Words By Alexa Daugherty
Photos by Luke and Sam
Hello! Tenspeed Hero has some out-of-this-world-look-at-the-amazing-things-other-people-are-doing-that-we-get-to-help-with news! In other words, we are thrilled to announce our expanded sponsorship of the women’s racing team Les Petites Victoires. An elite amateur women’s cycling team in its third year, LPV is a group of devoted Category 2 cyclists who mix high-level racing with fun (though the definition of fun here might be open-ended, taken to mean mud, rain, and intense sweat stains). Since 2013, TSH has been busy taking photos, writing stories, and designing socks and water bottles for this inspiring group of women, but with the help of designer Lauren Ayers are now taking our admiration for the sport+LPV to the next level: Tenspeed Hero is Les Petites Victoires’ exclusive clothing and style sponsor for 2014!
Fundamentally, our collaboration with Lauren for LPV involves an approach to cycling and womanhood that finds joyous frolic in determined intensity. We want to provide high-performance, well-designed clothing made especially for women. Thanks to Lauren Ayer’s brilliant and thoughtful designs, these TSH jerseys communicate LPV’s sense of amateur racing as an arena for women to find self-reliance and freedom. From this, we believe the only way to describe these new jerseys is through the women wearing them; nothing more than their inspiring selves could possibly capture the fiery prowess that is women’s cycling.
Cady Chintis, from a town just outside America’s Motor City, is a partner in w|c studio, a budding design-build practice with her husband named John. Having recently moved to Seattle, Cady is busy building functional urban farm environments for urban farm animals. Her own urban childhood propelled a desire to live “without a personal vehicle” so she spent a summer biking about the Netherlands. After continuing this habit while a student at UIC, Cady bought a bike and hasn’t looked back since (maybe because she doesn’t have a rearview mirror). Describing herself, Cady says, “[she] was literally born a feminist.” This, both a direct reference to her namesake Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a prominent figure in the woman rights movement of the 19th century, and an acknowledgment of her own ideology in regards to cycling and life. Palamares as of 2013: 1st, Campton CX; 2nd, Tour of Galena RR; top 20 in NRC level race, Tour of Elk Grove Day 3 circuit race; Earning the ChiCrossCup cat 3 series leader jersey twice by tiebreaker cross-results points.
Jannette Rho emigrated to the U.S. from South Korea. Eventually, after much moving about – on and off bike – she came to call Chicago home. With a B.F.A. from SAIC and Masters in Nutrition from UIC, Jannette – like TSH – is always curious. Her specific interest in biking began in “2002 or something” when she inherited a singlespeed Schwinn Breeze from a friend who didn’t want to ride a ladies bike. Now, in the world of tenspeed, Janette is admired because she’s not intimidated to dive right in – to a new career, the racing scene, or a puddle of mud. Since 2009, Rho’s palmares include losing a tooth. In 2013 she was IL State Road Champ, 1st at the Kettle Moraine Klassic RR, 1st at the Tour de Champaign, 2nd in the Whitnall Spring Classic, 2nd at Monsters of the Midway, 3rd in the Bloomington Jaycee Crit, Top 10 at the Hillsboro Roubaix, and midpack for numerous NCC races. Still, Jannette’s self-proclaimed “proudest season accomplishment” is losing and regaining the pack at 2013’s Tour of Elk Grove, NRC level race.
Mia Moore grew up in Placerville, California right near the site of where John Sutter discovered gold and sparked the gold rush. Perhaps this history-steeped environment inspired Moore to leave her own mark on humanity for, after some stints as a high school apprentice to the Sacramento Ballet and time as a “bicycle mechanic and surly bike shop employee,” Moore now attends the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine for a masters degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine. “My life goal is to be a multifaceted healer who has the capacity to help many people achieve a more balanced, positive, and healthy life through both holistic and integrative medicine.” Tradition and rituals based in feeling and affective experience. That sentence can describe Moore’s interest in Oriental Medicine just as well as it illuminates her passion for cycling. Despite having worked in the bicycle industry for ten years, it wasn’t until Moore moved to Chicago five years ago that she tried racing (this came after she built a bright green Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra road bike). Drawn in by “sportsmanship, tradition, and unwritten rules learned by riding with seasoned veterans…” Moore likes “all the romance and rituals” of bike racing. A different sort of ritual, Moore also likes listening to Justin Timberlake while making really good cornmeal pancakes. Palmares as of 2013: 1st place Galena Criterium, 1st place Fox River Grove Criterium. Other Palmare: one time she went on court during a Globetrotters game and Sweet Sue spun a ball on her finger.
Madeline Pape, new to the team, but far from new to racing, migrated from Melbourne to Madison in 2012. Up in the land of cheese, Madeline is undertaking a Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After having been a full-time athlete who competed for Australia in Track and Field at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, TSH finds this switch a testament to women’s unending willingness to whole-heartedly pursue new adventures, countries, and life experiences. Also a model for resilience, Pape took up cycling in 2011 after a hurting her Achilles (an injury for which she underwent two rounds of surgery) and immediately developed a love-hate relationship with it: “what I love is the fierceness of the racing, the many challenges to my body and mind that it continues to present to me, and the opportunities that I’ve had to meet new people and see new places. “ Palmares as of 2013: 1st at the Quad Cities Criterium, 1st at the Wisconsin State Championships – Road Race, 2nd in Old Capital Road Race, 2nd in the Old Capitol Criterium, 2nd at the Melon City Criterium, 7th in the Time Trial at the National Collegiate Championships, and 8th in Criterium at the National Collegiate Championships, 8th in the TOAD Road America Road Race, 11th in the Elk Grove NRC Stage 1, 12th at the Elk Grove NRC Stage 2, 15th at the Glencoe NCC Grand Prix, 15th at the Nature Valley Menomonie Road Race.
LPV / TSH
So these are the women of Les Petites Victoires. Figureheads of a new movement within cycling that are actively pushing for greater gender equality through women’s fitness. We are simply happy to be supplying comfortable fabric and designs for women by women. Like Susan B. Anthony traveling the nation to campaign for women’s property rights, suffrage, and labor organizations, these women bike the nation for female- and self-empowerment. Moreover, LPV is spreading their message of females-as-awesome-athletes-and-awesome-leaders through supporting the Chicago-based organization Girls in the Game. Since 1995, this group has been providing and promoting athletic opportunities, nutrition, leadership development, and health education to enhance the overall health and well being of girls. They encourage girls to get in the game, thus learning teamwork, determination, and self-confidence.
Tenspeed Hero holds a deep appreciation for these women and all those like them a.k.a. the women who aren’t afraid to look a male-dominated sport right in it’s cycling-cap-clad face and pedal onward. In making our jerseys, partnering with Lauren Ayers, and sharing LPV’s stories we hope to promote female self-empowerment through athleticism, teamwork, and collaboration. Aggressive, compassionate, fierce, and thoughtful, Les Petites Victoires are distinctively themselves and distinctively preeminent athletes. Allez! Allez! Tous les femmes sont héroes!