Bruce Hotaling was first introduced to Kristin Gavin while on a cycling trip in Tuscany. By coincidence, a former colleague of hers was on the trip, and mentioned that Kristin had started an organization in Philadelphia called Gearing Up. Once home, Bruce met with Kristin and was taken with her energy, her good intention, her passion for cycling and the fantastic potential of Gearing Up.
Gearing Up shares Hotaling Investment Management’s mission of caring for women in transition. “Wealth for Women” is a core focus of Hotaling Investment Management, and the same brand applies to Gearing Up, which is focused on creating other forms of wealth (physical, community, emotional).
The organization has remained one of Bruce’s passion projects because of the nature of its work and the incredible impact it has made to further positive changes in the lives of women in transition from dramatic and tenuous situations. He supports Gearing Up through working with the board, fundraising and creating community connections to expand Gearing Up’s presence and capabilities.
Based in Philadelphia, Gearing Up provides women in transition from abuse, addiction, and/or incarceration with the skills, equipment, and guidance to safely ride a bicycle for exercise, transportation, and personal growth. While in transition, bicycling offers a mode of transportation, opportunities for social connectedness and employment, as well as countless psychological and physical health benefits.
A primary goal of Gearing Up is to provide women with regular coaching, mentoring, and support to make healthy lifestyle changes, promote personal growth, and use biking for transportation. The voluntary program works with four partner programs in Philadelphia: Interim House, CHANCES, Kirkbride Center and Gaudenzia Washington House. Women track miles to meet milestones and achieve confident independence. Those who achieve goals and complete the program are awarded with a bicycle of their own, riding away with the life skills necessary to promote cycling as a means of transportation and self-sufficiency.
Gearing Up also works with women incarcerated in Philadelphia County Women’s Prison, Riverside Correctional Facility. Upon completion of the 8-week indoor program, the participants are invited to continue with Gearing Up for the duration of their incarceration as well as join Gearing Up’s outdoor biking program after release.