La Bicicletta and Team Rep
As you may have heard, our award-winning “La Bicicletta” is getting a new look. This will be the third version of out iconic bag. Proceeds still go to support women’s cycling (Team Rep) and it will have cool letterpressed, new art. Details are scarce on the new art, look for it next month. I have heard that there will be two different, new designs…
In case you don’t know, Team Rep is a local women’s cycling team. Here are a few words from their founder, Jenni Gaertner:
The team started in 2009, when a group of ladies came to me asking for mentorship. They wanted to try out some road racing, and wanted someone to help with the “ins and outs” so to speak. As word spread, my thoughts of an initial meeting of 10-15 ladies was in reality a meeting with over 60 women present! In our first season, we had close to 90 women signed up on the team….
Our mission was, and continues to be, to promote women’s health through cycling. We seek to introduce women, at any and every level, to this sport – and help them pursue whatever cycling goals they may have. Some women
join so that they can have a group with which to ride. Some women join because they want to compete, and want skills development and challenges.
Some women join because they just want some new friends. We have women from age 11 through age 70 on the team, novice to pro. We are mothers. We are sisters. We are daughters. We are wives. We are lawyers. Or doctors. Or housewives. Or students. Some of us like to ride really fast. Others like to ride casually to the coffee shop. Some of us are gourmet cooks. I can’t cook myself out of a box. Some of us are cat lovers. Others prefer the pooches. ALL of us love to ride our bikes, and all of us contribute something of value to our group.
Since that initial year, we started a satellite team in Boise for the 2010 season, because the women in Boise saw what a great thing we had, and wanted a part of it For 2011, they were able to secure local sponsorship and become an independent Boise-area team. Without the structure that we provided, and support from our sponsors, they wouldn’t have been able to complete their mission.
We have sent squads to the premier women’s stage race, the Nature Valley Grand Prix, where we won stage 1. We have dominated regional stage racing in the Cat 1/2 field for 3 years, and have fielded impressive Cat 4 fields, as well. But the biggest accomplishment, in my mind, is that we have given women a safe place to explore the sport. Several friendships have been started, and continued, because of the team. Women are trying things they previously haven’t had the courage to try before, because they’ve been provided a support system and confidence from riding. It’s truly amazing to see how some of these women have transformed from the simple act of gaining confidence on a bicycle.