Beyond Gladys: Women's Cycling in Portland and Female-Focused Shops

January 27, 2015

By Ellee Thalheimer

In the February issue of Adventure Cyclist (availbable here, members only) Ellee Thalheimer looked at Gladys Bikes, a female-focused shop in Portland, Oregon, and owner Leah Benson's take on cycling retail. Here are a few other female-focused shops around the country, as well as a look at women's cycling groups in bike-mad Portland.

Female-focused bike shops across America

Pedal Chic, Greenville, South Carolina: The first shop specifically for women cyclists of all levels and backgrounds.

BFF Bikes, Chicago, Illinois: Annie Bryne and Vanessa Buccella, inspired by their love of racing, founded a bike shop for women. 

The Unlikely Cyclist, Costa Mesa, CA: Orange County’s women-specific cycling boutique empowering all women, regardless of age, size or ability, to excel in the sport of road cycling. 

Zuzu Pedals, Port Washington, Wisconsin: A women-oriented shop with the motto to enjoy a groovy bike life. 

Dashing, New Orleans, Louisiana: A modern bicycle boutique powered by women, for women.

Portland: A place where ladies ride

Portland is a leader in cultivating resources that encourage and support women in cycling. 

Portland Society: A networking group of professional women who are passionate about cycling and making Portland a better place to live, work, and ride. 

Elly Blue Publishing: An independent publisher and distributor with a focus on feminist nonfiction about bicycling. They publish the Journal of Bicycle Feminism.

Wheelwomen Switchboard: An online community, started in Portland but now utilized nationally and internationally, where women in bicycling can connect and share resources using two kinds of posts: asks and offers.

Womens on Wheels: Empowering women to travel by bicycle and feel the biking joy.

Let’s Race Bikes: An initiative of like-minded racing women and teams in Oregon who’d collectively like to see more ladies out on the road.

Sweetpea Bicycles: Frame builder and bike fit expert Natalie Ramsland specializes in creating custom bikes for women. 

Photo by Meghan Nolt


Barb Chamberlain January 29, 2015, 11:02 PM

A resource that seems to fit here: the "labor of love" list I've been compiling for several years at, with an RSS feed to @womenbikeblogs on Twitter. The list is up over 600 now, and that's after several rounds of adding new blogs and pruning ones that appear to be defunct because they haven't posted in over a year.

I first discovered Elly Blue, Ellee Thalheimer and others by reading their blogs. Women's bike blogs are a great way to find the most woman-friendly shops in a town if they don't have a woman-owned shop, and to learn about other women's experiences with all kinds of riding all over the world.

If you write a women's bike blog, use the form on the page to give me your information and I'll include it in the next update.

Barb Chamberlain


Executive Director, Washington Bikes

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