BikePortland Podcast: Fatphobia, feminism and a “revolution of inclusion” in the cycling world

Posted by on October 5th, 2021 at 7:49 am

At first they thought they were alone. Then they found each other. Now they are leading a “revolution of inclusion” for fat riders everywhere.

In our latest episode, BikePortland’s Maritza Arango sat down with Kailey Kornhauser and Marley Blonsky from All Bodies on Bikes. This dynamic pair from the Pacific Northwest (Corvallis and Seattle respectively) has gone from Twitter tirades about a lack of cycling gear for women with large bodies, to being ambassadors for some of the biggest names in the cycling industry. Their Shimano-sponsored documentary film has nearly 250,000 views and they maintain a busy schedule speaking and leading group rides at events across the U.S.

Advertisement

Show host Maritza, a self-described “fat woman that has been struggling with putting and losing weight since she was a kid,” asked Kailey and Marley to explain why they think fatphobia is so pervasive in cycling and in our culture in general.

“I would love to just reframe the conversation,” replied Marley, “Like, why is it so bad to be in a larger body? We’re soft, we’re ample, I don’t get cold as easily. There’s a lot of joy in being a fat person.” Both women said our culture has convinced us that being fat is bad, but once they let that “toxic” idea go and stopped trying to be small, their worlds opened up and they had more time and energy (and money!) to spend living their best lives.

As a bike racing fan, I appreciated the part where Kailey and Marley shared why some types of encouragement (a.k.a. heckling) from spectators does more harm than good.

Don’t miss this enlightening, honest, and important conversation. (And to hear from one Portlander inspired by All Bodies on Bikes, don’t miss the latest episode of the Sprocket Podcast.)

— Find more episodes and subscribe to our show at BikePortland.org/podcast


Show transcript:

Maritza Arango 0:57
Welcome, everyone. I’m really excited to be here with Marley and Kailey from all bodies on bikes, and to have this beautiful conversation about how representation matters and how amazing women like they are really changing the scene and bringing some powerful and meaningful messages to other bodies that are not white sis males on and fit wide says males on bikes. So welcome calian Marley, thank you so much for being here. Right, thank you. Yeah, so I think the first thing we have to start talking about is fat phobia. I think this, let’s go with the, with the big thing first, and then we can start speaking about biking and all your story. But I think explaining a little bit of what fat phobia is. And I have to say here, I myself, I am a fat woman that have been struggling during my entire life with putting on and losing weight since I was a kid. So I’ve been very fit, doing CrossFit and I’ve been very fat doing CrossFit. So what can you tell us about fat phobia?

Kailey Kornhauser 2:15
Yeah, fat phobia. You know, it’s a concept that culturally and in our society, we, you know, you can take the literal meaning that we actually fear that and that there’s also structural forms of oppression that people in larger bodies face. There are conscious and subconscious feelings that individuals have about people in larger bodies that lead to some of these cultural trends. I think, you know, we know that people in larger bodies face challenges receiving proper medical care. We know from research that people in larger bodies get paid less or have less access to jobs. In biking, we know that people in larger bodies have trouble finding physical equipment, because bikes have weight limits, and clothes have size limits. And so that keeps certain people from being able to access the activity that we all love to do. We also know that there’s just biases that people have individually, and that’s usually what that phobia is referring to, is kind of the individual bias that we have against people in larger bodies. And it’s a good time to mention that Marley and I are both fat bike riders, but we are what’s considered small fat, or mid fat. So we’re a bit smaller on the kind of scale of what’s considered that. Whereas somebody in larger bodies and ours might not be able to find bikes or clothes that work, we are able to find those things. So we have privilege, compared to people that are larger than us. So it’s important to recognize that that oppression that felt because of that phobia, gets exponentially worse for people at larger bodies, people of color, you know, people who are not cisgender and etc, etc. Anything else, Marley?

Marley Blonsky 4:08
You do such a good job explaining it? Yeah. You know, I think just on the bigger cultural picture, being fat is like, the worst thing to some people and they will structure their entire lives to avoid it, you know, going to the gym multiple times a day, restricting their eating, and I don’t want to focus on that too much because I would prefer to focus on the joy that we structure our lives around. But you know, I would love to just reframe the conversation like, why is it so bad to be in a larger body, like, we’re soft, we’re ample, I don’t get cold as easily. There’s a lot of joy in being a fat person. And I would love to just really challenge that the whole idea of being fat As a bad thing, it’s a simple description, honestly, and there’s nothing wrong with it.

Kailey Kornhauser 5:09
Yeah, and fat phobia has been used to fuel so many kind of toxic industries that suck up a lot of people’s money and time. And as soon as you start to question you know, it should I be afraid of being fat What’s so bad about being fat, all of a sudden, you have a bunch more time and a bunch more money that you’re not spending on trying to focus so much of your energy on staying small or, or getting small if you never were. So sorry, Marley just got me thinking.

Marley Blonsky 5:41
Yeah, but and a bunch more emotion you so much more. Everything, when you stop worrying about the scale or the size on your pants, like, the whole world opens up to you.

Maritza Arango 5:53
It is hard, though, because for a lot of people saying fat or large or overweight it, even me, I include myself, it takes a lot of courage to say, I am a fat woman. And I just started doing that very recently in my life. And it’s hard. Because I know like society like refuses to accept that. It doesn’t mean being lazy, or doesn’t mean being sick or being fit doesn’t or skinny, or whatever we want to call it doesn’t mean that you are not sick. Or it doesn’t mean that you are a person that exercises and eats well. So it’s it’s crazy, because there’s so many social misconceptions. And I especially feel that all this misconceptions around being fat are over women so much more than they are over men. So everyone that considers and identifies as a woman, and it’s overweighted or fat or obese or however it doesn’t fit in the fit world. It’s bad. And there’s a lot of fat people that don’t know that fat phobia is a thing and they just suffer because of it. And there’s a lot of people that have unconsciously oppressed others because of an unconscious internalized fat phobia. Totally. Yeah, name things, naming things is important. Yeah,

Marley Blonsky 7:34
yeah. And I think we all have internalized bias. And I think I have unlearning to do. I have my own internalized fat phobia. And it’s something that I work on confronting every day. I think similar to you, Maritza. I’ve recently started calling myself a fat woman within the last two years, and using that word has taken the power away from it. It’s taken away the emotion. When I was a kid, I was called, like, fatty. I was nicknamed Miss Piglet, I was ridiculed for being the chubby kid. And it was painful. It was really, really hurtful. And I think a lot of folks have that experience, whether it’s an older sibling, or, you know, kids in their classroom, making fun of them for being the bigger kid. And so that pain lingers. So then to call yourself a fat woman can be really hard and really painful. For me, using that word to describe myself saying, I am a fat woman. Like I said, you know, it takes away the emotion and it takes away the power. And if I call myself fat, before somebody on the internet does, then

Maritza Arango 8:52
you’re taking their power. Yeah, what else did they call me?

Marley Blonsky 8:55
Like? Bring it on, buddy. Yeah, please don’t please don’t name call me very sensitive.

Maritza Arango 9:04
especially bad why people feel like they can comment on you like family or friends or people just like, whatever, like, oh, you’re putting on some weight and especially like in Latin America. So I grew up in Colombia where like this Colombian Norco aesthetic beauty is a thing you know, like plastic surgery and having women being super hot. And people have like Latin Americans, we have this thing that everyone thinks that they can say whatever to you in cycle. “Mamita estamos gordita” is like Oh, you’re a little bit more chubby? Are you eating all your shoe? So is this thing that I really appreciate how starting to name this thing puts a barrier on people like Don’t say that, just don’t comment on my body. And this is a thing Where I can start linking on feminism that was another thing I want us to speak with you about is how don’t comment on my body is also part of this huge message that feminism or the different feminism’s, because it’s plural, I think, just teaches us. And I wanted to know a little bit more of your approach on your work and how you imagine or think or conceive or just theory, theorize about feminism with your All Bodes on Bikes work.

Marley Blonsky 10:35
It’s so this is Marley. Kailey and I sound somewhat similar sometimes I think it’s such an interesting question. So my degree is actually in gender studies and women’s studies. So I haven’t thought about it from this lens in depth until recently realizing that, you know, as Kaley mentioned earlier, we’re both white, we’re both cisgender. We have a lot of privilege in this space. And I think it’s our responsibility to use that privilege to further that discussion about more marginalized bodies. How do we take this power that we suddenly have, you know, I’m sponsored by Shimano and Pearl Izumi, and a lot of big name bike brands? How do we take this power to uplift more marginalized groups than ourselves, whether that’s black women, or communities of color, or Indigenous women, get them on the bikes, you know. So I think that’s kind of the the angle that I’m starting to take this work and my feminism, feminist work. But I have a lot of learning to do, and a lot of thinking to do on this. You know, when we would pick the name all bodies on bikes, I know that the work we’re doing right now isn’t fully representative of that. I want to work with people with disabled bodies, I don’t know if that’s the proper way to say that even I know we have work to do. We’re only reaching a very limited group right now. But I think acknowledging that and again, naming that and recognizing it and saying this is the starting point, is all I can do for right now and then continuing to build out the work.

Kailey Kornhauser 12:17
Yeah, I think, I think basically, inherently has, historically, sometimes not so positively, but sometimes very positively been a form of empowerment, feminist empowerment. And I think that, like the work that we’re doing to combat that phobia, but specifically doing that, in the space of cycling, is about like, feminist, physical autonomy, like, we are empowered by what how we like by the physical action of riding our bikes. And we’re sort of bringing the idea back, I think what you said about like, limiting what people are allowed, you know, what is appropriate to say about someone else’s body. This is just taking, taking a step further and saying, like, when we consider our spaces as inclusive feminist spaces, it also includes body size, and it includes the intersectional way hopefully, and it’s about feeling empowered in whatever body you have to do this activity of riding your bike, because because it’s fun and joyful. I think claiming joy as like the motivation for biking is also a feminist, you know, exercise because it’s not about productivity, or about some of the more masculine aspects of cycling, some of the achievement based motivations. And so I like to think what we’re doing is hopefully intersectional I think we have a lot of work to do to make it more so as Marley saying, but i think i think that inherently the things we’re doing are feminist even if we haven’t necessarily thought of it like directly connected to that. As much as we should at this point.

Maritza Arango 14:09
I think you are doing it don’t take that yeah, I think you’re doing it and thank you more Lee and Kailey for acknowledging all that is missing because that’s a really good starting point, like knowing all the work that we have to do and all the people that we have to include. That is feminism and for a lot of people who don’t understand that feminism is not like taken power from man and giving it to women no is like giving it to everyone and working for intersectionality there is something out so I have to say we are recording this episode on September the 22nd 2021. And I am pulling up the date because today there was this article that came out in the Willamette Week, I really enjoyed reading it. And it was something that Kailey mentioned, it was like, I am a fat cyclist, and I don’t need to fix my body. So let’s speak a little bit about that about how people feel like, maybe women like us bike in order to fix our bodies to get slimmer to lose weight to do whatever people think, and how is that relationship between you and your bikes and not fixing your bodies.

Kailey Kornhauser 15:34
When I started cycling, I was under the mindset that I was doing it to change the way I looked by losing weight or gaining strength that would change my physical appearance. I really wasn’t, I wouldn’t say my main motivator, but I just thought it would be like an outcome or byproduct of riding my bike a lot. And when it didn’t happen, I started to wonder like, Oh, is this for me, because I don’t, I thought if I rode my bike, I’d start to like look, in air quotes look like a cyclist. And I was really fortunate to have access to some, some physical and mental health practitioners that kind of showed me like, you don’t have to be in a smaller body to do these activities. And you should, you know, they were the first people who introduced me to joyful movement. And the idea that we do activities because they make us feel good. And so that, for me was a big reframing moment, because I no longer wanted to approach cycling to change how my body looked. And if an outcome of cycling was that my body stayed exactly the way it was, that didn’t matter, because that’s not why I ride my bike. And so I started that’s like my starting point where I started to think like, wait a second is the other stuff that I’ve been told about my body wrong to like, actually, I am really strong. And I am a really experienced cyclist. And I love this thing, even though I don’t, in air quotes, again, look fit. And I think when I started thinking that way, the so I recognize the assumptions other people were making, it was like an eye opening thing to be out on the road and have somebody past me, as I’m biking up the hill and say, Oh, you’ve got this, or you can make it to the top, you know, way to get out there. And I was thinking like, Well, why are they saying that to me, and not to the other people that are out here. And it’s because you know, they’re making an assumption about the reason I’m out on my bike is to lose weight or get in shape, even though they have no idea what shape I’m in. So, so I think it was eye opening. In some ways. It’s, you know, it’s hard when people make those comments and you see them for what they are. But in the end, the end result of me realizing that I didn’t need to approach cycling to fix my body was all of the great work that we get to do now in advocating for body size inclusion in cycling. So I think, I mean, it’s just been like the most tremendous paradigm shift to think of cycling, not as a way to change the way my body looks.

Marley Blonsky 18:15
Yeah, I don’t have a ton to add to that it’s I think Kailey’s story is so powerful. And that. Besides that, you know, when I go to these events or big races, I do still get a lot of comments from folks of Oh, cool, you’re doing the 50 mile this year, which is typically the shortest distance, and people will say, oh, next year, you’ll get in shape and do the 100 mile or the 200 mile. And I’m like, I probably won’t. I could do those today if I wanted to. But that’s just not my style of writing. You know, it was really interesting hearing, Kailey, talk to us now about the air quote, encouragement that we are often given as larger bodied cyclists. And I did my first cyclocross race last weekend.

Maritza Arango 19:07
Congratulations!

Marley Blonsky 19:08
Thank you. It was wild. It was so fun, so hard, I can’t wait to do it again. There’s so many things to talk about there in terms of you know, why have I been on the side spectating for five years? You know, there was a lot of internalized body shame there of you know, people would see how slow I actually was or how out of shape I actually was, but what blah, but the, the things people said to me as I was climbing the hill, or like slowly walking my bike up the hill, versus what they said to other people. Really irked me a lot. I was like, I they were like, you can do it. Come on, pedal faster, and I want just yell back like I am pedaling as fast as my fat ass can go right now. Shut up. Do you not like, hear how hard I’m breathing and like, if you could see my heart rate data, I’m not going to pedal any faster like you get out here, do this. I would just ask people who are spectating those races to really check themselves and think about what they’re saying to different people as they are writing by you. Honestly, I think most of it is well intentioned, like, you know, a really big part of cyclocross culture is the heckling. But there’s so many things you could say to me instead, like, I don’t know, there’s,

Marley Blonsky 20:37
Hey, I got a beer for you. You want to take a break? Like, yeah, yeah, anytime you want.

Kailey Kornhauser 20:43
A worst one I hear is, like when you get to the top of a big climb, and somebody asks if you’re okay. Like, I’m just like, have a red face when I exercise and then, you know, you’re out of breath, like anybody would be. And then people like, assume you need like their medical help, even though they like don’t have any medical knowledge, like they’re going to somehow help you. And that’s just the word

Maritza Arango 21:13
Really, for maybe someone that has never read, read anything, or listen to anything. Can you tell us a very short story about how you got started with this? And maybe what are your future plans? And I don’t know, like, make a little introduction.

Marley Blonsky 21:32
So I’ve been, this is Marley. I’ve been doing body size, inclusion, and advocacy work for probably five or six years. But primarily, it was like tweeting at companies of, hey, I want a rain jacket, or I want babes to ride in, etc, of just, you know, individual advocacy and activism. There was a Women/Trans/Femme Non-Binary Bike Explorer (WTF Bike Explorer) summit that was happening. And there was a lot of conversation happening about inclusion in the bike world inclusion and diversity. And we had a conversation there with a bunch of people about body size inclusion, and realize that there wasn’t a lot of conversation happening outside of this little circle of folks, and I realized, like, okay, we need to do something about this. Around that same time, I ran across Kailey, who was riding across Alaska, which is a really, really awesome story. And I think she should tell that in just a minute. But I think what she that I saw her on Instagram. And the comment that she had made was like, Hey, I just wrote across Alaska and didn’t have a raincoat. And I was like, boom, here’s another really strong, badass athlete who looks like me doing the same kind of biking as me. We should like, coordinate on this and work together. So fast forward to the next year, we went to the WTF bike explorer summit again, they’ve since rebranded to the Radical Adventure Riders, if you’re not familiar, look them up. We did a formal presentation to I don’t know how many people were in the room 50 or 60, including a bunch of folks from the bicycle industry. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive of, you know, holy cow. This is a total blind spot for so many of us keep doing this. And so that kind of got the ball rolling. From there. We did it virtually at the League of American Bicyclists summit. And then we start doing a number of virtual summits from there, to the nuts summit’s just presentations and seminars. And then Kailey’s friend zeplin from college is a filmmaker, and he saw a story about us in the Washington Post, I believe, and said, I want to tell your story as a film. He slid into Shimano his DMS on Instagram, and propose that or pitch the story, and it kind of took off from there. So since then, the film came out in March, we have led over 10 group rides with all bodies on bikes, ranging in size from like 30 riders, all the way up to 1000 people, which is wild, like 1000 people on a group ride. And you know, they were pro cyclists on that ride. There were grandmas on that ride, who said I stopped riding in group rides years ago, because I didn’t feel comfortable. They were kids. So we’re really, I think, kind of leading a revolution of inclusion in the bike world. And so what’s next for us is we’re going to kind of build out the structure of all bodies on bikes. Because right now it’s just me and Kailey leading these rides, which is awesome, but not meeting the demands. People want these rides. They want them everywhere. And so we’re going to build out some chapters train people in how to do it, and how to lead rides in their town. And then continue working with the bike industry on creating, like Kailey said bikes for big people, clothing for big people, inclusive communities and go from there.

Maritza Arango 25:13
I think you’ve reached out to a very interesting topic just in the United States, I think like 40%, or simply that of the population is overweighted. So it’s, it’s crazy, like you are losing half almost half of the population to sell stuff, too. I would like to know more for the cycling world. What are or who are those people or brands that are doing a good job? Who would you recommend, like to go and look up for, and if you have maybe some advice on more affordable brands, or other like super high quality brands, maybe like different ranges of brands that are doing a good job clothing-wise.

Kailey Kornhauser 25:59
As Marley mentioned earlier, she’s an ambassador for Pearl Izumi. And I’m an ambassador for Machines for Freedom right now. And both of those brands go up to three XL in some of their clothing. And I would say Machines for Freedom especially is on kind of the higher price range. And Pearl has a good range of prices and size options. There. We You know, we’ve tried both of the shorts from either company, and I don’t want to speak for Marley, but I like both on both machines in Pearl shores. And they work for me. And I carry a lot of my body weight in the area that the shorts would go so for me finding shorts, that fit is key. I do want to mention, for people above a three XL we always point folks to our sports, which is a triathlon brand. That goes up to six exhale. And there. I don’t know of many existing cycling specific clothing brands and not travelon brands that go above the three XL. Would you say that another couple?

Marley Blonsky 27:11
Yeah, there’s, I think Aerotech is one. I have not personally tried their clothes. But I’ve heard every time I post about clothing on the internet, people always recommend them. So aerotech is one. And then fat lad at the back is another one, they’re based out of the UK. And I think they go up to either five or 6x. And so I believe that they also have different price points as well. There’s a couple of other ones for low to has some extended sizing. But I’ve actually really excited Kailey mentioned that I am an ambassador for pro zoomy. Just within the last week, I signed a contract with them to be a paid athlete, professional cyclist, which we’ll be doing like a formal announcement soon, and like a big marketing campaign with them. But it’s amazing. Mind blowing, like, I never would have thought that I would be a professional athlete like I was the squat athlete my entire life like never on any varsity sports teams ever. So there are brands that are I think trying to do the right thing. They I think like you said, mirtha they see the need, they want to do it. And I can only speak for me on this. But I am working with the product designers to figure out what needs to happen in this to really meet the need. Because right now you know, even in their stuff, there’s only there’s very few items that actually fit me, which is a little frustrating, but I’m really excited to work with them and expand what’s available.

Maritza Arango 28:57
That is amazing. Morley Congratulations. Thank you. Yeah, I can’t imagine how proud of yourself you are. And that’s really amazing. And congratulations to both of you because I think it’s really great what you’re doing for the industry, but also for other women just like being able to speak about this and being ambassadors for brands and just like I just wonder what would have happened for me if when I was a little girl struggling you know, with my way when I was I don’t know, eight years old and already being on diets. People just like seeing people like with larger bodies, like doing sports that would have been so different. Yeah.

Kailey Kornhauser 29:51
Yeah, I can’t even imagine what it would have been like as a kid to like think I could be a person that rides but You know, because we kind of had to, like make that space. And clearly there were so many people out there already riding bikes that were in larger bodies, but like, we didn’t know each other before Instagram, really. So it did feel like in sometimes it felt like you were the only one like, it must have been that nobody does this, but it’s not true. And we know it. And I think it’s more than half of us women are in a 16 or are larger size clothing. So there’s a huge industry and the physical bike manufacturers themselves have also been really responsive to to the message and and I’ve been super impressed with them reaching out to Marley and I to ask, you know what they can do to make bikes that work for bigger people, which is so awesome. Because it’s we are in a sport that requires a machine that’s weight bearing. So we really need bike manufacturers to pick up that slack and do something.

Maritza Arango 31:05
Let’s talk about your future plans. Tell me more about what’s going to happen now what’s coming on for both of you what’s coming on for all buddies on bikes, what are you imagining and dreaming for?

Kailey Kornhauser 31:18
Yeah, what’s next? I think Marley mentioned earlier that we want to start up chapters of all bodies on bikes and just bring more folks into kind of a leadership of, of this movement or organization or whatever, we are continuing to work with brands, clothing and bike brands and component brands to make sure that the equipment exists for people of all sizes to do this sport, continuing to do our workshops, and get the message out through podcasts and articles. I think that purse like by personal bite goals, maybe we can share those Marley too. Personally, I’m finishing my PhD right now. So that’s my main goal. But as soon as that is done, I hope to do some really long bikepacking trips that I’ve put off for a while. Hopefully the Great Divide is a dream and maybe some other trails every time I think I know what I want to do, they post a new, great trail on the internet that I’m like, maybe I want to do that or so take some time to really do some some biking and keep getting the message out but also bringing more people in and hearing their stories.

Marley Blonsky 32:36
Yeah, I think you know, I talked about a little bit earlier, but incorporating all bodies on bikes as a nonprofit. So that way we can start to get some funding to do the trainings for chapter leaders and getting that established making this into a sustainable model. So that way, Kailey and I don’t get burnt out on it. And then long term, I would love to design some really cool bikes and some clothing. You know, it’s really cool to consult on this, but it’d be really cool to actually design them. Maybe you have like the Marley that’s like your all around town commuting bike, or you can have the Kailey the bikepacking bike that’s like, good for up to 400 pounds, including all your bike packing gear. I don’t know, I’m just dreaming at this point. But as far as my personal bike goals next year, I actually Kailey and I are both joining the Shimano road crew. So you’ll see us on some sweet little road bikes next year, which will be a new adventure for us. We are not your typical road cyclists. But we do ride on road. So that’ll be fun. And then yeah, just doing some more gravel races, more cyclocross. And just I think learning more as I as I have felt more included into the bike world. It’s been really fun to get out there and explore different types of cycling that I traditionally felt marginalized from. And I think that’s why I had always just done bike packing, because I could always do my own thing. And now that I feel included, it’s like, cool. Let’s try gravel. Let’s try. I don’t even know. Maybe track racing. I have no idea. But I’m here for it. Kailey’s faces like, oh my god.

Kailey Kornhauser 34:33
Afraid of track racing because it looks like they’re like, defying gravity when they go around the corner. Yeah. I mean, I never said I’d be good at it. I could try

Maritza Arango 34:46
it. That’s a lot. That is amazing. That idea of designing things. Maybe this is a great path that you can explore and hopefully Maybe someone that listens to this conversation will say like, hey, I want you to sign the Kailey and the Marley.

Marley Blonsky 35:09
To be fair, we have a lot of experience in writing bikes that both work for us and don’t work for us. We’ve written a lot of very ill fitting bicycles in our time. So yeah, I think we could definitely give some really good guidance. I think one of the things that you know, we’re both really passionate about is getting people onto bikes that work for them. So who knows, maybe starting up a bike consulting business, or the world is kind of our oyster at this point.

Maritza Arango 35:41
If people want to know more about you, I know you have your website that it’s all bodies and bikes, that calm. Where else can people find you? Where else can people like read about your get in touch with you ask you questions.

Kailey Kornhauser 35:57
We’ve got our all buddies on bikes, Instagram, which is a great way to get in touch with us. If you message on there, we were always getting messages from folks. And the all bodies on bikes Facebook page, is not necessarily a great way to get in touch with us. But it’s a great way to plug in to just the most amazing community of people. I kind of wasn’t going on Facebook. And now I’m going on Facebook again, because this group is so awesome. There’s like, how many people in the group now? I don’t even know,

Marley Blonsky 36:28
almost 3000? I think, yeah,

Kailey Kornhauser 36:30
the most positive and inspirational people like getting out on bikes and hyping each other up. And then we’ve got our personal websites, too, which are just our names. Calm, right? Both of us. Yeah. Our name.

Marley Blonsky 36:48
Yeah, you can always just google us. There’s a lot of articles out there. And I forget sometimes everything that we’ve done, you know, everything from the washington post to bikeportland. There’s all sorts of stuff out there. So. But if there’s a specific topic you have questions about, feel free to reach out, you know, people are funny, they’re like, I saw you at the grocery store. And I was too intimidated to say, Hi, that’s amazing. We’re just normal people say hi, please.

Kailey Kornhauser 37:18
We love giving like advice about bike gear to people, too. So a lot of people have questions about like, what they should, you know, be looking for, in terms of like a saddle or something. And we don’t have the answers always, but we can at least point you in the direction. Totally.

Maritza Arango 37:34
I didn’t know if you have the answer. Now maybe I’m just going a little bit too fast. But let’s say if someone like me, would like to host an E bike ride in Portland or anywhere else. And as part of all bodies on bikes, how are you imagining this to happen? Or have you already, like, established some ideas, points, things to do before doing that?

Marley Blonsky 38:02
Yeah. So I love that question. Because we’ve gotten that a couple times. And right now I think funding is the biggest barrier. Because basically, getting us out to lead the ride is all we have to do. And Portland’s easy. You know, it’s easy for Kailey and I to get to Portland. But to get across the country, you know if one of us is already traveling there, we’re trying to host rides as part of those travels. So for example, when I went to Kansas for unbound gravel, I hosted a ride in Kansas City and import Yeah. And I did the same thing when I went to Denver, or not Denver, but Colorado. But if there’s another random location, if we can find a reason for one of us to go out there, and somebody to help sponsor that trip. So whether it’s, you know, coming out for a speaking engagement or doing some consulting or some other reason to justify us traveling out there and leading that ride, that’s what’s really going to compel the travel. So in two weeks, I’m heading out to Boston to work with NEEMO equipment on a project. And while I’m there, working with them, so they’re up in Maine, I’ll be spending a couple days in Boston doing a ride there. So like, that’s a great example of leading a ride, but also working with a company while I’m there.

Kailey Kornhauser 39:28
And our next, like our next step with all bodies on bikes is to work on chapters and in training chapter leaders. So like, so that we aren’t having to be present for all of the rides. And, you know, we have had people ask us if they could host a ride and then we want him to be pretty intentional to make sure that we get to, you know, just make sure that there’s people who have knowledge about how to lead a safe ride, but also people who really understand that Message message and mission of all bodies on bikes. And so that’s kind of that’s the next that that’s our immediate next step really is where we’re hoping to go is training up people kind of all over the place and having them ride you know, in their own local communities, which is, will be really awesome. And then they can also share their stories and their platforms and you know, kind of the spotlight can move to some other people,

Marley Blonsky 40:28
folks are super, super set on us coming to their town, just get in touch, and we will figure something out. You know, I recently quit my full time job. And I’m doing this full time of building out this platform and building up his work. And so likely, once winter is over, that will mean another road trip, of going out and doing these rides. So get in touch.

Maritza Arango 40:52
If you we have so many things to talk about, like I wanted to ask you about road trips, and just like bike traveling. I know we are reaching out time but let’s make another space for this conversation to happen. Let’s try to keep in touch and I will really love to be more engaged in what you’re doing me as muddied some speaking here. And hopefully, somehow it’s bikeportland as well. I think it’s really, again, really important, really meaningful, really powerful, what you’re doing, and thank you for being amazing women doing rad things, and I’m so proud of that work you’re doing.

Kailey Kornhauser 41:40
Thank you so much, and I can’t wait for us to be able to ride with you in Portland.


— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
— Get our headlines delivered to your inbox.
— Support this independent community media outlet with a one-time contribution or monthly subscription.

NOTE: Thanks for sharing and reading our comments. To ensure this is a welcoming and productive space, all comments are manually approved by staff. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for meanness, discrimination or harassment. Comments with expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia will be deleted and authors will be banned.

Leave a Reply

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of