Image via: Team Luna Chix
At this year's Wanderlust Festival, I got a chance to sit down with Karen Rehder, rider for Luna Chix and talk about bikes, babes and being a bad-ass. Here is how Luna is helping Chicks across the United States get off their butts and onto bikes.Before talking to Karen, I had no idea that Luna did anything besides make energy, nutrition bars. I enjoy their samples at green festivals, and I've been known to eat a Luna bar or two, but I figured that's as far as it went. In fact, Luna is doing a lot to support women professionally, but also to give women the encouragement to try something that at first might seem scary. They had a booth at this year's Wanderlust Festival and even held a few bike training sessions, which is where our story begins.
Mountain biking, triathlons, road races, all of these events seem like they would require a lot of energy and endurance and for some people just hearing the word means they would stop before they even got started. Women in particular have a harder time breaking into these sports because these are gnarlier sports and the women are often the minority. This is where Luna comes in. First, Luna sponsors a women's professional mountain biking and triathlon team where the women are paid to travel and train. In fact, these women regularly place high in all the events they compete in. Did we mention these chicks are badass?
Image via: Author's Collection
Why Become a Luna Chick?
Next, for the rest of the women out there, Luna wants them to know they don't have to be a pro to do what the pros do. So, they set up the Luna Chix, which are ambassadors who volunteer to go around the country holding bike clinics to help women enjoy the outdoors in a safe environment. Women who attend the clinics get to get out on a bike with a guide and can get the hang of things at their own pace. Even if they don't become serious mountain-bikers, the hope is that they will enjoy biking so much that they will take it up on their own, even for errands and commuting around town.
"Up here in the Bay Area, we have such beautiful places to ride, but you have to have skill to enjoy it. When it comes to biking, for women it's a different set of needs. They haven't ridden since they were little, so they're scared," says Karen. "At the clinics, everyone here is so supportive and it's a really supportive network. We're in a pretty competitive world so it's nice to be somewhere where people look out for each other."
If you've ever met Karen Rehder and especially if you've met her at a Luna Chix event, she is friendly, animated and can't stop talking about the Luna Chix. "We are happy to do this. I have a daughter and it's fun for me to have her out at events doing this. She then wears the jersey and it's cool. I believe in preventing disease and promoting health and Luna believes in these values too so it's a great cause to support. Seriously, if I can do this, anybody can do this."
They also support women through film fests and by "giving them a voice and a platform on a national level." When it comes to health and the environment, the Luna Chix are right there. Last year, they raised over $500,000 USD to go to the Breast Cancer Foundation to research environmental causes to breast cancer. (Clif bars, owner of Luna Bars, matched this amount). According to Karen, "If 1 out of 8 women gets breast cancer, is it in our shampoo, lipstick, sunscreen, sodas? What in our environment is carcinogenic?" Plus, their bars are over 70% organic, and low in fat so they are good for the riders as well as you.
This year, Luna also launched its own women's biking gear line, made from organic materials and designed to fit women. To find a Luna Chix bike clinic near you, or to become a Luna Chick yourself, check them out online. :Team Luna Chix
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