|Follow The Women are proud to announce that they have gained the support of Specialized, the leading manufacturer of top quality bikes and accessories. So how did this happen?
Mio Yamasaki joined the FTW bike ride in 2008 as the sole Japanese participant. At that time she was sponsored by Specialized and her shiny bike was the envy of all the riders and volunteers. This spurred on questions as to how a link with Specialized could be formed in other countries. So when Mio returned to Japan enthused from her experience, she spoke to Mr Babba, President of the Japan Branch, about Follow The Women and he then contacted the head of Specialized UK to pass on the message. This lead to a meeting between Anne Immelmann, Communications Executive for Specialized UK, Detta Regan, Founder of FTW and Philippa Ochonski, Marketing & communications Director for FTW.
A few months later Detta, Philippa and Becky (the other member of the family), were planning a trip to visit the FTW Californian team in Santa Cruz and decided it would be a great idea to visit the Specialized HQ whilst they were there. The dream was actually to meet Mike Sinyard, the Founder of Specialized, and this was the task set for the Californian team. Not knowing where to begin, the Californian team still embraced the challenge and LillyAnn Popken trundled off to her local bike shop, ABS in Santa Cruz. The owner of the shop, Chris Wagner-Jauregg, also took up the challenge and spoke to his Specialized rep. The next we knew a meeting was organized and Detta, Philippa and Becky were to meet Rachael Lambert, Women’s Initiatives Marketing Manager and the man himself, Mike Sinyard.
The meeting took place and both Rachael and Mike were inspired by what FTW has achieved to date and were very excited about the opportunity to become more involved. So watch this space there could be national bikes rides coming soon and that after that who knows. Watch this space!