Call us biased, but when it comes to innovators and icons of women’s cycling, we place our founder, Georgena Terry at the top. Not only was she the first to the women’s cycling market when she started Terry Bicycles (circa 1984), over the course of three decades she revolutionized the saddle industry with patented designs for both women and men, launched a pro women’s cycling development team, was named one of four female cycling pioneers by Bicycling magazine, had a documentary filmed about her, started the Wild Goose Chase and got a law degree a few years ago to fuel her efforts in environmental issues. Although she retired from terrybicycles.com several years ago, Georgena has a robust custom bike building business and is still innovating daily on a customer-by-customer basis. We caught up with her recently…
Q: How is life in the world of custom bikes?
GT: Incredibly busy and always challenging since every bicycle is as unique as its rider. I never cease to learn something new with every bike I build. Collaborating on the frame design with Waterford, not to mention working with wonderful customers, bike shops, and fitters is very special.
Q: Most fun project you’ve worked on recently?
GT: They’re all fun, but the standouts are two bikes I built for customers who plan to ride the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route from Canada to Mexico. The bikes have Rohloff drivetrains, generator hubs, and a Gates belt drive. The learning curve was incredibly steep!
Q: You were early to the gravel/touring bike party. What do you think of the explosion in that arena?
GT: It’s great because it attracts new riders to bicycling. These days, there seems to be more and more aversion to riding on the road. Thankfully, bikes have become so much more versatile they can take riders to new venues where the ride feels safer and is certainly visually exciting.
Q: There are some companies out there claiming they’re the first cycling brands dedicate to women. As the true first, and founder of Terry, how do you personally feel about the state of the industry & women’s offerings in 2023?
GT: I find it humorous and rather perplexing that for 35+ years the industry has been debating the validity of “women specific designs.” I’m certainly not arguing that only a WSD will properly fit a woman. It’s fine for some, but not for others. As an industry, we should stop debating this and concentrate on what’s best for our customers. The goal is to get more riders on bikes that fit properly, regardless of how the bike is classified.
Q: Do you still follow pro racing?
GT: You bet — especially the burgeoning women’s side of racing which is exciting and thrilling to watch.
Q: Greatest bike racer of all time?
GT: Greatest can mean so many things — to me, it means the most inspiring. And not just one racer, many — Annemiek van Vleuten, Marianne Vos, Mark Cavendish, Eileen Sheridan, Beryl Burton, Sean Kelly, Chris Froome, Greg LeMond.
Q: Favorite podcasts?
GT: My favorites:
Cyclocross Social Podcast
The Cycling Podcast
Matt Stephens Unplugged
Geraint Thomas Cycling Club
Q: You started the Wild Goose Chase benefit weekend at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. What’s the latest there?
GT: We’re about to open registration for the 2023 Goose which will be held October 7 – 8. Covid was hard on the Goose, so 2023 will be our chance to blossom again. A lot will be going on — bicycling in and around the Refuge, of course, but also a guided bike tour of Harriet Tubman’s haunts in the area, yoga classes, bike maintenance workshops, exhibitors, guided nature rides in the Refuge, and a spaghetti dinner followed by a showing of the new documentary, “Uphill Climb,” about the 1984 Tour de France Féminin. Registration is here: https://www.bikereg.com/wildgoose.
For more about Georgena:
Watch this award-winning short film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oElAA0zp3A0
Visit her website: https://georgenaterry.com/
Follow her on Instagram: @georgenaterry
Maureen Sevigny says
I bought my Terry Precision bike in 1987, rode it from Seattle to New Jersey in 1988, from Los Angeles to Maryland in 1989, from Jackson, WY to Jasper, Alberta in 1990, and from Oregon to New Hampshire in 1996. I have had many other wonderful adventures with this bike — and I still ride it today as my everyday commuting and recreational bike. It has had several major upgrades over the years, including adding a triple chainring, switching from a freewheel to a cassette and switching from down-tube to brake shifters. I still love this bike and can’t thank Georgena enough for having the foresight to design and build it!
Paula Dyba says
That’s wonderful to hear, Maureen. You have a true beauty of a bike and a piece of history. Here’s to many more miles on your Precision.