As a brand, Thousand believes that communities are made stronger by bringing many voices to the table – and making sure those voices are heard. That's why we're dedicated to amplifying the voices of women who are breaking down barriers in the urban mobility space. We sat down with Ginger Boyd, the brand manager at Machines with Freedom, to talk about the importance of gender diversity in a traditionally male-dominated industry.
THOUSAND: Tell us about yourself.
Ginger Boyd: I am Brand Manager at Machines For Freedom. I've been riding bikes for 7-ish years now and been in the cycling industry for 6.
T: When did you start at Machines for Freedom, and what drew you to the brand?
GB: I started at Machines when the brand was just 6 months old! At the time, I was fresh out of college and feeling quite lost in terms of how I could really make my way in the world. The blatant issues that were so common in the cycling industry (especially back in 2014), drew me in as a part of the world where I could really make a difference. Graduating with a literature degree, I was NOT sure that I could write the next great American novel. But fix these issues with cycling apparel, like brands using sexualized models to sell kits? That I could change.
T: Do you have any advice for women who’d like to enter the cycling world but might not know the best way?
GB: I would suggest finding something within the industry that you are passionate about, and start doing it! There's no reason you have to be "approved" by the cycling industry at large to make a change; whether you are a content creator or other creative, or have an engineering mind, or are a community leader and want to make a difference locally, starting your own project with friends can be super rewarding and be its own way into the industry.
T: What does the future of urban riding/commuting look like to you?
GB: I've been commuting for a long time, and started out riding by commuting to work and school in NY. I'm definitely influenced by my favorite bike shop, Golden Saddle Cyclery. As Kyle from GSC says, the perfect bike is the one you got! He's really shown me that you can take a commuter with a basket and slightly beefier tires and use it as a commuter, an off-road whip, a bikepacking rig, or whatever you feel! You just need to see Kyle riding a mountain bike trail on a track bike with a basket *once* to realize, Run what ya Brung!
T: What are your recommendations for resources or groups that advocate for more diverse and inclusive riding in the US?
GB: Do Better Together is one of my favorites to recommend, started by a good friend of mine (and first African-American Pro Female Road cyclist in the US!) Ayesha McGowan. Ayesha brings folks together IRL as well as digitally, and uses Strava challenges that foster participation at every level. Setting goals that make sense for yourself while connecting with people, it doesn't get better than that.
As a brand, Thousand believes that communities are made stronger by bringing many voices to the table – and making sure those voices are heard. And in a traditionally male-dominated industry, we hope to open the door to a more diverse audience and create a strong community of urban riders that is open and accessible to people of all races, ages, gender identities, and sexual orientations.