Felt is an American bicycle manufacturer based out of Irvine, California. Founded in 1994, the family owned business was acquired earlier this year by Rossignol Group. The new merger is expected to help accelerate brand development and growth. Known globally for their world-class road, track and TT bikes, Felt also produces mountain bikes (a new range is launching in 2018), BMX, cyclocross, recreation and e-bikes.
Felt has been designing women’s specific bike models for almost a decade now and decided its 10 year milestone was perfect timing to launch a program supporting female athletes and community leaders on a grassroots level. The 2018 Felt Freedom Ambassador Program consists of 13 women from all over North America actively involved in their local women’s road, track or TT community in conjunction with their local bike shop. This is Felt’s first women’s ambassador program, but it isn’t the first time they’ve invested in female athletes, as they sponsor a number of professional athletes including a women’s road team. Fun fact: Felt’s very first sponsored athlete was eight-time Ironman World Champion Paula Newby-Fraser.
Inga Joins the Team As a Felt Freedom Ambassador
I began a love affair with road cycling 2 1/2 years ago when we moved to Portland, Oregon. Brought on as marketing / events coordinator for Western Bikeworks — during my first week on the job, I was assigned sweeper duties for Bike MS. It led to riding my 1st century ride —in 100 degree temperatures no less! Prior to that, my exposure to road cycling was limited, as my passion for riding was primarily focused on mountain bikes. One month and many road rides later, I organized and lead the initial Western Bikeworks women’s road ride which evolved into an ongoing weekly event. It kickstarted a new obsession with road cycling, falling in love with the camaraderie, style and desire to push my physical limits alongside an inspiring group of women.
A Felt representative recently approached me and encouraged me to apply for the Freedom Program. I jumped at the opportunity to ride an amazing road bike, (TBA) be part of something new and fun and meet more women who share the same passion.
What I didn’t anticipate was the red carpet treatment Felt Freedom Program Director and International Operation Coordinator, Megan Duehring, organized. It was all quite impressive.
Flown to the John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, California, we were then delivered to a beautiful Airbnb in Irvine. Spending the afternoon getting to know the other ladies, we were then wined and dined before heading to bed to prepare for the big day ahead of us.
Day 2 began with an informative power point presentation from Felt, Kask and Fizik, filling us in on brand history and line of products. As a gear head that works in marketing for an online bicycle retailer, I was in heaven.
After the presentations and lunch, we kitted up, took headshots and were outfitted on new Felt women’s road bikes. We then set off on a 28 mile ride with Felt’s photographer, Corey following behind snapping photos from a moving car.
The ride took us to the coast where we enjoyed a break at a coffee shop with plenty of outdoor seating. The scenic bike paths made beautiful settings for photos. Being my first time riding road bikes in Irvine, I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day with highs in the mid- 70’s. Afterwards we headed back to the house, showered and prepared for an evening of laughter, food and drinks at the Improv Comedy Club.
Our final day began with another early rise to shoot video interviews, before kitting up and heading out for an additional optional ride. Knowing that I was heading back to rainy Portland later, I jumped at the opportunity for one more ride in sunny warm weather.
Though we only spent 2 days with together, tight bonds in the ambassador group have quickly formed. Each woman was passionate, interesting and strong. I enjoyed everyone’s company and was sad to say goodbye, but I look forward to growing these new found friendships.
For more information about Felt Bicycles and Felt Freedom Program, click here.
Photos provided by Corey from Felt Bicycles
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