Thought You Knew (TyK) founder and producer Alexis Finch explains the 2008 origins of her grassroots movement as a “knee-jerk reaction to the lack of strong women as cycling role models in Chicago.”

“I was tired of leaving my sexuality at the door in order to get taken seriously in bike shops,” she tells me. “I was frustrated at seeing so many women sitting on the sidelines at bike events.”

Now in its fourth year of production, the Thought You Knew Bicycle Chick Pinup Calendar is the brainchild of Finch and photographer Kimberly Capriotti and is a means to both showcase “strong women with bicycles” and “encourage more women to ride.” Finch described the calendar as “each woman with her own bike, owning her sexuality like only a pinup can.”

“We launched the first TyK calendar in 2009 during the Bike Winter Art Show, and despite it being February, they sold like hotcakes.”

This year’s calendar is looking for one final push on Kickstarter to reach its goal of $5,000 by the October 1 deadline. Donations are teetering around $4,400 at the moment. TyK is accepting donations at all levels, but a minimum donation of $20 gets you a copy of the calendar, with shipping included. Check out the promo video for the 2012 calendar after the jump: