Fifty-four women's cycling advocates from around the world will join Trek at the company's global headquarters in Waterloo, Wisconsin, this week for the inaugural Global Women's Summit.
The three-day summit – which comes on the heels of Trek's first week-long, women's-only, scholarship-funded Certified Service class – serves as the kick-off event for Trek's larger ongoing campaign to make cycling more accessible to women around the world. In Waterloo, advocates will attend seminars with Trek's marketing, engineering, design, retail, manufacturing, product development, and sales departments to learn tools that will help strengthen the relationship between women riders and retailers in their home towns.
The advocates will hear an address by Trek president John Burke on the importance of advocacy in the company's history. They will also visit with Gary Fisher and attend group road and mountain bike rides led by Trek Travel.
"We have big goals for this program," said Amanda Schulze, Trek's womens' business manager. "This formula puts talented, enthusiastic, approachable women cyclists in the field where they can make the biggest impact, and gives them the tools they need to lead the initiative in their communities to get more women on bikes."
The advocates were chosen from an applicant pool of more than 250, including bike shop staff, an adventure therapist, a retired police sergeant, a student in mechanical engineering, a retired chief medical officer from the Betty Ford Clinic, a pianist, and a mathematics professor.
Following the conclusion of the summit, the advocates will return to partner retailers in their respective communities to lead outreach efforts, group rides, clinics, and events over the course of the next year.
"Our goal with the summit," said Schulze, "is to help grow community and create a more inclusive industry and environment. It's a grassroots effort. This is going to be a really fun week, and these women are going to do extraordinary things. In the end, what they do in their communities this year is going to make cycling better for women."