There’s no question about it: bicycling is good for your health and it can be a whole lot of fun. But historically, it has not been the sport with the best-looking outfits.
That’s about to change – thanks to Mt. Washington resident Rebecca Redett and SASSYCYCLIST, her new line of fun, functional and decidedly feminine cycling jerseys. The jerseys come in a variety of great colors and patterns. They are cut for women’s bodies and designed to be soft, flexible, and quick-drying.
Redett has a background as a nurse-midwife – though now she devotes her time to her business. She hopes that ultimately, SASSYCYCLIST will be a nationally-recognized, Maryland-produced brand – a source of local pride that will also boost the economy.
She is hard at work on her debut collection, which will be available online at www.SassyCyclist.com and at local biking events. To raise the final $12,000 necessary to finish production on the collection, she’s running a Kickstarter campaign – it has just a few days left. “It’s a chance to pre-order a jersey, support female entrepreneurship, and help a local business,” she says.
We caught up with Redett to hear what she has to say about cycling, what inspired her to start SASSYCYCLIST, and how she hopes the company will grow.
How did you get into cycling?
I’ve always ridden a bike – as a child, teen, and then in college, to get around. Although I’ve always been active and a runner, I didn’t ride much while raising my three kids, but I’ve rediscovered the great fun of bicycling along with friends.
Several years ago, after missing a registration deadline for a local sprint triathlon, we set up and raced our own triathlon on the Eastern shore and in the Sassafras River. Afterwards, we decided that the biking was the best part. So we stuck with it and have been riding ever since.
What was the inspiration for SASSYCYCLIST?
The inspiration definitely grew over time. In fact, it’s an unlikely company altogether. I worked in healthcare as a nurse-midwife for years and cycled as a hobby with my friends. Over the years of discussing cycling clothing, we realized that none of us were particularly thrilled with the apparel choices.
Fashionable, sophisticated and nicely-fitting bicycle clothing for women isn’t readily available. Traditional cycling gear tends to look masculine, mimic competitive race wear with logos aplenty, restrictive fit and sizing that runs small.
Frustrated by the lack of great cycle wear for women, we decided to fill the niche with a high quality line of American-made apparel – and SASSYCYCLIST was born. If nice clothing had been available, it never would have occurred to use to start making it ourselves!
What is different or unique about SASSYCYCLIST jerseys?
In designing the jerseys, I incorporated all the features my cycling buddies and I felt were lacking or could be improved upon in our current wardrobes. Improved comfort, better fit, true sizing, soft performance fabric, gorgeous patterns, reflective features, and a sense of style!
The jerseys have turned out beautifully and been well-received.
What do you hope SASSYCYCLIST will do for the community, and what do you hope it will become?
Besides the design and production of exceptional cycling jerseys, SASSYCYCLIST aims to encourage women to ride as a form of recreation, exercise, transportation, group bonding and as a way to appreciate and discover our surroundings. It’s important to promote cycling for the health of women, our communities, and our planet.
I hope SASSYCYCLIST can become an advocate, promoter and supporter of cycling in Baltimore, and beyond. We are currently a sponsor of Bike Maryland’s 22nd Annual Tour du Port to be held on September 27th – we’ll be there with jerseys at Canton Waterfront Park.
What is your favorite thing about cycling?
Hands-down my favorite thing about bicycling is the joy and sense of freedom it brings. Also fantastic is the social aspect of cycling. Most women don’t ride alone, but seek companionship for rides. I love riding with my friends. It’s a great time to catch up, get exercise, see the scenery, and enjoy some laughs together.
How does SASSYCYCLIST tie into that?
I hope that by catering to women, shifting the focus from the industry’s predominantly male orientation, and acting as an advocate for cycling, we can encourage more women to try it.
Getting a suitable bike, gear and (re)learning to ride on road or trail can be intimidating or seem overwhelming. But it’s a great sport and form of exercise for women – exhilarating, easier on the knees than running, and a great way to socialize.
For more information, visit http://www.sassycyclist.com/. To donate to the SASSYCYCLIST Kickstarter campaign, visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/440519670/sassy-cyclist-unique-cycling-jerseys-for-women