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//Rebecca LaRue, co-founder of Gasoline And Us apparel shop, sits on her motorcycle in the garage of her Denver home on Apr. 11. Photo by Polina Saran | polinasarana@gmail.com

The COVID-19 pandemic has been an unexpected catalyst for workers around the world. As layoffs swept the globe en masse, some individuals took advantage of the opportunity to pursue their creative interests. For some, it was a chance for a change in careers or launching their own business. 

For one woman, Rebecca LaRue, losing her job presented a unique opportunity. An avid motorcycle rider, LaRue worked as an in-house designer for REI before the pandemic. After losing her job due to layoffs, LaRue decided the time was ripe to pursue an idea that had been fomenting in the back of her mind for a while—creating a motorcycle apparel brand for all genders, bodies and sizes. 

Launching Gasoline and Us in the spring of 2020 with her husband, Richard, LaRue applies her design skills to create sleek, vintage designs that invoke a rockabilly feel with a touch of refined modernity. LaRue is a self-proclaimed vintage enthusiast, pointing out her choice in riding a Triumph motorcycle. 

“I’ve always loved Triumphs just in terms of their classic look,” LaRue said. Combining retro designs with accessible, comfortable apparel gives the brand a distinguished, unique look that stands out from other motorcycle gear. 

“Gasoline and Us prioritizes inclusivity in all forms and it really shows in their brand,” said Elise Lopez, a local jewelry maker and motorcycle rider. These efforts help LaRue drive the ethos of Gasoline and Us home—that motorcycles are for everyone, regardless of gender, race or size.

Originally hailing from Wisconsin, LaRue and her husband called Seattle home until the pandemic hit. The pair decided to pack up and hit the road—which brought them to Denver. 

“It was, you know, pretty hard to pack up all the merch and it slowed our business down for a few weeks while we moved,” LaRue said, but operating a business that exists solely online made the move to Colorado much more feasible. Lopez expressed her excitement at having Gasoline and Us in Denver. 

“I’m so happy to have them local now, Rebecca and Richard are good people,” she said.

Check out our video by Polina Saran below. LaRue and Lopez discuss the challenges, as well as the joys, of being women who ride.