Back in April, a video of two fun-loving, adventurous female cyclists hit social media by storm. People shared the link to this video sensation with all their cycling friends and me via email, text, and Facebook. What made this video go viral? The fact that Marley Blonsky and Kailey Kornhauser are fat cyclists, embracing their bodies, and doing what they love.
These two women love biking, and the fact that they are larger than the stereotype cyclist doesn’t hold them back, nor should it. Marley and Kailey echo the sentiments of Sunflowers and Pedals by believing cycling is for EVERY BODY.
Shimano sponsored their short film called All Bodies on Bikes. It captures the two friends on a challenging bikepacking trip called the C to Sea Route, from Corvallis, Oregon, to Ona Beach (the Ocean). The 60-mile route includes 7500 ft of elevation and beautiful scenery along the way.
During the film, both women talk about the word “fat” and how they remove the negative connotation and stigma it has with people. I touched on the subject during my interview. “It is empowering to use that word to neutrally describe ourselves,” says Kailey. “It takes the emotion out of it,” added Marley.
I’ve struggled with my weight my whole life. No matter how much weight I lose, I still see myself as the “fat girl.” I need to change the way I feel about the word and myself. Talking to these two women helped change the narrative and was genuinely empowering.
The cycling industry must extend sizing
During my conversation, we touched on the cycling industry and the lack of extensive sizing options. Brands Kaliey mentioned that already offer extended sizes include Machines for Freedom (MFF) and Shredly. Marley is working closely with Pearl Izumi (sister company of Shimano) to extend their sizing. I’ve reviewed several companies with extended sizing in the past, including MFF, Garneau, and Jules Threads.
Marley and Kailey’s website All Bodies on Bikes offers a resource guide for women looking for gear. It is an open-source doc that people can share products they’ve found work for larger body types.
SBT GRVL Cohorts
So what’s next for these two? As part of All Bodies on Bikes, they are accepting applications to select 15 non-traditional cyclists and forming an SBT GRVL Cohort Group. Steamboat Gravel is April 12-14 with different length races/rides. Applications are open to anyone of any age, gender, race, body size, or ability level. If you are interested, apply here. If selected, you’ll receive coaching, sponsorship and enjoy a fantastic ride in beautiful Steamboat, Colorado.
Listen to my interview with Marley and Kailey. They also share information about selecting a bike if you are a heavier rider. From talking with Joan Denizot, founder and CEO of ZIZE Bikes, I knew about most features to consider, but pedals were a new one for me. Always learning!
I really enjoyed talking to both of these women. Their positive energy and passion for cycling are contagious. They are indeed advocates for embracing your body no matter what size and advocating for All Bodies on Bikes.
Enjoy the ride no matter your ability or size.