Babeland Puts Power to the Pedals
Two sex-educators are riding down the California coast for one for sustainable energy solutions.
From September 9-13, Ashley Allen and Megan Collier, two Sex Educators from Seattle’s famed women-owned sex-positive adult toy shop, Babeland, are setting out on a 300-mile expedition for Climate Ride, a non-profit organization that helps create further awareness for sustainable energy solutions and bike advocacy through bike rides like this.
Climate Ride California will begin near Eureka, in Northern Cal. It’s a scenic five-day journey down the coast from the Redwoods past Pacific coast cliffs to the eventual end-spot in San Francisco. Fundraising for this event is powered by the people. Allen and Collier nearly met their goal of $5,000.
What began in 2008 by Geraldine Carter and Caeli Quinn, with the later addition of Blake Holiday is a full-on community engagement that demands direction, change and ultimate awareness. Aside from the California ride Allen and Collier are embarking on, Climate Ride NYC-DC is the second ride that takes place from Manhatten to the nation’s capitol. To register, it’s a $75 fee, plus a minimum of $2,4000 in fundraising for the all-inclusive event. The funding powers the entire organization and a myriad of environmental and cyclist-centric non-profits. Best yet, as a rider, you can choose exactly what organizations your funding will go to, if you so choose.
Collier, who has been with Babeland for a year and a half, is an avid commuter cyclist; on board to join in on Climate Ride from the get go. Allen, a more casual cyclist who rides weekly, jumped at the chance to be a part of the team to improve her craft and conviction—something the Babeland team is impassioned about, as part of their Come for a Cause program, which promotes better ways to live an eco-friendly lifestyle. “The eco-angle and the bike advocacy angle are the perfect combination,” says Allen.
Seattle has improved upon its now bike-friendly city over years of push and pull from the residents to make better strides at a pro-cyclist environment. It takes a combination of the people, both pedaling and driving, to create safe, navigate-friendly areas for cyclists to ride: be it, commuting to and from work, riding for business, taking a quick ride up to the market, or for pure, active exercise. With that said, Allen and Collier note their unique arrangement: “Seattle’s infrastructure has become more bike-friendly because cyclists have pushed for it, but there’s still a long way to go. Drivers need to be educated to be more aware and open to sharing the road, and just in general, it’s critical to give people alternatives to driving cars and continuing to pollute the air.”
They bring up a compelling and critical point, that it takes everyone involved, not just the cyclists, to create a better system, a better way of thinking and acting. Drivers are not the only ones manning the roads anymore. The Bicycle Map of Seattle is an annually updated guide to the best routes to ride in the city. Way To Go, Seattle! is a great resource for riders who need tips on getting around minus the car, and since it’s the Seattle Department of Transportation’s goal to triple the number of cyclists in coming years, neighborhood improvements go hand in hand with creating better cycling facilities for those on the road.
Cycling safety is a big priority if you’re going to become one of the pack under the helmet. If you aren’t briefed on Biking 101 of tried and true riders, a casual ride could lead to a heated face-to-face altercation, a Craigslist rant, or at worst, it could cost you your life.
For Collier, it’s about being in charge of your space, and sharing your observations with friends and fellow cyclists. “Be aware when you’re cycling, on guard and observant, to be safe. It’s a freeing opportunity and I want to promote cycling for women and queers as a way to feel connected, strong and healthy. To that end, I’m teaching my friends basic skills on how to maintain their bikes.”
To that, Allen adds that cycling lets you stay in the moment. This extends itself out of the cycling world and makes you a more aware person in your daily life. You see more. Many people who are native Seattleites say they have never been up to the Space Needle. But you don’t have to be high up to “see” the city, you just have to ride around it. “As I’ve been training for Climate Ride, I’ve been seeing more of Seattle and learning the city better than at any time when I’ve lived here. It’s been such a positive experience,” says Allen.
So what are these sex-positive Climate Riders doing to get prepared for the ride? Well, they’re riding, a lot. Collier looped around breathtaking Lake Washington recently on a 75-mile ride. Allen, who’s used to a single-speed bike, has been getting used to her new two-wheeler, shifting and getting cozy is spandex and padded-shorts.
Pictured: Megan Collier and Ashley Allen of Babeland
And since it’s not about the destination, but the journey, Collier is anticipating the beauty of the ride and getting the chance to speed down hill along the California coast. “I’ve never been to California and it’s going to be amazing to experience this beautiful part of the country on my bike.” Allen adds, “I’m excited about all of it! Redwoods! Wine Country! Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge at the end of the ride will be the ultimate experience. I’ll be so tired after riding 300 miles in five days, but it will feel like coming full circle.” It’s also important to make sure you don’t bonk. That’s biker term for staying hydrated during the ride.
It’s easy to see that this is more than just a job for Collier and Allen. Working for Babeland has encouraged them to be in touch with who they are. They are empowering others in the LGBTQ community to be active, spirited, strong and in control of their minds and bodies.
You might be wondering why Collier and Allen? Well, they have their proverbial fingers on the pulse of innovative and eco-friendly solutions. Climate Ride takes them out onto the open road, and meanwhile back at the ranch—the Babeland shop—they’re educating customers every day. “Customers are more receptive to eco-friendly solutions like rechargeable toys and becoming more discerning about the materials in their products. Sustainable solutions are easy things,” says Collier. And that’s the truth: Sustainable solutions are and can be every day things, whether you’re cruising with a caravan of cyclists down the road or looking out for bikers who share the roadways with you from your car.
That’s not all folks. Bike enthusiasts and baby bikers everywhere might be interested to know that cycling is great for your sex life. Collier has a list of tips.
Five Ways Biking Can Be Great for Your Sex Life:
1. It makes you feel good about your body. Your brain is your most important sex organ. Getting out there on a bike can help make you feel great about your body, more desirable and sexy. If you feel positive about yourself and your body, you can transfer those good vibes into your sex life.
2. Tighten up that core. Cycling is great for working out your core muscles. Tone your abs and PC muscles to help promote stronger erections and increase blood flow to your sexy parts.
3. Improve your endurance. Trekking around the city and increasing miles, my strength and endurance has improved immensely. With these hot summer nights, cycling is a great way to up your endurance and keep the fun going long after the sun goes down.
4. Flexibility. Want to try out that complicated position? Cycling can help you improve your flexibility and limber up your muscles. So get riding that bicycle, flex those muscles, and before you know it, you can try that new G-spot position you’ve been fantasizing about.
5. Tone up your bum for a good spanking. We all know Fifty Shades of Grey fever has everyone wanting a good SMACK. Cycling is excellent for getting your bum in shape. What better way to get in touch with your kinky side than a good spanking?
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