CRUSH, Austin’s only calendar featuring female cyclists, is the brainchild of Nicole Ortgea and her “better half,” Cody Seigmund.
The couple — who are a big part of Austin’s urban cycling culture — set out to not only document this town's ever-burgeoning cycling scene, but also to represent these female cyclists with the “utmost class and reality.”
This year’s calendar will be unveiled at Holy Mountain on Thursday, December 12, with doors opening at 9 pm. (The 21-and-up party rages until 2 am.) The event, which features live underground hip-hop performances by Austin's The Digital Wild and FONKDUPLEX featuring The Fly & Rooster, also has a free photo booth by Nicole herself (De Mis Ojos Photography). Make sure to bring at least $15 so you can grab the calendar that’ll inspire you to get on your bike and ride all year long.
Nicole spoke to CultureMap about how the project started and gave us a sneak peek at who made this year's cut.
CultureMap: This is the third year you've made a CRUSH calendar. Where did the idea come from?
Nicole Ortega: Being cyclists ourselves, we started this project to document the community. For me, it was really a no-brainer. Photography and bikes are my life.
"All the females featured in my calendars are truly cyclists and not just pretty girls on dope bikes." — Nicole Ortega
CM: Tell us about the name of the project: CRUSH.
NO: The calendar was coined with a double meaning, because these women ride the streets viciously and because you can’t take your eyes off of them.
CM: Who are some of the women featured in the calendar this year? How do you choose your subjects?
NO: All the females featured in my calendars are truly cyclists and not just pretty girls on dope bikes. This year, as well as past years, I have an amazing lineup. A few years back, Fast Folks Cyclery started the fastest and sexiest ride (aka “The Ladies Ride"), which is how I got connected with so many other active female cyclists.
All of the models I select have this in common: An undeniable passion for transportation on two wheels, ambition, a kind heart and an appealing exterior. I am so lucky to be constantly inspired by the ladies I ride the streets with. This year features Adrienne White, the founder of The Bikin’ Betties Ride, and Emili Furdon, who is a ride leader for the Thursday Night Social Ride. [Both women] are a huge part of Austin's social cycling scene.
Also, two of my best friends are models this year: Melissa Palmarez — who is expecting her first child in March! — and Emma Shields. Both of these gals are/were bike messengers and are no strangers to alley-cat races and gold sprint competitions, and they are always down for a long ride.
CM: You’ll be selling the calendar at a big party coming up, but how do people who can't attend get their hands on one?