I recently discovered the blog Bike Shop Girl and I’ve been quite impressed. As a fellow blogger, I first noticed its beautiful layout and design, ease of use and the presence of quality, original content. I was also excited to find a site that was focusing on the much-underserved community of women cyclists.
Bike Shop Girl is me, Arleigh Jenkins. With over 12+ years of bicycle industry experience from running bike shops, seasoned bike mechanic & fitter, to avid bike commuter and racer; you can say I’ve done almost everything. I started Bike Shop to reach more women and make their cycling experience better.
Update: Since the initial publication of this story in June of 2015, Bike Shop Girl has changed focus. Current stories are focused on a mobile bike shop business. She is still posting content on her blog.
Bike Shop Girl really is a great starting resource for women of all levels of cycling. Unlike other online publications (and a few print publications I won’t name) the reviews section of Bike Shop Girl are a long stream of products assumed to be for men, followed by one or two products specific to women. Instead the focus is unabashedly on women’s products. The blog doesn’t shy away from topics that apply only to women (‘Riding with your menstrual cycle : guys beware‘), but is still full of information that would be reasonable for either sex (‘How To: Properly Setup and Adjusting Avid BB5 Brakes‘)
Her mission statement is clear about building community:
To create a strong women’s bicycle community by developing resources and events to break down the barrier of entry for bicycling in the U.S. for women. I realize that getting in to bicycling, or even visiting your local bike shop can be intimidating and overwhelming. This website is the easiest way that I can reach every woman that has ever been scared to ask personal questions, or worried about getting dropped on their first group ride. It is also an extension of who I am and what motivates me to continue living the cycling after so many years.
This is apparent in the blog as well. Many of the articles are actually open questions based on emails that Bike Shop Girl received from readers. These emails are put forth to allow readers to respond from their own experiences, building a collective knowledge of women specific responses from the best resource available – other women cyclists.
There has been much talk about how male-centric the entire cycling culture is – from bike shops, to industry events, to races to media. I for one applaud someone doing something to actually address that.
Good for you, Bike Shop Girl.