Sarah interviews… Isla Rowntree, on transforming cycling

Isla Rowntree is most well-known for starting IslaBikes, a company that transformed children’s bicycles, with all kinds of child-friendly innovations.  If you look up reviews, or ask online, they’re always the top recommendation and influencer, and right now there are kids everywhere loving cycling because of Rowntree’s work.

But she’s also helped transform women’s cycling before that, being a key figure in the fight to let women race cyclocross.  When Rowntree started, the GB National Championships were only for men, as were the World Cups and World Championships – and she was a major part of the fight to change that.

And she doesn’t stop taking risks and fighting for change.  Rowntree is currently working on the Imagine Project, to make children’s bikes sustainable, in a future where resources will become scarcer – through recycling, but also exciting new models of renting rather than buying bikes.  It’s a fascinating project – and as she says, a risky one personally and for her company.

We talk about all that, the challenges of effecting change – and you can listen to our conversation, or read the transcript below.

We didn’t get into the questions specifically about children’s bikes, because there are a lot of interviews with Rowntree about that out there.  A selection of interviews and articles:

And more about the Imagine ProjectBBC news item on the Circular Economy and on the project, and interviews on the Guardian and Cyclesprog – and watch the video:

Find out more about Islabikes on their website, twitter, facebook, instagram and YouTube – including their great articles on teaching a child to ride, cycling to school, and lots of ideas and tips including riding as a family, starting kids racing and more. And you can follow Isla Rowntree on her twitter too.

If you want your child to test-ride a bike, there are events all over the UK – including the Islabikes pop-up shop in Battersea, on 7-9th April 2017.

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ProWomensCycling:  Can you start by telling us a little bit about how you got into cycling?

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Podcast 2017 Episode 9 – Spare a Moment To Do Some Good

This week we catch up on all the attacks (so many attacks!) from Trofeo Moreno and Trofeo Binda last weekend. You know racing is intense when top riders are gunning it on the front just to settle down the sheer number of attacks! The Dwars Door Vlaanderen started while we were recording, so we give that a moment’s consideration and also take a look ahead at Gent-Wevelgem on this weekend. There’s a heap of cool media and some epic races including the ABSA Cape Epic and the Indian-Pacific Wheel Race; and of course heaps more! (1:21:45 MIN / 74.85 MB)

You can sign up for automated and free downloads via the iTunes store here or via our RSS feed here.

This week’s women’s cycling news and links round-up

It’s Mothers’ Day this weekend in the UK, so if there’s a cycling-loving mum in your life, check out the Shopping section of the site for things we’ve seen and liked – how about a 2017 WorldTour team kit, or presents that help pro women cyclists, or everyday women’s cycling? Yes, I know, you might not have ordered in time, but you can always order something and give her a card saying something’s on the way!

This week’s racing

Videos and media from the 2017 Trofeo Alfredo Binda and Trofeo da Moreno.

With her great results in Binda and elsewhere, Elisa Longo Borghini moved to No. 1 in the UCI rankings. Read how she got there, on the Wiggle High5 website.

The Absa Cape Epic

There is a LOT of great media on the race website, and tons more videos on the race YouTube – and all the results can be found here.

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Sarah interviews… Catherine Marsal, on her amazing career in cycling

Catherine Marsal is a legend of women’s cycling and French cycling in general. Racing her first Olympic Games at 17, becoming the first ever Junior Road World Champion, and then the first woman to ever be Junior and Elite Road World Champion; winning World Championships golds as a Junior on the track in the Individual Pursuit and in the Team Time Trial; winning the Giro d’Italia, and another of the (now lost) Grand Tours, the Tour de l’Aude twice; and becoming the World Hour Record champion… and much more.

After she finished racing, she was a Directeur Sportif for Team SATS, and then after a break from cycling to do a degree and work in business, three years ago she took the job of women’s coach/manager for the Danish National Team – which has, of course, included being team coach when Amalie Dideriksen became the 2016 Road World Champion.

We talked about her amazing life in cycling, the ups and downs, racing with/against Jeannie Longo, and of course, the incredible results of the Danish women, and a lot more.  Marsal is fantastic to talk to, and was super-patient despite technical issues in the call, and if you’re at all interested in how cycling’s change since the 1990s, the experience of young riders who become World Champions, or Danish cycling, please do listen!

Update!  If you prefer to read interviews, I’ve written up part of it, over here.

You can follow Marsal on her twitter, and on facebook.

If you want to see the videos of some of the races we talked about, links to the 2016 Road World Championships, the 2017 Ronde van Drenthe, and Marsal breaking that Hour Record:

Podcasting on podcasting – the meta interview with Lindsay Bayer and Abby Mickey

I have always been a fan of how women bike riders have made their own media, so I was really excited when two American riders started their separate, and very different podcasts.  Abby Mickey, who rides for Colavita-Bianchi, has been interviewing riders she’s raced alongside, and with; while Lindsay Bayer, who’s the co-owner, manager and rider for Hagens Berman-Supermint, is talking to people involved in women’s cycling in different ways, and a different setting (mostly involving alcohol).

I wanted to know more about them both – so I invited them on for probably my most meta podcast ever – podcasting about podcasting!  We talk about a lot more too – why Bayer started her own team, how both of them have almost always ridden for female-run teams, how to spot Mickey’s mother at races, and much more.  Have a listen – it’s only half an hour long!

 

 

You can find Lindsay Bayer on her website, the Dirtfield, and on her twitter, facebook and instagram, and her podcast, Dirtfield Recordings, is part of the Wide-Angle Podium network, and also on iTunes and the podcast twitter.  She also writes a regular column at Peloton Magazine.  The team she co-owns, Hagens Berman Supermint, has a website, twitter, facebook and instagram.

Abby Mickey‘s podcast, Wheel Talk, is on her website, on the Wheel Talk podcast page and iTunes, and also on the Wheel Talk twitter, and you can follow her personal social media, too: twitter and instagram.  Mickey rides for, Colavita-Bianchi, which you can follow via their website, twitter and instagram too.

Big thanks to my Patreon supporters, who generously fund me to do this kind of work.

Podcast 2017 Episode 7 – It Will Be a Dutch Alp

 

This week we celebrate our vindication for having such lofty expectations of Strade Bianche. It was such an exciting and gripping race with one of the most exciting finales we’ve seen in recent years. Once we’re done recapping that (it takes a while)we take a look ahead at the Ronde van Drenthe, and then we get into an interesting and maybe controversial proposal for a new race series. (1:36:58 MIN / 88.79 MB)

You can also sign up for free automated downloads via our RSS feed here or via the iTunes store here.

Check back in a few hours, Sarah will have all the links updated for you shortly!

Things we talked about this week included

This week’s racing

Videos from Strade Bianche to come

The 2017 Paracycling Track World Championships

Photos from the UCI’s facebook – Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 and Day 4

Podcast 2017 Episode 6 – Always Park For a Getaway

cropped-podcast-logo.jpgThis week we catch up on the opening races of the classics season. The Omloops (het Nieuwsblad and van het Hageland aka Tielt-Winge), and Le Samyn des Dames. It’s been a great opening to European racing with diverse pelotons and results! There’s a lot to unpack and enjoy, there’s also track racing to catch up on and some other news from around the traps. Remember to park for a clean getaway and then settle in for a hell of a listen. (1:32:02 MIN / 84.26 MB)

 

You can also get free automated updates via our RSS feed here or via the iTunes store here.

Things we talked about this week included

This week’s racing

Videos and media from the Omloop het Nieuwsblad and the Omloop van het Hageland

Le Samyn des Dames

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Podcast 2017 Episode 5 – The Weather Looks Horrendous

cropped-podcast-logo.jpgThis week we preview the first of the Spring Classics! Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Tielt-Winge are on this weekend (the weather looks horrendous!!!!! Yay!). We review the Cali Track World Cup and the results from the last cyclocross race of the season in Leuven. There’s some tougher news that we need to talk about, but it’s positive in the sense that good journos like Laura Weislo are doing some great work in following up on these stories. Most importantly it’s time for round two of our kit vote, so make sure to get in and vote for your favourites! (1:36:14 MIN / 88.11 MB)

NOTE: We do apologise for some background noise on this week’s recording – there were builders working next door to Sarah….

You can also sign up for free automated downloads here or via our RSS feed here.

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Things we talked about included

Don’t forget to vote in Part 2 of Sarah’s 2017 women’s cycling Best Kit voteTibco-SVB won Part 1, the vote for the WorldTour teams (the top 20 UCI teams who get automatic invitations to the 2017 Women’s WorldTour stage races) – this is a selection of smaller teams, all of whom have been nominated by readers/twitterati, and there are some great designs in there.

This week’s racing

UCI Highlights and full broadcast from the Round 3 of the 2016/7 Track World Cup, in Cali, Colombia.

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