmets were available for purchase as well as Sweet Spot and Endura apparel. The women attending were also treated to an array of delectable hors’d’ouvers. Washington State’s advocacy organization, WA Bikes, Seattle’s multi-facetted-biking organization, Cascade Bicycle Club, and Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance staffed tables presenting their programs and fielding questions. Fred Hutch’s Obliteride and Women Against Violence Everywhere (Cycle the WAVE) presented their charity rides.
This year’s program featured Roller Races sponsored by Marymoor Velodrome, raffles for bikes and gear, and a panel of outstanding women executive directors. Women competed in pairs on bikes mounted on roller trainers. At the end of the evening, the women posting the fastest time won bicycles. Both competitors and spectators had a great time as racers vigorously pedalled the 400 meters in 25 seconds or less. In the end, Brianna Torkelson took home the Cannondale Felicity bike and Nutcase helmet. Raffle winners, Shelly Bowman and Jane Seibel won a Specialized Vita and Trek Lexa, respectively. Additional raffle prizes included a kit (shorts/jersey/gloves) from Endura and Bellwether, 6 helmets from Nutcase, 6 helmets from Giro, Sidi Shoes, Smartwool Baselayers and socks, as well as gift cards from local businesses such as full circle, Super jock and Jill, Lifestyle Chiropractic, Title 9, and American Athlete.
Most impressive for the evening was the panel of 5 executive directors representing the major bicycle and street safety organizations in Seattle. Continue to read about them and their topics in a follow-up article.