After taking time to be slow in January with a tiny bit of a sabbatical to rest and reduce my reliance on pain medication I'm in high gear this month. I'm working on both the formatting of our upcoming book "The Surprising Promise of Bicycling in America" and interviews with change agents and thought leaders in the bike industry as we also expand the book's focus. It's so exciting.
One of the key things we want to do is honor the role that the late Leslie Bohm Founder of Catalyst Communications played in making sure that the Bikes Belong political campaign succeeded. Unknown to my partner Charlie Gandy (the Field Manager of the campaign) until just recently was the fact that in the month between the Bikes Belong campaign being originated and strategized at the Thunderhead retreat in July of 1997, and Interbike in August, Leslie met with bike industry leaders to prep them to make sure they'd fund the campaign.
In the past month or so I've had the great pleasure of speaking with Linda DuPriest who was working for Specialized at the time as a paid advocate, was at Thunderhead, and set up what I've coined "The Big Ask" at Interbike for the Bikes Belong campaign (and Linda would go on to be the Administrator for the campaign). I've also been able to connect with Leslie's widow Lynn Guissinger, Ray Keener the Executive Director of the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association, and Mike Greehan who was the new Editor in Chief of Bicycling Magazine at the time. All have shared pieces of the story with me, and what an incredible person Leslie was.
On top of that in the past week I've had the great privilege to speak with Bill Smith the CEO of Huffy Bicycles, Kevin Cox the President of Electra Bicycles, Dan Mann the Founder and President of the Mann Group retail strategists, and Benny Cruickshank the head of the new Be Courteous Communications communications agency who is working with the newly opened Gazelle USA.
If I had to use three words to sum up these really inspiring conversations they'd be women, human-ess and innovation. All of these men are thought leaders and change agents when it comes to getting more people on bikes, and all of them understand that women are influencers that the bike industry needs to pay far better attention to.
My goal is to share on our book page full interviews with as many of these inspiring people as I can.
And I'm excited to share that Jay and I have decided to add a section to the book on the growth of women as influencers which will focus on female bike entrepreneurs and the bike industry, which is why I've shared the image of Georgena Terry, Founder of Terry Cycles, above and the full video of her life story below. Georgena now creates her own line of hand-built bicycles for women and she's agreed to let me interview her next week.
My head is buzzing with inspiration and ideas as I work to piece it all together in the way that will work best as a compelling story for the book.