Rebecca Luperto has taken up the cause of familiarizing women of all ages with the sport of biking. In pursuit of her passion, she's founded the Bikelady.ch start-up. We spoke with the power woman.
"My father is practically the source of inspiration for my passion," Rebecca Luperto explains during our meeting in the picturesque town of Appenzell. In the eighties, he bought one of the first mountain bikes and took me on a tour. This immediately sparked my passion for this sport.” That was 30 years ago. Rebecca – who likes to call herself "Bike lady" – has been part of the otherwise male dominated biking scene ever since.
"It was and is still appalling how we women are under-represented in this sport, and I wanted to change this!” With this intention, Rebecca and Kerstin – a friend she met by chance on a bike tour – founded the Bikelady.ch start-up. The two of them have long been doing pioneering work and were the only people offering bike tours for women only. The team has since grown, with three more committed bike ladies joining their ranks.
The power women show that "Every woman has what it takes to be a biker." And Rebecca swears that you needn't be fearful of the sport – it takes just willpower! The customer base is constantly growing and now ranges from the 9-year-old girl to the 70-year-old pensioner. The bike ladies accompany beginners and seasoned professionals with training courses, tours and camps.
"Whether Kurt, Regula or Helmut – my bikes all have a name"
For biking to be fun, you need the right materials. "Until a few years ago, mountain bikes were only made for men," explains Rebecca. "Small women in particular, like myself, really struggled. Luckily, the manufacturers recognized our need: There are now small and lightweight models for us to choose from. So we too can finally enjoy the full biking experience: That's cool!
Also, mountain bikes as e-bikes have recently entered the market. That represents huge progress, as many women lack muscle power – with the battery as support, we can now race past the men," Rebecca adds laughingly. "The e-bike offers support on demanding tours and trails. And our customers love the electronic models as they make biking so much fun." Rebecca adds: "There's a suitable bike for every type of terrain. Of course, it's not cheap, but I get more from biking than from owning 100 pairs of shoes or handbags!”