We're pleased to introduce Ellie Bash as our Sister Cyclist for the month of May. Ellie advocates for women's cycling through her work with the Bike Root and the Good Life bike shop. She is also co-organizer, alongside Kristi Woo, of the CycloFemme YYC ride.
Join Ellie and her awesome green bike this Sunday for CycloFemme YYC! We will see you there!
Tell us a little about yourself.
I'm originally from Minneapolis, I moved to Calgary four years ago to do my master's degree in Glaciology. Biking is my second passion, after glaciers. I'm super excited to split my time between riding in Calgary and hiking Yoho this summer, both as part of my job!
What do you like best about travelling in your city?
I love seeing other cyclists! I feel like we're part of this secret club that everyone else is missing out on.
What is your favourite riyoko piece?
I'm pretty stoked for a pair of blue tights that Kristi has in the works for me.
What do you never leave home without?
Chapstick and a pair of earrings.
Tell us about the Bike Root.
I was very involved in the Bike Root in it's first two years. It is a community bike shop that emphasizes empowering people through education and self-powered transportation. I started off teaching workshops for women, but quickly became involved in many other aspects of keeping the project running. Although I no longer work at the Bike Root, I still feel very strongly about educating people, women in particular, about cycling and self-reliance. I think if you own a bike you should know something about how to care of it. That provides a kind of freedom for people. Women especially are often intimidated by the male-dominated worlds of cycling and mechanics. Though it isn't complicated to understand a bike, women aren't often given the opportunity to learn.
What are you up to these days?
Right now, I'm super excited about the CycloFemme ride on Sunday! Hopefully it will be the first of many rides in Calgary to honour and empower women.
It's not about excluding men (they are totally welcome) but about providing a space that encourages women to explore cycling and to feel confident as cyclists in the city.
I have also recently started working as a greaser at the Good Life community bike shop in Kensington. It gives me the opportunity to work alongside some really awesome women and, hopefully, provide a space and an example for other women to learn about bike mechanics. What I would really like to contribute to the Calgary cycling community is knowledge and confidence for women to be able to fix their own rides. And men, too, but I am most inspired to give to women
What is your philosophy?
Find something you are passionate about and do it.