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Photo by Russ Roca
Julie HirschfeldJulie Hirschfeld, founder of Adeline Adeline, New York, NY
Julie Hirschfeld, founder of Adeline Adeline, New York, NY
Julie Hirschfeld was that woman. She hadn't ridden a bike since she was a kid, but now she trucks her four-year-old twins around in a Dutch bakfiets. She also opened the bike shop Adeline Adeline in Tribecca, New York City, back in March 2010. "It wasn't like I was a passionate road biker for years," Hirschfeld said. "I'm a convert."
Currently cruising the streets on a Paper Bike from Scotland, Hirschfeld uses her bike almost exclusively for commuting. The impetus for her shop was getting more women motivated to do the same.
"Everyone should ride, but women have been somewhat ignored by mainstream biking culture," she said. "A lot of women say they are too intimidated to go into a mainstream bike store because these shops tend to focus on the extremes of bike culture - be it fixed-gear riding, mountain biking or racing, so I'm trying to make it more comfortable for them (everyday female cyclists)."
Hirschfeld's mission extends beyond getting women to "fall in love" with their bikes, as she did when she first started riding again. She's looking for a sea change that will get whole communities biking.
"Things that will help women will help everyone," she said. "Infrastructure, having bike lanes, places to store your bikes and safety - if we can improve safety, if it is easy and doable, then there's no reason why people won't ride."