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BIPOC FILMMAKER GRANT PRESENTED BY MACHINES FOR FREEDOM

BIPOC FILMMAKER GRANT PRESENTED BY MACHINES FOR FREEDOM

We are so honored to partner with Filmed By Bike to sponsor this initiative and support emerging BIPOC filmmakers with cash, mentorship, and the spotlight they deserve.

ROKA x MACHINES // The Limited Edition Capsule

ROKA x MACHINES // The Limited Edition Capsule

  BLAZE YOUR PATH.  Introducing ROKA x MACHINES, the new collab collection from two fearless brands. Cycling is a sport deeply entrenched in tradition; tradition that influences product design, styling, and everything from sock height to ride etiquette. But what happens when a brand comes in unafraid to challenge that tradition and redefine the standard? Gear that just works—for everyone.  This shared spirit of rebellion is what brought together ROKA x MACHINES. ROKA is on a mission to tear down the wall between style and performance with unbelievably stylish, lightweight eyewear packed with a stunning amount of performance technology. Machines For Freedom has  shaken up the cycling world by boldly creating the best-fitting, highest performing women's cycling apparel in a sea of ill-fitting kit. ROKA x MACHINES: The limited edition capsule, built on a shared purpose of challenging the status quo in order to push the entire industry forward. SHOP THE LIMITED EDITION CAPSULE ...

FINDING FREEDOM THROUGH CYCLING

FINDING FREEDOM THROUGH CYCLING

Meet Lupe, a Mexican cyclist who understood the power and freedom behind cycling long before she knew how to ride. She harnesses this power today during her long weekend rides & remembers how it helped her push through her toughest times. Like many of us know, cycling can be TOUGH. It challenges you, pushes you beyond your limits, and sometimes knocks you down. But after enough long rides— you start to see results. Your endurance builds, your body gets stronger, and what was hard glides into a breeze. And that's why we love it. Read on for Lupe's story on how cycling became more than just a fun pastime, but a place where she is reminded of the freedom that comes when you push just a little harder. "Desde que era niña, soñaba de tener una bicicleta para pasear. Veía que la gente en mi pueblito se paseaba y exploraba en la bicicleta, y siempre queria saber cómo se sentia. Crecí en un pueblo pequeño en Jalisco, México y para mi familia, las bicicletas eran un lujo. ¡No aprendí a...

Power Suit

Power Suit

I never really understood the concept of the power suit - a woman in a suit always just reminded me of my mom watching Murphy Brown. I have always been drawn to the leather jacket, tight skirt Kelly Bundy kind of power, the sexy dangerous kind. When I was in college in the mid aughts, I worked part time at a Talbots in the skyway in Downtown Minneapolis. If you don’t know what a Talbots is, it’s a conservative women's clothing store for the traditional working woman - specializing in suits, cardigans, wrap dresses, bi-strech fabrics, petite through plus sizes. The perfect office attire for a midwest-chic accountant or executive assistant. I lived in a punk house at the time and outside of work I was much more of a Kelly Bundy than a Murphy Brown -  my job was like a secret life I was living on the side. I had a locker at work and would change into my professional attire after riding my bike there in a mini skirt and cowboy boots. My 71 year old coworker Carol could sure throw a mea...

Gravel Bike Adventures: Switzerland Trail

Gravel Bike Adventures: Switzerland Trail

Meet the Gravel Bike Adventures duo, Laura and Rose! Two women all about finding adventure and encouraging others get out and explore by helping them feel informed, included and confident on their next bike adventure. Laura and Rose curated four of their favorite gravel routes of all time to share with the Machines community! Route 02 is 4 Mile Canyon and Switzerland Trail, one of their favorite gravel routes in Boulder, CO. Stay tuned for their next adventure, and be sure to save these routes for the next time you're looking for a fun adventure!  If you are looking for a gravel biking playground, Boulder, Colorado is incredible! Although Gravel Bike Adventures is based in Denver, CO, Boulder still feels like part of our “backyard” since it is only a 30 minute drive. If we had to pick one route among the MANY great rides in the Boulder area, this is one of our favorites. The route is a 51.4-mile mixed-surface gravel ride that departs from the city of Boulder. Once you start, you...

Holding on For Group Rides

Holding on For Group Rides

When Machines launched in 2014, the magic that happens when womxn come together to adventure, push themselves, and help each other, was one of the driving forces behind the brand. Whether we found ourselves in a powerful paceline, pushing the limits of speed and strength, or fanned out across the trail, snapping pics and cracking jokes, coming together was a way to hold space, and to deny the status quo that tried to push us to the outskirts of the sport. And it was powerful. We've never felt more able to tackle ANYTHING than when surrounded by womxn who would cheer us on and show us how.  In a sport built upon elitism and exclusion, focusing on the joys, the adventures, the strength and the softness of womxn on bikes was radical... It is radical. It's no surprise to us that now, in 2020, though the conversations are different, it is still these moments that buoy us up and allow us to keep holding space to create change. Though group rides are on hold for now, it feels more importa...

Self Care / Self Portrait : Ale Casillas

Self Care / Self Portrait : Ale Casillas

Getting back to our roots has been a silver lining during quarantine. With so much extra time, a lot of us have been able to dial back and practice more of the simple things that make us happy.  To get a peek inside our community’s quarantines, we asked five photographers to share self portaits showing us how they are practicing self care while in isolation. This project gives us perspective on the benefits of slowing down, and most importantly, reminds us that we’re in this together. Read on to see how photographer Ale Casillas grounds back into her roots while isolating in Andalucia, Spain.  _______________________________________________________   In this uncertain moment, it’s easy to loose ourselves in the constant digital noise surrounding this pandemic.   I personally find it especially difficult to be confined in a different country away from my family and friends. But in the midst of chaos, I’ve kept in touch with them more than I did in previous days, and that keeps me hap...

Self Care / Self Portrait: Gritchelle

Self Care / Self Portrait: Gritchelle

Isolation has taught us that even if the world shuts down, we have everything we need to have a good day. All we need to do is put in a little work. While a creating a solid routine can help you manage your day-to-day purpose, leaning into what brings you joy can be a surefire way of making this a time to remember. Do you have something that you’ve always wanted to do, but never had the time? Sure, maybe the big effort is what’s been stopping you, but if not now then when? Now’s the time to make the time. Read on to see how Gritchelle practices self care and leans into joy to make isolation more fun (and her future dirt adventures more epic!). GET READYMy self-care routine as soon as I get dressed, put on makeup and do my hair as if I am going to go out in the world. Getting ready in the morning helps me feel productive and I like looking put together even if I’m just taking the dog out for a walk in the neighborhood. MOVEMENTWhen it’s time to workout, I rotate my days between str...

Self Care / Self Portrait: Parker Feierbach

Self Care / Self Portrait: Parker Feierbach

Another week of isolation down. Whether you’re feeling motivated this week or rocking the same outfit three days in a row, we're showing up to remind you— we're in this together.To get a peek inside our community’s quarantines, we asked five photographers to share self portaits showing us how they are practicing self care while in isolation. Read on to see how photographer Parker Feierbach is navigating isolation and finding optimism in uncertainty. Self care has simply become paying attention to what I think I might be capable of each day. Upon waking up, I've been avoiding the news until I’m ready for it, and assessing what I think I’ll have the bandwidth to deal with each day.  Some days, I take on a huge physical challenge (I ran 9 miles with my dog the other day onto roads I’ve never run) and other days I take care of those things that I haven’t touched in too long - my CV, my website, innumerable classes that I’d paid for and haven’t yet opened. There’s a social meme that’s b...

The Final Dispatch

The Final Dispatch

Two years ago Natalie embarked on a 30,000 mile solo journey from Alaska to Argentina on the Pan American Highway. She is the first trans woman to accomplish such a feat and we are so grateful to have followed her journey throughout the remote and beautiful places around Arctic Alaska, the Cascades and Sierras of the western US, and the mountains and oceans of Central America. In her last essay, we hear all about her final dispatch and the complicated feelings around managing expectations in seeing new places and how it feels to, finally, reach the end.   I had been dreaming of cycling the Carretera Austral in southern Chile for as long as I had been planning this trip. This road is world famous among the many types of overlanders that exist and I was not immune to its reputation.  Stretching from Puerto Montt in the north it meanders for 1,240 kilometers south to Villa O’Higgins through countless valleys and canyons and along fjords inhabited by penguins and other marine life.  My...

ZwiftxMachinesContest Winners

ZwiftxMachinesContest Winners

You know what we love most about our community? That no matter what, they show up for each other. Like a swarm of bees, our community is strong together, led by queens, and constantly working towards the greater good behind the scenes. At the core, Machines is lifted up by a buzzing network of women/trans/femmes who have our backs, always.We are stoked to celebrate our badass swarm through the #ZwiftxMachinesContest. Whether it's by leading group rides, opening up their homes for IRL Zwift-ing, raising funds for a cause, welcoming the youngin's to the cycling community, or confidently showing up in male dominated spaces, our badass community is an inspiration to say the least. After a month of receiving incredible, heartwarming submissions, we have finally picked our final winners!  Read on to learn more about the our queen bees and how they show up for their hives.  A big thanks to our partners for the incredible gift packages. Each rider gets:  - SARIS: 1 full trainer set up (H3 d...

Self Care / Self Portrait: Lana Adams

Self Care / Self Portrait: Lana Adams

  As the world shelters in place, we are looking for more ways to tune into self care and channel a new sense of balance. Somedays that looks like getting lost in an art project or a long solo ride and other days it looks like watching 20 episodes of The Office. Both are valid, and believe me, we've already done them both! While we all ride this wave of uncertainty together, Machines aims to (as always) spread good vibes. To get a peek inside our community, we asked five photographers to share self portraits showing us how they are practicing self care while in isolation. This project, Self Care / Self Portrait, shows us how we aren't alone in what we're doing and feeling. We're all in this together. Read on to hear our Lana Adams is navigating isolation and stay tuned for more stories from our community.

A LETTER TO OUR COMMUNITY

A LETTER TO OUR COMMUNITY

Regarding COVID-19

Gravel Bike Adventures: White Rim in A Day

Gravel Bike Adventures: White Rim in A Day

Meet the Gravel Bike Adventures duo, Laura and Rose! Two women all about finding adventure and encouraging others get out and explore by helping them feel informed, included and confident on their next bike adventure. Laura and Rose curated four of their favorite gravel routes of all time to share with the Machines community! Route 01 is White Rim, their ultimate bucket list ride. Stay tuned for their next adventure, and be sure to save these routes for the next time you're looking for a fun adventure!  Are you looking for a truly EPIC gravel adventure? THIS IS IT! Completing the 100-mile White Rim route on Canyon Land’s jeep roads in one day is an accomplishment that you will never forget. It took us several hours of planning and research, just the right day and weather, plus some real determination and our most adventurous spirit. We biked for 13 hours (using literally every bit of daylight, from sunrise to sunset!), and during every minute we were surrounded by the breathtakingl...

FINDING YOUR LIMIT

FINDING YOUR LIMIT

Last time we checked in with Natalie she had made it to South America on her journey from Alaska to Argentina along the Pan-American Highway. Through Colombia, past Ecauador and the equator, we hear from her now as she continues south through the unforgiving mountains of Peru.

Off the Grid (Sorta)

Off the Grid (Sorta)

Here's the thing... an excursion into remote, uncharted lands isn't always the key to a great weekend escape. Sometimes, the more easily accessible it is, the more likely you are to actually fit it into that one weekend of free time you found in your schedule. All the more likely friends will join in, coming in from Long Beach, Santa Monica, and the East Side. 

Dirty Kanza: We Meet Again

Dirty Kanza: We Meet Again

It’s hard to say where my thoughts really were for those 60 miles. Mostly water and food, the rest was a jumble of emotions, which I know paled in comparison to the jumble of emotions that Elyse and Sara were experiencing. It didn’t seem fair that they had crashed, and I felt some guilt for continuing. At the same time, I wanted more than anything to finish, so I’d never, ever “have” to attempt Dirty Kanza again.

BIKING TO THE END OF THE WORLD

BIKING TO THE END OF THE WORLD

 I did not think I could ride 200 miles in one day. It was absolutely beyond my comprehension. I figured I would find a way to get out of it.

SAY YES

SAY YES

Ever say "yes" before you know what you are saying yes to? That's how I found myself in Southern Utah with a group of badass women.

A (No) Crash Course from Cane to Crit Racing

A (No) Crash Course from Cane to Crit Racing

We took off and clipped in and while my first instinct was to settle further back – where I “belonged” as a second-time crit racer – I settled into sixth.

Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes

When we planned to make a video recording real reactions from real riders trying on Machines bib shorts for the first time, we were nervous. 

MY PATRON SAINTS OF CYCLING

MY PATRON SAINTS OF CYCLING

"Cycling wasn’t just skinny young men racing each other, comparing egos. It could be tons of women, looking out for each other, pushing each other, and shamelessly downing beer."

200-MILE WEEKS

200-MILE WEEKS

"I have never been a talented athlete, but I am incredibly stubborn, I’m strong, I have endurance; all of these qualities I associate with simply being a woman surviving the 21st century. And so with a mission to prove my place, I began what I now think of as my 200-mile weeks."

WOMEN*-LED BRANDS

WOMEN*-LED BRANDS

We compiled a list of our favorite outdoor brands with women* at the helm. 

ULTRA ENDURANCE SOUNDS REALLY BADASS

ULTRA ENDURANCE SOUNDS REALLY BADASS

When Amy Lippe signed up for her first Trans-American Bike Race, she had never done anything like it. She had toured a bit, leisurely. She didn't consider herself a cyclist. 

Time Traveling and Bike Touring

Time Traveling and Bike Touring

Natalie is currently riding from Alaska to Argentina as the first trans woman to ride the Pan-American Highway. We last heard from her on the Northern leg of her trip. Keep reading for her latest dispatch from Belize. 

Bikecamping: Togetherness

Bikecamping: Togetherness

There is a place we go when we become tethered by our conveniences. We lighten our loads. We take what we need. We find freedom in independence and strength in community. We go together.

STICKING TOGETHER

STICKING TOGETHER

In Sara’s words, “sometimes finishing last is damn fun.”

We are not blocking traffic. We ARE traffic.

We are not blocking traffic. We ARE traffic.

I savor the challenge of the road, the required vigilance. I’m one of the only 50-something women out there amid college girls on candy-colored bikes, wearing headphones and flip-flops. Riding my bikes renews me and makes me feel like a kid again.

BEAT THE BURNOUT

BEAT THE BURNOUT

Head on your bike in a direction you never go. Find some dirt. Find some friends, Leave the Garmin at home. Change up your mid-ride food to a dozen donuts or a breakfast burrito. Anything to make things fun again.

The Machines Edition S-Works Tarmac from Specialized

The Machines Edition S-Works Tarmac from Specialized

More than a custom bike, this one-of-a-kind S-Works Tarmac Disc signifies an important shift in the cycling industry and a new perspective on women's gear. Read about the women behind this build, and how this important project came to be.

Breaking Up The Boys Club

Breaking Up The Boys Club

We interview Re Wikstrom, the badass cycling and ski photographer who is paving the way for other women in her industry.

THE FEMININITY PROJECT

THE FEMININITY PROJECT

We asked a group of people in Los Angeles how they challenge traditional concepts of femininity. Here's what they had to say...

Embracing the Unknown on the Pan American Highway

Embracing the Unknown on the Pan American Highway

"I often get asked by people I meet along the way where I’m going next, what’s my route, and how long it is going to take. All of those are important questions when considering an adventure like this, but a lot of times I don’t have a concrete answer."

POCKET DONUTS

POCKET DONUTS

Just when you thought you had your ride food dialed... Meagan Jones flips everything upside down!

THE SILKIEST FABRICS EVER

THE SILKIEST FABRICS EVER

We use the highest quality fabrics from Italy and Switzerland. If technical features make your eyes glaze over, here's the skinny...

TRANSFORMATIONS

TRANSFORMATIONS

As a cyclist, I’ve been lucky to get to know the intricacies of the cities I’ve lived in since then, in that way anyone who rides a bike will understand. In Los Angeles, my home for the past two years, that knowledge has taken place in the many neighborhoods that some people don’t even know exist. The mountains, too, of LA are idiosyncratic.

IMPROVING SKILLS, SINK OR SWIM STYLE

IMPROVING SKILLS, SINK OR SWIM STYLE

For a long time, I thought I just wasn't a descender. Timid, feathering the brakes, and taking it slow, descending filled me with dread rather than joy and I was always, without fail, the last one down the mountain.

PACKING LIGHT

PACKING LIGHT

The Plan: A whirlwind weekend trip to Denver, CO to ride Mt. Evans, the highest paved road in North America. 

The Challenge: What to pack?

On Giving Back

On Giving Back

At MACHINES FOR FREEDOM, the holidays are a time to reflect on the people, programs, and experiences that have enriched our lives.  Rather than participate in the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales that have become synonymous with the holidays, it has become tradition to do things differently and celebrate what this season is really about – giving thanks and showing appreciation.

Heading North

Heading North

What is it about the open road and hours of conversation that color everything with possibility, even weeks after returning home?

Couples' Therapy for you and your roller.

Couples' Therapy for you and your roller.

Relationships are give and take. You've gotta put in the time to make it work. 

The Cap Guide

The Cap Guide

How does the old saying go, cycling caps are a girl's best friend? When it comes to riding bikes they really are. 

SUN SAFETY

SUN SAFETY

We sacrifice a lot for our training, but let's not give up a future of healthy skin.

Confidence Is a Fickle Friend

Confidence Is a Fickle Friend

Ever felt super confident after you crushed a ride, only to question those feelings a few days later when you get spit off the back?  We dug a little deeper in our latest story, exploring how to stay motivated no matter where you find yourself in the pack. 

DETOURS

DETOURS

You can find epic in the ordinary, even in the most unassuming hillside on the side of a highway.

BEACH GLASS

BEACH GLASS

Sometimes a flat tire is all you need to stop and take a look around. 

Machines Unbound

Machines Unbound

Since the beginning, Machines For Freedom has been about girls on bikes and all the epic adventures, community vibes, and personal growth that idea encompasses. 

Surviving Winter: Hacks from Snow Pros

Surviving Winter: Hacks from Snow Pros

For the most experienced insight into winter weather preparation, we caught up with biking’s favorite female snow pros, Elle Anderson, Jen Hudak and Elizabeth “Bud” Reeder.

On The Bike Style, It Does Exist

On The Bike Style, It Does Exist

Learning how to create an on-the-bike look that's both personal expression and  high-performance is tricky. One cyclist shares what she's learned.