Alexis Finch was tired of how women got treated in bike shops. "The guys either ignore you or assume you have no idea what it is that you're riding," the Chicago-dwelling strategic consultant and entrepreneur said. Women were either seen as "mechanically savvy but asexual, or cute but inept with their bikes."
So she decided to counter that perception, by showing some real bike-loving women in all their sexy, gearheaded glory. Thus, the "Thought You Knew" calendar was born. (Scroll down for photos from the calendar.)
"We decided a great way to give our fellow cyclists that dose of confidence they needed was to get the ladies posing as pinups, showing them how to embrace their own version of sexy, not for others, but for themselves," Finch said. "We can be smart and sexy, and that sexiness can take on a whole lot more forms than just lipstick and heels."
2011's pin-up calendar marks the third year that TyK has showcased its two-wheeling ladies. It's on sale now for only $20, both at a number of cafes and bike shops (mostly in the Logan Square area) and online.
Sales of the calendar benefit the Chicago Women's Health Center, an organization that provides women's health services and allows its patients to pay what they can afford. It's a great cause, and the TyK website puns that it's "proud to give CWHC a leg up."
And with free next-day delivery of the calendars to anyone in the Chicago area, it's not too late to snag a last-second Christmas gift for your favorite bicyclist.
Check out the calendar bike girls of 2011 (all photos courtesy of Kim Capriotti):
Note: To avoid any implication that the women in the above images are meant to be judged on the basis of their appearance, voting has been turned off for this slideshow.