How does a 56 year old grandmother of [almost] four change careers and end up designing bicycle clothing? Shouldn't I be at a place in my life where I'm comfortable in my career, padding my 401K, and preparing for retirement? Instead, my husband and I decided to take a chance and see if my dream of selling my original bicycle clothing designs could become something real.
This journey began about 15 years ago when I started riding 12 miles to work. It began as a challenge and a way to get some exercise. Then one day I realized that my ride through the Twin Cities had became my favorite time of the day.
Form-fitting black lycra has never been a good look on me. Unfortunately, like most workplaces, my building doesn't offer a place to clean up or change clothes; the walk into my building and the ride up the elevator to my office was excruciatingly embarrassing. The window in my office door didn't offer much privacy, and I lost a few articles of clothing when they dropped into the toilet as I was changing.
I looked for clothes that I could wear on my ride, that would at least give me a little dignity during my transition into work clothes. What I found was...tight black spandex. The most feminine riding shorts I could find were boxy, uncomfortable skorts. I was surprised to realize that there were almost no stylish bicycle clothing options for women, and nothing that could be worn comfortably both on and off the bike.
So I dusted off my sewing machine and started making my own cycling clothes. I've always been a seamstress, so how hard could it be to sew bike clothes, right? I spent a year working on the skirt: selecting just the right fabrics, perfecting the "skrunchable" design, testing chamois pads, and getting the fit and design just right. I made the skirts for myself, but when other women commented, I contracted with a local manufacturer of performance activewear and started producing and selling the Skrunch™ sport skirt at bicycle tours and shows.
We decided very early in the design process to use only the very best performance fabrics and chamois, adhere to the highest industry standards for performance activewear, and to keep production here in the U.S. I'm really proud of SPIRIT products. Our apparel feels soft and luxurious to the touch; it's flexible, comfortable and offers just the right support during activity; wicks moisture, dries quickly, stays fresh, and looks terrific when the workout is over. No more embarrassment, and no need to change clothes.
Our journey at SPIRIT Cyclewear is just beginning. We look forward to having you along for the ride!