Anna Maria Wolf - Timbuk2 Future Shaper
Words & Video by Timbuk2
Cyclist, fashion consultant, women's activist, and progressive bike shop owner, Anna Maria Wolf, gets real with Timbuk2 on what matters most.
WHAT WERE YOU INTO AS A KID?
I played dress up and built forts and read everything I cold get my hands on. My creative and maker instincts sort of overwhelmed everything else, and I got super lucky and was admitted to a high school in Miami for fashion.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO CYCLING?
I quit smoking after 18 years. Getting active was a real challenge. I bought a bike and hoped I might enjoy it on weekends, just around my neighborhood in Brooklyn. I got hooked right away; the freedom and sheer joy I felt was exhilarating. Within a few weeks I was commuting to work and eight months later I sold that first bike, hired a coach, and set out to train for my first road race.
YOU HAVE SEVERAL JOBS. WHY MORE THAN ONE AND HOW DO THEY FIT TOGETHER?
My jobs each reward and challenge different parts of my personality. It’s humbling to keep learning and growing. But the simple answer is I do most of my studio fashion work during the week and work at my shop in the evenings and on weekends. It fits together pretty well, but I could use a day off now and then ;)
WHAT'S THE HARDEST PART OF WHAT YOU DO?
Accounting! Math was never my strong suit and I spend a lot of time with P∓L statements.
WHAT'S THE BEST PART OF WHAT YOU DO?
I am immensely proud that our two shops provide meaningful, steady employment for people who are passionate about seeing more people on bikes. I love supporting the NYC cycling community in anyway I can, from the roadies on full carbon, to our women’s track team (SpinPeaks), to mom’s on cargo bikes, to delivery folks who work hard on their bikes. It’s an honor to serve people who ride bikes. I hope Pretty Damned Fast continues to connect and inspire women all over the world.
WHAT MAKES IT MATTER?
It matters because bikes really do make the world a better place, and they make people happy. I hope I can give back to others a tiny fraction of the joy bikes have given me.
Because Brooklyn is beautiful and bikes are the most practical, fun way to get around this part of the city. And nothing beats the joy of cycling over one of the bridges to leave the chaos of Manhattan for the quieter streets of Brooklyn.
WHAT IS THE STATE OF WOMEN AND CYCLING?
Women* (Women/Trans/Femme and Non-Binary folks) are the fastest growing group within cycling. Sites like Pretty Damned Fast, social media, and progressive racing teams and athletes have changed the way brands view the market. Cities are recognizing how cycling improves everyone’s quality of life and are putting in more bike lanes, and shops like mine function as community centers for folks who’ve traditionally been underserved by the industry. It is an incredibly exciting time to be a part of this movement.
HOW AND WHERE DO YOU LIKE TO TRAVEL?
My husband and I travel frequently to visit my family in Mexico. There’s great mountain biking in Guanajuato where my family lives and we’ve had awesome adventures on folding bikes all over Yucatan (read all about it here).
WHAT FIRES YOU UP?
Community board meetings! The city is shutting down the main subway line (the L Train) that connects Brooklyn to lower Manhattan. My shop is a retail space and community center for people who already ride...and those who haven’t started cycling yet. We must use the platforms we have to lobby for safe, affordable, practical means of transportation in NYC.
WHAT CALMS YOU DOWN?
Mediation, going to the park with my husband and our two little dogs, and my bicycle commute home. I want my schedule to open up a little so I can do more endurance riding!
FASHION MATTERS TO YOU. WHAT DO YOU FEEL BEST WEARING?
We cannot overstate how powerfully liberating the current trend of activewear as streetwear is for women. With rare exceptions, women don’t take the stairs in heels, they don’t commute by bike in pencil skirts, they don't go for a jog in skinny jeans. I love that I can show up for work on a fashion set in clothes that give me a a full range of motion, incentivize physical activity, and fill my day with opportunities to move
WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO?
It’s The Smiths and Morrissey at the shop; we named the shop Sun And Air.