Back in the winter I headed to the Women's Weekend at Ray's Indoor Mountain Bike Park in Cleveland. I had never been there & I was so hyped to ride with other women. The biggest question I got from other female riders was "what do you ride at Posh and Catty?" There are plenty of female riders who can jump big jumps but there are also a lot of girls who are new to BMX who figured there was nothing at either trail spot for them. But that's just not true. Both spots have roller lines and varying size jumps. There's literally something for everyone. Catty Woods even has a small pump track for little kids (or really new beginners). Over the course of the weekend I heard a lot of girls say they would love to come check out the trails. Up until that point I had only ridden at Posh and Catty with maybe one or two other girls & even that was a rare occurrence. So, the idea of filling the woods with other women got me hyped on the idea of the first ever Catty & Posh Ladies Jam! I sent out some texts, threw out a date to the dudes & once everyone had agreed I started planning. This past weekend all that planning came to fruition as 30 women riders came to the first ever (first annual) Women's Weekend in the PA Woods! See you next year!
Thanks to our sponsors: S&M, FIT, Empire, T1 and Chip and Dale BMX. Thakns to Bette White & Becky Olive for sharing their photos.
Chicago Zine Fest is by far, one of the best zine fests happening in the US. This was my forth year tabling & I was extra psyched because it was my boyfriend's first year tabling as a zine maker! Brian made a BMX zine called RIP ROAST SHRED GNAR! I was also more nervous than ever because I was invited to be a reader Friday night & I knew the crowd would be the largest I read in front of & that had me sorta freaking out ("sorta" as in TOTALLY). Anyway, we left early Thursday morning and headed straight to Chicago Diner for dinner with Brian's best friend Pawel when we arrived (it took us about twelve hours because I stop to pee, crush pennies & get espresso like every five minutes). Anyway, Chicago Diner is this incredible vegan restaurant that's been around since the 80s (with two locations) & makes the best milkshakes ever. EVER. (We literally went there 3 times & drank 9 milkshakes between the two of us). BEST MILKSHAKES EVER.
Friday morning we woke up at Pawel's house on two mattresses pushed together on the floor, refreshed & ready for brunch at Handlebar with my friends Eryca & Amy who I adore so much. I've known both for SO LONG (I can't even pinpoint how long, but for sure since the days of the Pander message board). It bums me out that I only get to see them once a year but at least CZF gives us that once a year to hang out! After brunch we walked to Quimby's, a bookstore that "specializes in zines, small press & other unusual publications"! It was so rad to walk into the store & see my book, Heavy Hangs the Head on display so predominantly. I bought a few zines (yes, the day before zine fest) & we took photo booth pictures before parting ways so I could make some last minute zine copies & go ride bikes at Wilson Skatepark down at Lake Michigan (where I also rode my bike down to the beach).
After riding we headed to the zine panel & discussion for CZF which was happening directly before the zine reading I was taking part in. It was awesome & smart & the crowd seemed super receptive. I'm always incredibly impressed by the activities planned around the actual tabling, where there is this feeling that zines are more than just something we make alone in our rooms & then attempt to sell while hiding behind a table. I think that's really important. The readings have always been probably my favorite part of the zine fest (especially the youth readings)! I was thrilled to be invited to take part this year but had no idea what I would actually read. Eventually I decided on something called "Getting Sober & Staying Sober" where I talked about what it was like kicking booze & living the best life I can live. It was heavy shit & maybe a bit much but I tried to get across that getting sober is actually pretty awesome. All the other readings were incredible. I was brought to tears by Marnie Galloway, the final reader of the evening and made sure to buy her book the next day. We ended the night with more milkshakes & a lovely dinner with my good friend Dalice & a table full of BMXERS.
Saturday was tabling! I had thought I got Brian & I each our own half table, I was very wrong. We split a half table next to Jonas & Penny who were splitting the other half of the table (with my fav, Dave Roche sitting on the other side of the corner) making for a very tight squeeze behind the table. But it was really awesome spending the day hanging out with my friends & I got to see lots of my Chicago zine friends. I got a bunch of rad zines & even some comics but really, I totally missed a lot of my friends who didn't make it out this year. But you can't be too bummed when you're surrounded by a room full of zine makers. The day came to an end. We packed up, said our goodbyes & were on our way.
Our final night in Chicago we spent out in the suburbs with Brian's Grandma Marilyn who is such a joy & whose house number is 666! The next morning we said our goodbyes & then made a quick stop at Let's Roast Cycles so Brian could see his friends & I could hang out with the shop dogs before ordering more milkshakes from Chicago Diner for the drive home. I did most of the driving because Brian did all of the city driving (bless his sweet, brave heart) which I am always really impressed by, how much driving I can actually do. All in all, a killer road trip alongside the best dude.
That final photo is what happens when I wash my hair with a tiny bottle of hotel shampoo, not brush it & then go to bed with it wet. I like to call it my "Natasha Lyonne before she got her shit together" look.
I was invited to write a guest blog post over on Fit & Feminist about BMX last month. It felt so weird & exciting to write about bikes from an active participant point of view. This last year has been all about learning how my body moves in relation to this little bike & it's been wild. I hope you'll go check it out.