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Marissa Plamondon-Lu

Marissa Plamondon-Lu

You have to be really strong to make a place for yourself in the industry, especially when you’re a woman, but that’s never scared me. I biked all winter, every day, 365 days a year. Snow, rain, hail, ice, I don’t care!

Marissa Plamondon-Lu

Bikurious

I’ve always found that, in Québec, we’re so spoiled, there are wonderful bike paths. It’s not as bike-friendly as cities like Portland or Copenhagen, but we can’t complain. In Montréal, I can go anywhere by bike, in summer or winter. To say nothing of the beautiful trails in the surrounding area. Going to the plage d’Oka or on the P’tit train du Nord in summer, there’s nothing better. Especially when there’s beer or ice cream to be had, afterwards.

Bikurious, my bike shop, is not an ordinary place. We were located in the Village before moving to the Latin Quarter last year. They’re neighbourhoods that attract all kinds of customers: mothers with their kids, students, bike couriers who are a little weird, competitive athletes. All these people have one thing in common: they have a bike and they use it.

It’s changing, but the cycling world has always been dominated by men. With time, women are quietly making a place for themselves. I see it in my cyclo- cross competitions. A few years ago, there were two or three of us. Now there are three women’s categories, and dozens of women at the starting line. I think I can say that I’ve contributed, in my own way.

You have to be really strong to make a place for yourself in the industry, especially when you’re a woman, but that’s never scared me. I don’t let myself be easily intimidated. There are often clients who will be more demanding with me than if I were a man. This is still the case, even if I’m the boss, even if it’s my hands that are dirty and it’s been 10 years that I’ve been doing this.

I can’t change the sexism that exists, but I can choose how it will affect me. I’ve always gotten a boost of confidence when I say to myself: I have my mechanics’ training, I started my business, I’m successful in a male-dominated field, I create jobs, and I’m living my passion.

It can be hard or frustrating at times, but when you think of that, you say to yourself, “My work is crazy, but whatever!” We deal with all kinds of people, but we fix their bikes, it’s not like we need to fix them, you know!

Hand-picked by Marissa