I like to prove myself.
It was 2007.
Bonnie Tu was the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Giant Bicycles and decided to join the former Chairman who was riding the Tour of Taiwan, a 900km ride that circumnavigates Taiwan.
At the time Bonnie was in her late 50s and had not ridden a bicycle since High School (and never a bike with gears!).
But when Bonnie walked into a Giant Bicycles retail outlet, she was shocked to realise she couldn’t find a bike or any apparel to suit her needs.
She eventually settled on a female’s bike (with more basic components than were available on men’s bikes at the time) and a men’s cycling jersey (sized small or extra small).
A very painful experience followed and Bonnie knew things had to change.
And 12 months later, Liv Cycling - the first comprehensive cycling brand dedicated to female cyclists - was born.
Fast forward to 2019 and Bonnie is now the Chairperson of Giant Bicycles and is still incredibly driven to ensure women are empowered to participate in the sport of cycling, via everything from cutting edge components on Liv bikes through to exploring cycling clothes for Muslim women.
There are many brands in the cycling industry (and other industries) that pay ‘lip service’ to women; who “shrink it and pink in”(as the saying goes).
But having attended several Liv Cycling events over the last year and after preparing to speak to Bonnie, there is no doubt in my mind that this passion is genuine and baked into the DNA of Liv Cycling.
I am honoured that Bonnie joins me on Sparta Chicks Radio this week to discuss:
* whether she prefers to be called to ‘godmother’ or ‘grandmother’ of women’s cycling industry,
* her childhood growing up in Taiwan (at a time when girls were expected to be obedient and quiet),
* her earliest memory of riding a bike with her father holding the back of the saddle for her,
* how she became involved in the cycling industry in the 70s, yet only got back on the bike for herself in her late 50s (and learning to shift gears in the process),
* the origins of Liv Cycling and it’s commitment to build bicycles “for and by” women, and
* her first triathlon at the age of 68 (which included learning to swim and a serious medical condition).
Bonnie is a joyous, passionate woman and I am excited to welcome her to Sparta Chicks Radio this week.
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