International Women’s Day spotlight

The cycling industry should tap the purchasing power of women cyclists, says first-time GFNY rider Miki Edelman.

Miki Edelman, who works in the financial industry in New York, first got introduced to cycling by way of spin classes. She had just finished a knee operation, and it became apparent that she had to limit herself to certain sports. So began a journey that brought her back to better health — and to various cities around the world. She discovered cycling while she was in Denver, where she started riding outdoors, and then she continued the sport after she moved to Japan and Taiwan, and later England. 

“I enjoy riding because it is both great for the mind and body,” she said of the sport she stuck with since moving back to the United States. 

Edelman played all kinds of sports growing up. She was the only girl on an all-boys baseball team, and she played high school basketball, which is where her knee injuries started. 

“I have been fortunate to have lived and worked all over the world — Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, London, the U.S. I had some great adventures climbing the steepest parts of the Great Wall of China, climbing all the steps to the top of Taipei 101,” formerly known as the Taipei World Financial Center, which was once the world’s tallest skyscraper when it opened in 2004. (It remains the tallest building in Taiwan today.)

To Edelman, the cycling industry has made huge strides through the years, and as the world recognizes International Women’s Day on March 8, she points out some recent progress.

Women overall drive most of the consumer purchasing decisions, up to 80%, and that’s something companies should capitalize on and recognize, she said.

“Doing right by women in professional cycling or any sport is not only the right thing to do, but it is also good for business,” Edelman says.

Statistics show that over 80 percent of purchases and purchase influence are made by women. That tells me it is in the best interest of companies and sponsors to get more involved in women’s sports like cycling,” she said. 

“It was a couple of years ago when Trek increased women’s pay to equal or exceed minimum requirements for the men’s world tour ahead of being told to do so,” said Edelman, who owns a Trek Emonda and Trek Domane touring bikes. 

I was glad to see Zwift bring the TDF Femmes avec Zwift to the center stage. Doing right by women in professional cycling or any sport is not only the right thing to do, but it is also good for business,” she said. 

The Tour de France last year kicked off the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift, an 8-day stage competition in Paris that marked the first time in 33 years that there was an official women’s Tour de France stage race.

Meanwhile, Edelman is currently in training and has been an avid cyclist for about 15 years now. This will be her first GFNY ride in New York.

“I had a lot of health issues over the past couple of years — insulin resistance leading to a lot of weight gain despite exercising, type 2 diabetes. While I still have a ways to go, I have beaten the insulin resistance, beaten type 2 diabetes and am down over 80 pounds. I have worked with a cycling coach, nutritionist and primary care doctor to get here.”

She said she wants to do GFNY to challenge herself mentally and physically and “to take the new me on a challenge.” 

“I am doing the 50-mile ride and whatever time I end up setting this year, I hope to use that as a benchmark to beat in subsequent years,” she said. “My experience with cycling is that it is a very inclusive sport, and maybe that is why I love it so much.”

As a female cyclist, she said she hasn’t faced any particular challenges, but she does have advice for those who may face hurdles.

“Go for it and break the glass ceilings, break records, shine, persevere and have grit. Write your own journey and make it spectacular,” she said. “A quote I heard once was ‘Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire,’ by Jennifer Lee and that really resonates.”