Who we are
SOLIDarity Cycling started as a common bond between two passionate friends who had very similar interests and backgrounds. As friends we both share passions for all forms of cycling, fitness, health, confidence building, and really fun times. We are both interested and involved in getting more girls and women on bikes, community involvement, supporting and uplifting female artists, and starting businesses. But, we also started this as a way to ride more, meet more rad people, and quit our day jobs to support this idea full-time.
The idea came about between us, Eliza and Eric, because we both love colorful and fun cycling apparel, but even more so we love the joy and reward of giving back to our communities. We both have deep roots in starting small businesses, donating time and money to the local cycling communities and others in need, riding and racing bikes, and also teaching and coaching young girls to ride bikes. So we asked, how can we do all of this with a simple product company?
Our answer, by making women’s cycling apparel inspired by the art of female artists who share in the sale of each product sold, and by donating a portion of every sale to organizations that support women’s and young girls cycling. The rest will hopefully take care of itself. But, we want Solidarity Cycling to be as much a giving and community involvement organization as it is a product and for-profit business.
First, the name itself. The idea was to find a word or term that tries to encapsulate what we are trying to do, and a community we want to create. Wikipedia defines Solidarity as:
A unity (as of a group or class) which produces or is based on unities of interests, objectives, standards, and sympathies. It refers to the ties in a society that bind people together as one.
That seemed to fit to a “T”. But, if you follow us on Instagram and our other social channels, you will regularly see us use the hashtag #BeSolid and #SolidAF. We want women to feel part of our community. We also want women to know that our community consists of like minded individuals who are worried less about accomplishments on the bike, but rather simply being on a bike, sharing that experience with others, being totally rad with zero apologies, and smiling often.
SOLIDarity Products and Goals
We hope you will find our products and designs inspiring and fun, but also rad enough to want to wear while you ride and even race. We hope you find that by paying your hard-earned money for our products and knowing your purchase will go towards helping get more women and girls on bikes, that you will develop a sense of pride and giving back to women and young girls everywhere. We also hope to hear from all of you often on how we can make this company better, make better products, and support more women everywhere. We want everyone who follows us on social media or buys a product from our store to feel like a part of our community.
As we get started in 2018 and continue to grow, here is a sampling of some of the goals we have for the future that we hope to attain:
- Work with both international and domestic female artists for our designs - this helps feed passion and more families.
- Put on SOLIDarity Cycling girls bike clinics in various locations.
- Organize a ride/race each year that is sponsored by Solidarity.
- Sponsor riders in races/rides…and not necessarily pro or even elite level. But women who would like to experience racing and the amazing comradery that comes along with it.
- Give away a bike to a "scholarship" recipient each year.
- Develop more ideas to help women and give back to communities everywhere.
- Find more inspiring female artists to align with and support.
- Have a once a year and limited Men’s line for sale, but not sure about this one yet :)
- Support the ideas of women and our customers everywhere.
Eliza Russell, CEO, Co-Founder
There isn’t enough space to tell the story of Eliza properly. Mother of two beautiful daughters (Paisley and Tuesdae), Iraq war vet, small business owner (Vintage Body Care), world traveler, rock climber, sunset fanatic, outdoor enthusiast, flight nurse, mountain biker, newly crowned road biker, stand-up paddleboarder extraordinaire, and lover of good coffee. Eliza grew up and went to school in the mountains of Utah and Idaho finding an early passion for big wall climbing, even traveling as far as Nepal to climb. Eliza’s true passion is in helping others, maybe to a fault. In 2017, Eliza donated over half of the sales from her skin care business over an entire month to a gentleman who just received a heart transplant. His wife was due with their first child in a month. That’s only one of many examples of Eliza’s giving back. These days, you might find Eliza shredding the rock gardens around Sedona, AZ and Hurricane, UT, gravel grinding outside Casper, WY, or doing laps around her house in sub-zero temperatures to get in some miles. Eliza is now getting involved in youth coaching, and leading girls clinics in Wyoming. You can find her on Strava too.
Eric Graham, CMO, Co-Founder
Yes, we have a male on our founders list. Eric’s passion for cycling and mountain biking doesn’t stem from a long and distinguished career in the saddle of a bike, but rather from coaching high school kids in the Colorado High School Mountain Bike league as head coach of the Lakewood (CO) team. Eric has been coaching a co-ed team in the Colorado league for more than 6 years, but it was, and is, those girls and boys who helped instill that passion that is now borderline psychotic…in a good way. Eric has since attained league Coach of the Year honors, and also Team of Year in 2017 out of a selection of more than 80 teams across Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming. He noticed early on the impact a mountain bike can have on a young girl in an unbelievably positive way. That the bike can literally transform and change a life for the better. Eric is not only now addicted to riding all forms of bikes, but even more addicted to coaching and mentoring the next generation of youth cyclists. As a father of a young daughter, Maya, who just got her first hardtail mountain bike, you can find Eric fly fishing and guiding trips across the great state of Colorado, and camping in faraway places completely off the grid. He is also an ultra-passionate Iowa Hawkeye fan who claims to have both black and gold blood in his veins. You can also find Eric on Strava riding all kinds of surfaces around the Colorado front range.