A Game of 20 Questions with Christie Gibbs
This week's feature is Christie, who is the administration and account manager at Bicicletta. She also makes sure things get done in a timely manner here at EmpowerHer Cycling (Thanks Christie)!
She is an avid bike-packer and rides both road and gravel bikes. Fun fact: She is from Australia, but hardly has an accent anymore!
Meet Christie Gibbs
Location: Vancouver, BC
Follow Christie: @lunarpulsing
1. How long have you been riding bikes?
I started commuting to and from work in 2013 on a watermelon pink vintage Nishiki road bike - though it wasn’t until 2015 that I started to take cycling more “seriously”.
2. How did you get acquainted with cycling?
A handful of friends and colleagues were recreational road cyclists, and after trying to ride with them on my heavy steel bike, I realized that I wanted to ride faster, longer and more efficiently. My good friend Andrew Palmquist is the person who really got me into cycling. I actually crashed his bike in a parking lot the first day we met.
3. What kind of riding do you do? (track, mtb, road, cx, all of the above, etc)
Mostly road riding, but I also really enjoy riding gravel and easy trails. Also bike camping!
4. How many bikes have you owned throughout your time cycling?
Umm. 9, though technically I haven’t owned all of them.
5. How many bikes do you currently own?
Two at the moment. A Cervelo R3 for on-the-road, and a Foundry Flyover for off-the-road.
6. What is your dream bike?
I might have just purchased the start of it this morning. I’ve been on the hunt for my Ti dream frame, and “the one” just came up. Though, I have no idea what I’m going to put on it!
7. What is your most memorable cycling experience?
There are just so many. This year alone, it would have to be climbing Hurricane Ridge in Port Angeles, WA. We started under the clouds, by the 8 km mark we were in a cold, wet cloud pocket where you could barely see a few metres ahead. This lasted for the next 14 km. My partner Alex realized he had lost his passport from a back pocket right by the tunnels and had to go back and find it in the fog. At around the 22 km mark, it started feeling warmer and I could tell we were emerging from the clouds, so we spent the last 6 km in the sunshine, blown away by our surroundings.
We had brought a bunch of layers anticipating a cold descent, but I don’t think I’ve ever been so cold riding my bike, even in the winter. By the time we got back to the car we were frozen, laughing, disoriented and sooo thankful for the bag of sweet potato chips we’d left ourselves in the car.
8. How many of your friends ride bikes?
Pretty much all of them, honestly!
9. Do you prefer riding alone, in a small group or a large group?
Small group is my preference. Riding alone can make me feel quite nervous, even after a few years of getting used to it. Large groups make me feel even more nervous, especially when unfamiliar with others riding style / handling skills.
10. Have you ever travelled with your bike? Where?
Only within ferry or driving distance - the islands & coast surrounding Vancouver, and Washington State.. I usually borrow a bike when I go home to Australia.
11. What is the biggest challenge you faced when you started riding bikes?
Feeling clueless and dumb, not knowing what I was supposed to wear, and having a hard time finding “compatible” people to ride with.
12. What are your cycling goals for this year?
That’s a hard one to answer. As generic as this sounds, my goal for this year was to get faster on my bike so I could have a better / easier time riding with specific people in my extended circle. I started taking some training classes with a local company called Velosophy, which has made me a different cyclist altogether.
13. What is your post-ride ritual?
Depending on the ride - if it’s a workout, food or a smoothie as soon as possible. If it’s a fun weekend ride, food and a beer or cider, as soon as possible. I’m *trying* to make my post-ride ritual bibs off, as soon as possible!
14. Bibs or non-bibs?
Please don’t ever make me wear shorts that aren’t bibs.
15. Do you believe that your socks should be at least 5” long, or, short?
I’m a fan of longer socks, though I don’t mind too much, as long as they’re not ankle socks that are being eaten by your shoes..
16. What is your hairstyle preference while cycling?
I used to ride with longer parts of my bangs hanging out the sides of my helmet - I realize now how silly that must’ve looked and how ineffective that was. Now it varies between a ponytail or a low bun, with all my hair behind my ears, haha.
17. What snacks are always in your jersey pocket?
Untapped maple syrup (I can’t stomach other gels after trying this), and either a JoJe Bar or Enduro Bites bar. If I don’t have anything in the house, I’ll grab an assorted bar from a coffee shop.
18. Cycling specific sunglasses or casual glasses?
I used to be a casual glasses gal, now I’m all about those fast-looking glasses. Currently wearing Oakley EVZero Strides. They’re so light!
19. Bar tape loud and bright, or black and classic?
Black and classic, always.
20. What advice would you give to other women who are just starting out?
Join a ride group or training class! I really struggled when it came to finding riding partners when I first started cycling. In fact, I still really struggle with this.
I have met a handful of women over the past year who are brand new to cycling and joined clinics as a first step, and have made incredible improvements and connections in a very short amount of time. It’s a great way to build a community and to meet others who are feeling the same way as you are
Photo credits to Alex Morgan.
Stay tuned for next week's feature... If you want to be featured, fill in our ONLINE QUESTIONNAIRE. We would love to feature ALL women who ride bikes, regardless of where they are from, their age, ability or experience level.