This year’s Women on Wheels was a packed house at Gregg’s Greenlake Cycles. For some women who bicycle, W.O.W. is the event of the year. It’s not only an opportunity to see what’s new for women in bicycling, but also to meet and catch up with friends, some of whom they seldom see. As many interests of women, W.O.W. is a social event. For all, it’s a wonderful party with ample ‘hors d’oeuvers’ and drinks. A little glass of the “chocolate lover’s wine” added for a nice touch.
Attending an W.O.W. dispels the belief that women do not bicycle. In addition, it was a very diverse crowd as to age and ethnicity as well as riding style and skill level. There’s the adage, “Build it and they will come.” There were several reasons W.O.W. was attractive to women. Orchestrate a comfortable event and women will attend. A major draw was that women have come to know that they will not be alone. Vendors and organizations exhibiting and giving demonstrations are focused on women’s needs. From MC, Kat Sweet and speakers April Streeter and Ann DeOtte to organizations such as Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance featuring women and Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Women’s Only Cycling Clinic instructors, W.O.W. addresses women’s interests and questions.
Bicycle brands, apparel and accessory vendors present focused on women’s bikes, designs, concerns, and tastes. This year Gregg’s begins carrying Cannondale. Representing the bike brand, Kim explained while pointing out the Quick 4’s black matte finish and subtle blue accents that having a woman designing for women helped the company not only with specs, but also color themes, recognizing “not all women want pink.” Bike Reps were also available from Trek, Pinarello, Redline and Specialized. Nutcase Helmets exhibited and fitted helmets while Sweet Spot Skirts of Vancouver, WA displayed a wide range of styles. At W.O.W. women could learn everything they needed to know about bikes and gear. That included what rides were available, who to see to learn to ride and where to go as well as how to get involved with advocacy. From the Luna Chix to Cascade Bicycle Club and Bicycle Alliance of Washington, there is a network for women.