Guest Post: Karen Canady is Founder of Bikie Girl Bloomers and a Fabulous Lady Cyclist in Los Angeles. Here’s her story:
First Experiences as a Cyclist
I’m a 54-year-old patent attorney who has been pedaling to work and wherever off & on since way before the interwebs. I used to not give a rip what people said when I biked to my first post-college job (an Admissions Counselor at Pacific University, right there in Forest Grove, OR) in whatever dress or skirt I felt like wearing. Then, on another day, I’d succumb to the pressure to conform and drive a car. This was the 80’s, and my commute was 2 miles and paying for parking or caring about the environment were relatively unfamiliar concepts.
Bicycle Versus Car and Cute Outfit
I didn’t really examine this ridiculous alternation between bike travel and the car thing until a few years ago, when I moved my law office to a building just 1.25 miles from my house. I was so excited that now I could ride my bike every single day, or even walk! Yet I realized a couple of years into it that I was still only biking to work a couple times a week, sometimes less. So I decided to really ask myself what was keeping from doing it every day. I realized that one aspect was the road bike, and another was the clothing. I dusted off a hybrid bike that had been gathering dust in the garage, put a wire basket on the rear rack to make it easy to carry my stuff, and discovered how much more I enjoy city riding when I’m sitting upright and I don’t need special shoes for my pedals.
Taking a Stand by Starting Bikie Girl
Through the help of a friend who knows the garment industry, I ended up becoming a garment manufacturer on the side. Luckily back when I decided to launch this, I had no idea how much money and time it would suck from my life. It has been so much fun to design clothing that so perfectly fits my lifestyle: more comfortable than I had hoped for, expressive of my personality, delightfully simple, and incredibly versatile. Now I bike to work every day on a Dutch Gazelle, and bike to the store, and go on bike dates with my hubby, and get excited when I have to go somewhere that gives me an excuse for a longer ride.
I also bike to work every day now, taking a longer, prettier route to the office because 1-1/4 miles is over just too quickly!