Page 10 - Allison's Magazine Issue #97
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transportation—can be something               important component in sustaining
                                                                                   really special.”                              the biking culture in New Orleans and
                                                                                                                                 making people feel comfortable. “It’s
                                                                                   Tockman wanted Dashing to be a truly          really a space that, no matter who you
                                                                                   distinctive boutique bike shop that           are, you can come and feel appreciated,”
                                                                                   could serve the community’s needs, as         says Tockman. “To me, that’s a big
                                                                                   well as be a gathering place of education,    success. It’s been really fun to see the
                                                                                   advocacy, and togetherness. To service        way that New Orleans has embraced a
                                                                                   the community more effectively,               new store like this, and at a time when,
                                                                                   Dashing moved to its current home on          post-Katrina, anything was possible but
                                                                                   North Broad Street, a central meeting         nothing seemed to be going right.”
                                                                                   point for many of New Orleans’s
                                                                                   neighborhoods.                                In addition to empowering the
                                                                                                                                 community, Dashing has a mission to
                                                                                   It was one of the first small businesses      empower women cyclists in particular—
                                                                                   to reopen on North Broad after the            those who may not have a place to feel
                                                                                   destruction of Hurricane Katrina,             comfortable, safe, and appreciated—
                                                                                   which has given Tockman a sense               especially in an industry dominated
                                                                                   of responsibility to the community            by men. The shop offers free monthly
                                               the laid-back lifestyle of the southern   members who rely on her.                workshops on basic bike maintenance
                                               city. The outdoor living, sense of                                                and safety, as well as group rides for
                                               community, and diversity among the   This central location allows Dashing to      women cyclists of all skill levels.
                                               neighborhoods proved to be the exact   service customers from all walks of life.
                                               type of environment she was looking to   Tockman explains that, on any given      Since Tockman opened Dashing six
                                               call home, and she made a permanent   day, the store will likely welcome tourists   years ago, she says that she has seen
                                               move in 2010.                       just visiting the city, older residents who   great success in bringing women
                                                                                   live nearby, and folks on their way to        cyclists together through the shop, but
                                               She continued advocating for better   and from work—it caters to people of all    it hasn’t necessarily been easy. “When
                                               bike safety in New Orleans while    backgrounds with a variety of needs.          more women are out riding and being
                                               juggling her film career. However, in                                             visible, it makes the streets seem more
                                               2013 she decided to switch gears to a   EMPOWERING, AFFORDABLE, FUN               approachable and makes more women
                                               full-time career in the cycling industry.   One of the most important aspects of   feel empowered to do it,” she says.
                                               Tockman opened Dashing—a pop-       the business for Tockman is keeping           “But sometimes you feel like you’re
                                               up neighborhood cycle shop—that     Dashing’s services affordable. The            ahead of the curve, and sometimes
                                               same year to serve what she describes   shop handles everything from small        finding supportive women is the biggest
                                               as a gap in the market for everyday   repairs and adjustments, which often        challenge. I see biking as a safe activity
                                               cyclists. “I wanted to expose people   run between five and ten dollars, to       and a health benefit, so my biggest
                                               to the self-appreciation that can come   tire changes and custom installations    goal is just to try and share those   witnessing the growth of cycling and   the fabric of why biking is so great. You
                                               when you choose to bike,” she says.   of rims, spokes, and hubs—the most          concepts with people and help them   how that fits into the collective interests   can walk into an inviting store that’s
                                               “The gratification you get from using   expensive service, which costs about      feel more confident.”               of residents has been particularly   got your back and welcomes you. To
                                               your own body—what’s called active   seventy dollars. It also carries a large                                         exciting for her and the business.   our customers, it’s about being a part of
                                                                                   selection of reasonably priced bikes and      Tockman notes that seeing the biking                                    this lively culture and being seen—and
                                                                                   accessories from top brands like Bianchi,     community in the city come together   “I don’t think owning your own business   they’re doing it on the seat of a bicycle.
                                                                                   PUBLIC, and All-City Cycles.                  and expand over the last few years has   is for everyone,” she says. “You put your   It’s a great time to live in New Orleans.”
                                                                                                                                 been a beautiful thing to watch. The   neck on the line and set yourself up for   For more info visit
                                                                                   Helping the city’s cyclists keep their        culture in New Orleans is already so   multiple challenges. But I think that
                                                                                   bikes in order for a modest rate is an        lively and community-oriented, so   Dashing is really becoming a part of

           8 | AMERICAN LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE                                                                                                                                                                      | 9
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