A note from our co-founder, Carina Hamel.
I am fairly new to cycling. I was a cross country ski racer and when I retired, everyone who rode bikes tried to convince me to race cyclocross. I always said that I would never race bikes because it was the one sport where I hadn’t tried to be competitive before, and I wanted to keep it that way. I love riding and I am so happy to have it as part of my life. But wow, is it an intimidating sport! I was already comfortable wearing crazy spandex suits from my skiing days, I have an engine, and I’m STILL intimidated.
When Robby and I started Bivo, we wanted to make it an inclusive brand. We went through words and phrases that inspired us; serious fun, raw emotion, simply for the joy of it. We wanted people to come to Bivo and feel welcome. I’m not sure how well this has been executed and we are constantly trying to figure out ways to improve. We recognize the bottles are premium, but our goal is that you don’t have to buy as many Bivo bottles compared to plastic. In the end, we hope you spend less money with a longer lasting and better tasting bottle.
Recently, we donated our Bivo Fund for 2021 to Local Motion, a non-profit in Vermont that helps promote safer roads, create more bike lanes and educate youth and adults on safety while riding. We picked Local Motion because we want more people to have access to biking, no matter their ability level. When I was working with Laurie, my point of contact there, she asked me the demographics of our email list because we sent out a newsletter announcing the donation. To my GREAT shock, our email list on a good day is 25% female. As a female led business, we only have a 25% female customer based. WHERE ARE ALL THE WOMEN?!
I had no idea how big the gender gap was in cycling participation before entering this industry. My friends had talked about it, but because I wasn’t really in it yet, I didn’t realize how serious the problem was. There are cool things happening that we love being part of. Rooted Vermont is a great example; they made the decision to have equal male and female participation this year. They also started a women’s group ride series this year in our hometown of Richmond and it had over 100 women sign up for the first ride! I went to the second event and I have to say, I felt SO much more confident after riding with such a welcoming crew. We need more of that!
As a side note, I taught my daughter how to ride a pedal bike this past month and the bliss of seeing her figure that out was amazing!
So women, where are you? Reach out to us and tell me why you ride, or why you don’t ride. And what would make you feel better about getting on a bike?
Quench Responsibly, Carina – Bivo Co-Founder