In the past two weeks, there has been a lot going on with the Little Bellas. My sister and Little Bellas director, Sabe, and I received probably the best email we've ever gotten from a Little Bellas parent. This Little Bella was in our program last summer, and, on the particular week, Sabe challenged the girls to pay attention to the difference in men and women's representation in the media. This Little Bella took on the challenge and noticed there were no girls shown mountain biking in the current Cannondale kid's catalog. She took it upon herself to write Cannondale a letter to express her disappointment and to challenge them to show photos of girls mountain biking. She even included an example in the letter, a photo of her riding a mountain bike. This is exactly why we started the Little Bellas. We are completely inspired by this Little Bellas initiative and reassured that our program is making an impact. This letter will fuel me for a long time. It's maybe even worth a lifetime of this work. The letter is below.
We are very excited to announce our partnership with La Bellas Preme. This is a women's cycling event that takes place in Malibu, CA on June 1st. It's not your average charity ride. This is an upscale version that's guaranteed to be a fantastic experience for the first time rider to the woman who rides six days a week. Little Bellas is truly honored to be one of the three charities that riders have the opportunity to fundraise for. We are in great company along side with "I Am That Girl" and "Girls on the Run Los Angeles". We have been having great discussions and are thrilled to continue collaborating with this event and the other non profits. The Little Bellas truly believe that good things happen when you bring a lot of people to the table.
Two mentors, Jojo and Mary, geting interviewed for the Little Bellas movie
In the cold days of November, a large continent from our Sunday Sessions program braved the cold to make a film about the Little Bellas. These Little Bellas were troopers. I was literally wearing four coats, and they stayed out for over an hour riding. Some even took off their jackets to showcase their Little Bellas jerseys for the interviews. I learned two things. These Little Bellas are way tougher than I am, and our program is working. It was very interesting to hear the parents, mentors, and Little Bellas interviews. Usually we have our head's down plugging away running the program, and it's not that often that we get to look up and hear everyone's thoughts. An enthusiastic group of students filmed us for the day at Catamount Outdoor Family Center and put together two great movies that capture the essence of our program. We are giving them a big A+ for their Adventure Film Class, and we are sure that their professors will agree. A big thank you goes out to the Saint Mike's ladies for all of the time, thought, and effort they put into this work. The links to the videos are right here!
Here is the full length version:
Last but not least, Jojo and I did a school visit this past week at the All Saints Preschool in Kapaa, HI. This group was a bit younger that the Little Bellas age range we are used to working with, but it was a blast nonetheless. These three to five year olds didn't quite have a grasp on the Olympics, but we introduced them to the concept. Then, we focused on basics like bike safety and wearing a helmet. We showed them the difference between a road and mountain bike, and they were very interested in my bright orange Specialized bike shoes (made special for the Olympics). It was fascinating to them how I clip into my pedals. I did a bunny hop, Jojo did a lot of sweet skids, and we raced. It was a blast. All of the kids walked away with a signed hero card which they seemed very excited about. I've been wanting to do school visits on Kauai, and it's great for it to finally come together.
Jojo and I talk about a mountain bike with the kids