Brad Quartuccio’s Frigid Bitch Film Portraits

The Frigid Bitch has become a rallying point for Pittsburgh’s womens+ riding and racing community. The annual alleycat party is more than just another rip around town with friends, it’s an unapologetic creation of space and agency in the scene. Today Brad Quartuccio presents his photo booth portraits of the many participants…

ICYMI: The Frigid Bitch X event was covered here on The Radavist just a couple of months ago by Jarrod Bunk.

Back in 2010, Pittsburgh Babes on Bikes came about as a fundraiser and since then the group has continued to ride their organizing and outreach momentum. In 2014, they created the Frigid Bitch mid-winter women and under-represented gender identity alleycat, and, in 2023, established a formal race team. The Frigid Bitch alleycat itself has grown to a community-wide spectacle, with 200+ entrants and dozens of friends and volunteers pitching in for course-wide party. Presented here is a selection of quotes and a portrait gallery of some of the 2024 participants.

Anna-Lena, Founder and Organizer

I started this race to slice the experience I wanted to have out of thin air. There’s always been a lot of DIY stuff going on in Pittsburgh and sometimes you can yank on an existing idea and tweak it to fit your own vision. I took alleycat racing and just threw my own personality on top of it, because I decided to keep doing cool shit, on my own terms, and was hoping it would draw in the people I wanted to race against and befriend. Cut to ten years later and there’s a huge crowd racing Frigid Bitch, so now I keep my fingers crossed that anyone who has an experience they want to see exist in this town, they’ll turn around and build that up, too.


It is inspiring to see how a devotion to her [Anna-Lena’s] brand of DIY punk racing for an underrepresented cycling community has become a legacy. I’ve watched the Frigid Bitch be born, evolve, and endure from across the country, so racing this one has been on my bucket list since its inception. I’m so grateful I had the privilege to experience this year’s iteration that delivered ice, snow, and frigid temperatures and I can’t wait to do it again.


[Frigid Bitch] is a dream come true: hundreds of femme cyclists go out on their bikes in the snowy, shitty weather on the hilly streets of Pittsburgh to play! Even if the Frigid Bitch is meant to get more femmes into racing, Frigid Bitch has created a space for femmes of all biking levels to get in on the fun—a lot of riders just party pace with friends. As someone who has been riding bikes for over 20 years, it wasn’t until I started racing Frigid Bitch that I found my bike community, where no one asked me to slow down.


[The Frigid Bitch represents] friendship and expanding on that through shared experience.


When I see all of the riders at the Frigid Bitch, I see a community of badass people that have this space thanks to Anna-Lena. I see folks thriving in community thanks to those who created a space for us where none existed before. This race is more than riding in the most extreme winter conditions and going fast—it’s a place for people to come as they are, try something new, see Pittsburgh’s grueling topography from a new perspective and know that they are fucking tough and strong for any amount of miles they ride.


The Frigid Bitch community is tremendous. It’s a delightfully passionate, slightly unhinged and definitely strong group of babes on bikes. The energy and positivity that the whole group exudes just fills my little heart with joy! As someone new to Pittsburgh, it has been a great way to build the right kind of community.


I didn’t know anyone when I moved to Pittsburgh a couple years ago. Through the Frigid Bitch training rides, I found not only a huge community of badass cyclists, but also inspiration, motivation and confidence. Inspiration to ride, push and carry my bike in the winter, no matter how slowly. Motivation to build the opportunities I wanted to see like CX 101 (ongoing women’s cyclocross development series). Confidence to try my legs crit racing at The Oval, but [I] still prefer the mud. The Babes on Bikes and Pittsburgh will always hold a special place in my cycling soul.


I grow so much confidence riding on the road because of these events. When my competitor mindset takes over the fear of being on the road subsides. Seeing other fellow riders cruising the streets together brings me so much joy. I love seeing how anyone can truly do this event. They can take it as seriously as they would like. Some charge hard for the podium, while others just party and have a great time.


I’ve been a bike commuter for 20 years, but five years ago the Frigid Bitch was the occasion that motivated me to get back on my bike after each of my kids was born. I had dabbled in racing, but it was the Frigid Bitch that became my reason to stay on my bike through each winter. Honestly, I didn’t even know anyone riding it for most of the years I rode it, but I loved the welcoming all-womxn’s atmosphere. And once the organized training rides began a few years ago, I found a community of strong and supportive women to push and challenge me riding. I’m so glad to be a part of it.


The Frigid Bitch proved to me that I could ride anywhere in my city, and it brought me an amazing community to do it with. The confidence and support it offered completely altered the way I approach biking and ultimately introduced me to racing!


Frigid Bitch 2024 was a restorative year. This year for me was to get back into biking. This was my third or fourth time riding my bike after my accident. This year was about enjoying the race and getting my feet wet again with cycling.

A note on those pictured: Much like when riding a bike on the sidewalk, as a cis-het white guy at this event both I and the photo booth were a guest, and I wasn’t actively soliciting portraits beyond those people I know well enough to respect boundaries and not to tokenize any person or group. Everyone pictured willingly came over and sat for a headshot, and the gallery does not reflect the full diversity of the ridership of the Frigid Bitch. If you remember getting your picture taken but don’t see your headshot, it is lost to the mysteries of old cameras and mail-away labs, or maybe you blinked.

Camera nerds of The Radavist: Everything was shot on a Mamiyaflex C2 TLR on Kodak Gold 200, cropped and processed in Lightroom. Nothing is sacred.