How Thought You Knew and Grid Chicago match up

This is a continuation of Grid Bits from Thursday, September 2, 2011. 

I talked with founder Alexis Finch about how Grid Chicago and TyK might have similar aims. We compared the Grid Chicago mission statement to that of TyK and the results surprised me.

Our mission statement starts out with, “Grid Chicago is an outlet for news, commentary, and photography about sustainable transportation-related events, projects, and ideas.” How does Thought You Knew relate to that definition?

TyK is a photography project depicting local Chicago women. TyK will be hosting monthly events to bring more women into cycling with our Monthly Cycles hosting ladies at bike shops to teach them flat fixes and meet their local mechanics.

The next line talks about Grid Chicago being a platform for sustainable transportation. 

Since women have been found to be the primary agents of change in communities, the main source of “word of mouth” communication and the dominant users/writers on the internet, TyK’s target of bringing more women to the cycling conversation, who have otherwise felt disincluded, uninvited or intimidated fits well with your goal of being a platform.

Then our mission statement talks about the culture around sustainable transportation.

I’d say that TyK has become a part of Chicago’s culture already, and stands to be more so soon.


Miss September 2012. Photo by Kimberley Capriotti. 

Okay, enough about us, tell me more about TyK. How will TyK expand its own mission?

TyK has shifted over to being offered to shops on wholesale. This turns us into an incredibly appealing Christmas item, particularly for bike shops trying to get folks in during the slow season. More sales means more pinups on more walls, spreading the good word. We’re also selling internationally now, which means the “powerful pinup” will be able to become a part of the global vernacular. Tokyo and Shanghai already love us and are really excited at the strong and sassy example we’re providing for the ladies out there. We’ll just hint vaguely at what that means in the next few years.

Will TyK launch in other cities?

There aren’t any plans for the calendar to be a “city by city” calendar. However, there are some plots afoot for next year giving some ladies in the rest of the United States the chance to be nominated to strut their stuff.

In the meantime, we’ll be working to expand The Monthly Cycle [a women-only bike repair class] to cities across the USA. It’s not just shops in Chicago who need more female customers, and who need their customers to feel comfortable. This is an issue everywhere. So, we’ll be working to make sure women everywhere get the chance to learn a bit about their bikes and get welcomed into the cycling world one local shop at a time.

Aside from the calendar and The Monthly Cycle, what else is happening this year?

TyK will be rolling through Interbike (September 14-16 in Las Vegas) filming another section of our documentary. Depicting how women are represented in the industry is an important facet of our mission. We’ll also be participating in the Chrome/Momentum Fashion Show!

This will also be one of our main times to do our wholesaling to shops outside Chicago. Since everyone is already in Vegas, it’s a great time to get the word out and get some orders in. Oh, and we’ll have stickers. Possibly spoke cards too…