Anna Bongiovanni is a local cartoonist and avid Babes supporter who, based on written interviews and thanks to the generous sponsorship of Perennial Cycles, has created a collection of fabulous portraits of local Babe powerhouses in the Minneapolis area. We will be featuring one or two new portraits per week until race day, so keep coming back to see which local Babe will be featured next. To learn more about Anna and their creative ventures, visit their website and say hi!
Our first featured Babe is Kat McCarthy, our former fearless leader in all things Babes in Bikeland:
Have you raced in Babes In Bikeland before? If so, how many times? If not, do you plan to race this year? Why does Babes In Bikeland excite you?
I raced in the first four Babes events and organized it the past five years. Babes excites me because it is a celebration of the WTF bike community in Minneapolis. It’s about FUN! It’s about the OUTFITS and GLITTER! It’s about riding your bike all over the city and waving at every other WTF you see on the streets. It’s about pushing yourself: to go far and fast, to explore a new area, or to have a blast with your pals.
Describe your bike (or favorite bike)! What makes it special to you?
My favorite bike is my Surly Long Haul Trucker. As the name suggests, it can haul anything! I’ve delivered cases of Beez Kneez honey all over town, thanks to it’s massive gear range. I’ve carried my camping gear on a bike tour to Wisconsin, thanks to the front and rear racks. I’ve taken the dirt path instead of paved, thanks to its wide tires. It is not light or fast, but it can really go anywhere and do anything.
What was the BEST day of biking you’ve ever had?
Babes in Bikeland 1 in 2007, Babes in Bikeland 2 in 2008, Babes in Bikeland 3 in 2009, Babes in Bikeland 4 in 2010, Babes in Bikeland 5 in 2011, Babes in Bikeland 6 in 2012, Babes in Bikeland 7 in 2013, Babes in Bikeland 8 in 2014, Babes in Bikeland 9 in 2015
What does your typical commute look like? Do you consider yourself an avid biker? A novice? What about biking in Minneapolis is special to you?
I started commuting by bike when I moved to Minneapolis in 2006. Babes in Bikeland in 2007 was my first alleycat and was really the catalyst to take me from utilitarian commuter to realizing that there was a whole bike community in Minneapolis, and that bikes could become a great way to meet new people and see new things.
How does biking intersect with the rest of your identity or person? This could be age, ability, race, gender, sexuality, life passions, etc. Basically, how does biking contribute to you being you?
Riding bikes has been a core part of my identity for the past 10 years. Grease Rag and Babes in Bikeland have encouraged me to pair that with my feminism in a way that feels powerful.