Girl Fiend Case Study
Kristy Henderson Steps Up the Fun with Girl Fiend Cycling Team
On the Team’s Start:
Kristy Henderson had been with the same cycling club for seven years when she decided to start her own last winter. It was an "old guys club” that she was introduced to by her husband, Jay Henderson (aka “Hollywood” and owner of Hollywood Cycles in Minneapolis). She really enjoyed the racing and camaraderie, but the club didn’t adequately express who she was - especially the kits the team wore. The motivation she needed came when she received a new team jersey as a Christmas present from her husband. “It was ketchup and mustard. I called it the Ronald McDonald kit," she laughed. " It was such a man's design and not my style at all."
That was when Kristy started making some phone calls to girlfriends who rode and raced with her and told them about her vision for an all women’s team that would be about having fun, letting loose and getting more women involved in cycling ... ALL kinds of cycling - road racing, triathlons, mountain biking, gravel races, cyclocross and winter riding. Once she determined that she had enough interest, she called Podiumwear to see about designing a kit that would help her express herself and her team. She wanted it to be “bold and fun and didn’t want it to look like what the boys were wearing.” Mario Chippolini is one of her inspirations. “He wears amazing and bold designs and says they are ‘an expression of who I am,’ She said. That’s what I was looking for.”
On the Girl Fiend Design:
Podiumwear’s design guru, Taylor Wegner, sat down with Kristy to talk about design ideas. The initial inspiration came from a t-shirt design - one that she had created with friend, artist Teri Harriet Bennett, through a side endeavor, their screen-printing business called Girl Fiend Designs.
“My friend Teri and I started Girl Fiend Designs as an outlet for our own t-shirt inspirations. We wanted something edgy and fun, but not printed on a men’s small, stiff shirt ... something that gave women their own voice, while adding in a little danger and mischief to the feminine wiles... that’s what our logo came to be. It was a no-brainer using our t-shirt design for the kit and Taylor took it to the next level with his eye and expertise, making it AMAZING.”
Girl Fiend started off with Gold level women’s kits and women’s skinsuits. Four of the women on the team are triathletes, so they ordered the women’s Silver level bike tank as well. (This year Podiumwear is introducing a whole new line of triathlon apparel, so they’ll be sporting this as well). As the summer season ended, they added vests, jackets, leg and arm warmers, hats, cozies and warm-up pants for winter riding.
On Winter Racing:
“Riding outside in winter is one of my most favorite things to do. It’s crisp and cold. It’s a great way to view the splendor of winter and breathe in the fresh air, and it gets me off the couch and away from the TV. Ride a trainer? Please, NO!”
“One of the first 10 races I ever did was an ice race in Bloomington, on borrowed studded tires thanks to the urging of my then-boyfriend/now-husband. He layered me up in spare winter gear to battle the 5 degree temps and sent me on my way. The coffee froze, my cheeks were windburned, and I was instantly hooked on a new way of cycling. For the next couple years, I rode on ice and snow and watched my technical skills grow immensely! As long as you're dressed for the temps with a good moisture-wicking base layer, and windproof outer layer, you get to enjoy that peaceful quiet of winter and the sepia-toned beauty that fills the woods when it's covered in snow. The mid-weight cycling jacket by Podiumwear was my best purchase this year - I've worn it all winter, even down to -15 windchill! It's warmer than anything else I've worn over the years and keeps the elements out - not to mention the customized design! I love having an apparel company with skiing in their blood. It makes cycling in MN all year round that much more fun.”
On Goals and the Future:
The team has had a great first year with women training, competing and placing in all types of cycling events in and around the region. Kristy leads practices that include group rides, skills training for cyclocross, mountain biking and winter riding with fat bikes and studs. When the Minnesota weather is truly at its worst, they have fun riding on trainers at Hollywood Cycles watching movies and episodes of “Girls”. They have also started to do some hot yoga classes together to mix it up a bit. Kristy wants to expand the training and racing in 2014 to make it even more awesome.
The Girl Fiend Mission:
Girl Fiend Cycling Team is a women's cycling team based in MN. Sponsored by Podiumwear, Hollywood Cycles, and Girl Fiend Designs, we love riding, racing and raising hell. Girl Fiend Cycling is a group of awesome women cyclists tearing it up on bikes.
If you are interested in joining Girl Fiend, please contact Kristy at Hollywood Cycles 952) 881-4707.
As Kristy says: “We're a team about having fun and supporting each other and other women on bikes and always welcome new, awesome gals who love to ride.”