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"I was tired of leaving my sexuality at the door in order to get taken seriously in bike shops," she tells me. "I was frustrated at seeing so many women sitting on the sidelines at bike events."
Now in its fourth year of production, the Thought You Knew Bicycle Chick Pinup Calendar is the brainchild of Finch and photographer Kimberly Capriotti and is a means to both showcase "strong women with bicycles" and "encourage more women to ride." Finch described the calendar as "each woman with her own bike, owning her sexuality like only a pinup can."
"We launched the first TyK calendar in 2009 during the Bike Winter Art Show, and despite it being February, they sold like hotcakes."
This year's calendar is looking for one final push on Kickstarter to reach its goal of $5,000 by the October 1 deadline. Donations are teetering around $4,400 at the moment. TyK is accepting donations at all levels, but a minimum donation of $20 gets you a copy of the calendar, with shipping included. Check out the promo video for the 2012 calendar after the jump:
While the calendar will continue being produced, Finch and TyK are in the initial stages of shifting their mission to include outreach programs that will aid women in gaining confidence in bike shops. The Bike Lane in Bucktown hosted a trial run in early August, with shop mechanics demoing how to fix flats and patch tubes, as well as helping participants become familiar and comfortable with the shop's surroundings.
Finch hopes to continue with TyK-related events and programs in Chicago, but she also has her sights set nationally with the outreach programs. She's in Vegas this week to do a demo at the international bicycle expo, Interbike. If all goes well at the expo and the Kickstarter is able to pull in a healthy amount of funds, Finch hopes that the main launch on a national scale for the outreach programs will be in March for warmer states and May for the "cold north."