Occupation: Team Director and Owner, Women’s Pro Cycling Team Specialized-lululemon
On the eve of the Amgen Tour of California, at which Team Specialized-lululemon’s Evelyn Stevens won the women’s individual time trial last year, we talk with team director and owner Kristy Scrymgeour about the state of women’s racing, how riding bicycles deepens friendships and the local ride she loves best.
The two-time Australian national champion, who currently calls Brooklyn home, is a force in the world of women’s cycling, voicing strong commitment to winning greater visibility for the sport and creating community around bicycling to attract more women. Earlier this year, Scrymgeour also launched a new line of cycling apparel, Velocio, based on the desire to give female riders more choices. We met up near the Velocio office in the Dumbo section of Brooklyn:
How did you become the owner of a women’s pro cycling team?
I have been involved in cycling for many years, racing early on (way back in the day), then working for a cycling publication followed by working as director of marketing and communications for Team High Road. Whilst at High Road I was very involved with the management of the women’s team, and so it was a natural evolution to take over the ownership of the same group of women when High Road ended. Right now I’m loving it because there is a real buzz around the sport of women’s cycling. More women are finding the bike and the growth of the sport is imminent.
What bike(s) do you ride?
I ride a Specialized Amira which is the bike the team races on. For me it’s probably the best bike I’ve ridden. It has a great geometry for women and it’s responsive as well and comfortable. It’s high end, but it’s a really good choice for women if you want to feel good on a bike.
I also still have my racing bike from when I raced on Team Saturn. It’s a LeMond and I still love to ride this. Mostly I use it as a commuter.
I have a mountain bike too, but rarely get to use it.
How do you handle bike storage in NYC?
It’s not easy. My boyfriend and I have two bikes each in our tiny apartment, but we’ve figured it out a way to keep them, without the apartment looking like a bike shop, with two behind a desk and two hanging on the wall in the hallway.
Secret to rolling in comfort and style?
I guess that depends on what kind of ride you’re doing. If you’re riding for exercise or training, then I think having a pair of bib shorts with a good chamois is key and a jersey that is cut well and made from good fabrics. It makes such a difference. If commuting long distances, I still like to wear real bike gear and change out of it. It’s just so much nicer not to sweat in your normal clothes. But for short distances I like to wear jeans or pants that are slim-fit and also high at the back of the waist and a loose, button-down shirt that’s a bit longer at the back, too. No one should have to see butt crack as you ride past them!
What’s your favorite route or spot to visit by bicycle in NYC?
Most of my rides are short these days. I ride from home to Prospect Park, do some laps, grab a coffee with a friend and ride home. On the weekend in the summer I do have to say that I love River Road. It’s the staple ride for every New York bike rider, so no real revelation here, but it’s such a beautiful ride. You really feel like you’re getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city whilst looking across at it at the same time.
Caffeination? (favorite place to stop for coffee)
I always go to Milk Bar on Vanderbilt as it’s only three blocks from Prospect Park and a midway point between where I live and where my normal riding partner lives. It’s also great coffee and owned and staffed mostly by Aussies – so it’s a bit of a taste of home.
If you could take a ride with anybody, living or dead, who would it be and why?
You know, I would rather say I just love riding with friends, new or old. It’s such a nice way to chat and and have real conversations. You have a different kind of energy on the bike. You think more clearly and people tend to really be themselves whilst riding, so I find that you get to know people really well, and you create deeper friendships through the bike.
What’s the one thing NYC needs to do to get more people on bikes?
New York City has done wonders for bike riding over the past year with the introduction of Citi Bike. The biggest favor the city can do now is to ensure that Citi Bike continues and grows deeper into the boroughs. It’s genius and so much nicer than catching the subway. People commuting by bike always have a smile on their face whereas it’s kind of rare to see smiles on the subway and with a city like this, if you’re above ground, you discover something new and exciting about the city every day.