Marley Blonsky used to spend hours each week commuting to work by bus and, intrigued by the people she saw navigating the streets of Seattle on two wheels, she got a bike of her own and started pedaling. But Blonsky’s initial excitement was tempered by the limitations of her gear. “That was the first experience that started to open my eyes to some of the challenges of riding a bike as a bigger person,” says Blonsky, who is 36. “I was breaking spokes all the time, and I broke a couple of other components, so I became acutely aware that I was too heavy for this bicycle.”
Eventually, with help from a bike mechanic, Blonksky got onto a bike that worked for her (a steel bike without a weight limit), however, the hurdles didn’t stop there. As her love of cycling grew, Blonsky began taking longer and longer rides and tried bike camping and gravel biking. Still, she couldn’t find a rain jacket, a cycling jersey, or bike shorts because retailers simply didn’t make them in her size of 18-20 for bottoms and XXL for tops.
Blonsky started posting online about what it was like to ride a bike as a person in a large body. One day in 2018, while scrolling Instagram, she came across a post from 29-year-old Kailey Kornhauser, who had also been writing about her experiences and was in the midst of a 1,000-mile ride across Alaska. Ahead of that trip, she, too, struggled to find a rain jacket that fit. The two exchanged messages and became fast friends.
That friendship has since blossomed into All Bodies on Bikes, a movement that aims to get more people on bicycles, make cycling more size-inclusive, and eliminate anti-fat bias in society as a whole. Through All Bodies on Bikes and individually (they work with brands as consultants and influencers/ambassadors), Blonsky and Kornhauser are changing the narrative around what it means to be a cyclist in an industry that has historically catered to people with smaller bodies. “The cycling industry is very, ‘You have to be skinny and dress a certain way and want to ride for the fastest time or the most epic trip ever,’ and our whole thing is, if you want to ride your bike, in any way you want that’s safe and feels good to you, then you’re a cyclist,” says Blonsky.