This year was the inaugural EU Juliana Bicycles Get Together in the quaint, chalet clad mountain village of Morzine - the bike Mecca of the French Alps, which also happens to be where the first European Santa Cruz Bicycles showroom is located.
The idea was simple, to get together all the badass ambassadors who represent Juliana in Europe and the UK. There was no big agenda other than getting everyone together for a few days to shred some loamy French dirt, use the chairlifts to access and explore the vast Port de Soleil area, and of course fill our bellies with copious amounts of cheesy raclette goodness while sampling the red of the region - and having a hell of a laugh of course!
It always amazes me how quickly a bond can form after spending only a few days together with likeminded women riding bikes. That was the point of the get-together, we are all ambassadors of a brand that we feel extremely passionate and proud to represent. A very culturally diverse group of women, all specialising and focusing on slightly different projects and programs in different countries, but with the same outlook, passion and love for what we do. Strong French coffees were accompanied by deep discussions about the women’s bike industry and how we can each try to make a small difference in getting more women involved and drawn into the sport.
Due to it being an EU gathering, we have this very eclectic mix of different cultures, languages, sense of humour, so it’s a great way to not only get to know your cohort, but you leave a little more educated about everyone's cultures, countries, funny habits and/or expressions, it is a win-win for everyone. This, in turn, helps us to understand all the different projects going on in various countries and how every country receives things differently. What works in the US, most probably won’t work in Germany and will be received differently in France again, so it’s a great way to learn, adjust and get a feeling for how the different markets receive, perceive and understand a brand and what they’re trying to bring across.
To me, the bike is more of a tool to overcome obstacles in life, to empower women, to give them the confidence to deal with whatever may cross their path.
◦ a representative or promoter of a specified activity.
I often get asked, what exactly is an ambassador? Or what do you have to do to be an ambassador? It is usually described as a representative or promoter of a specified activity, but it isn’t just one specific thing that you have to do, it is a complex mix of all sorts of roles that you have to fulfill, and every one is slightly different as every person has their special traits, personalities, communities and projects that they’re involved with. When you combine all of these very different aspects, that is when you create this very interesting, diverse group of people called ambassadors, who all bring that special something to the brand. They’re usually go-getters, do-ers, movers & shakers, influencers and all-around activists in promoting bike related lifestyles and for the most part, these ambassadors have other full-time jobs.
Over the past few years, the Juliana Ambassador Program has evolved into a wonderfully unique group of women, all extremely talented bike riders, but more importantly incredibly passionate about mountain biking, including all types of cycling disciplines. Some of them race, or have raced, while others don’t, but they all have really impressive day jobs and yet still manage to juggle all sorts of crazy adventures, photo and video projects, coaching, clinics, guiding, mentoring, encouraging and heaps of other cycle related projects on top of their already jam packed lives. They don’t always make a fuss about all the really great things that they get up to, so this is what this get together was all about.
New friends were made, old friendships were rekindled. Short but sweet. We leave this beautiful mountain town filled with gratitude, enthusiasm, and excitement to be a part of this ever-evolving women’s mountain biking industry. The one universal thing between all the different cultures is that we all love to ride our bikes, and at the end of the day we all have the same goal, to get more women out on bicycles. Simple right?
“Be a girl with a mind, a woman with attitude, and a lady with class”.
Thank you Juliana Bicycles for your vision, trusting and supporting all of us with our big plans and wild ideas ;)