June's Sister Cyclist is Amy Weik. We were introduced to Amy through BFF Bikes, one of the wonderful shops that riyoko collaborates with in the U.S. I asked Vanessa Buccella, one of the co-owners of BFF Bikes, to tell me a little more about Amy:
"Well when I got into bike racing, and Amy was there already kicking ass and taking names, I immediately wanted to be her friend. She was one of a few people who helped bring cyclocross to Chicagoland by founding the Chicago Cross Cup and now she rocks it with The Bonebell, all while maintaining a completely eco-friendly lifestyle. She goes for MONTHS without having to throw away any actual garbage, she is a conscious consumer, obsessive recycler and composter. She's ridiculously smart and into cars that go Vroom! Of course I have a friend crush on her!"
And now, Amy Weik:
Tell us a little about yourself.
I'm a witty, energetic, and forward-thinking gal! I've lived in the U.S. Midwest most of my life, and while I enjoy traveling the world, Chicago is my home. Some of my joys include trying new restaurants, reading books, discussing fast cars, science and philosophical topics - and generally thinking outside the box.
A good deal of my time is spent in two communities close to my heart: with my church and in the cycling community. At church I participate in a weekly Bible study and volunteer regularly. And I'm always on my bike - commuting to my job in the loop, going on pleasure rides, hitting the trails, and occasionally racing!
Protecting the environment is one of my largest passions. I'm constantly looking for ways to streamline my footprint and do my part to make the world a better place. My goal is to one day turn this passion for the environment into a career. In the meantime I've started a blog on green burial called Green Your Death which will be launched soon!
What started you biking?
My parents were big into bicycle touring so naturally I have been on two wheels since as early as one could ride. My dad towed me (and my sister) in a bike trailer on several centuries, including the popular Apple Cider Century that they helped launch through their bike club. For the last several years I have been part of a Chicagoland-based off-road cycling advocacy group, The Bonebell. We help organize and advertise opportunities to ride and race off-roads, like Women's Dirt Days.
My first bike ride ever made it into the local newspaper. Safety did not come first in the 70s!
My sister, mom, and I at the Apple Cider Century 1978. The good 'ol days!
Tell us a little about your bike.
Being a bike person, naturally I have several... and I've been blessed to ride my all-time favorite bike almost daily for the last 10 years. It's a 2003 Bianchi Volpe that I purchased from my local bike shop, Boulevard Bikes. This versatile steel steed has been used for racing cyclocross, touring, and daily commuting. A great bike can be like a best friend and it is no exception. I also have some other bikes used for tooling around town, getting rad, slaying trails, and racing.
Chicagoland Women's Dirt Days is a great opportunity to ride off-roads with fellow dirtbags!
What do you like best about travelling in your city?
Chicago is such a bike-friendly city. Although it's flat there are miles and miles of bike lanes including the exponential addition of protected lanes. And the skyline views can't be beat. However, my true joy is getting out of the city to hit the singletrack wherever I can find it. I love harmonizing with nature and enjoying the ride.
What is your favorite riyoko piece (and what do you wear with it)?
I have a clothing-crush on my neon green Riyoko Riding Hoodie. It's super stylish and snappy-looking both on and off the bike. I purchased it from BFF Bikes (a fantastic women-specific Chicago bike shop) along with some snazzy 3/4 pink tights and a black shirtband that is super handy for the ladies who like to maintain some mystery while riding, if you know what I mean. Wink wink.
Tell us a trick or tip you have for cycling/ traveling.
Being a daily bike commuter and pro-level bag packer, I am all about packing cubes. They keep everything neat and orderly in your bag and if you do it right, you won't have wrinkly clothes or bruised fruit when you arrive at your final destination. But the bigger tip is to never buy anything that requires ironing!
What is your philosophy?