Presents for women’s cycling fans 2016: Part 3 – things that help everyday women’s cycling

An annual tradition I’ve got is to pull together ideas of presents for Christmas/Hanukkah/Solstice/holiday/birthdays etc for women’s cycling fans, and women who love bikes – but part 3 is especially aimed at everyone.

Part 1 of the 2016 guide was a book list, Part 2 was things we can buy or do to support professional women cyclists and teams, and now Part 3 is about things we can do to support organisations that are working to help increase “everyday cycling” for women.

It includes some gorgeous things that just happen to have proceeds going to good works – and ways to help women in developing countries, as well as the UK, USA, Canada and Australia.  I’ve included ways to donate to all of these, either in your own name, or as a gift on behalf of someone else.

I love all these organisations, and it’s really helping my 2016 blues to think about the great work that’s going on.  Like always, if you think of organisations I’ve forgotten, please do let me a comment, or tweet me, and I’ll edit it in – I’m especially interested in organisations working in non-English-speaking countries.

Things we can buy to support everyday cycling

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Black Girls Do Bike

Black Girls Do Bike is a fantastic USA organisation, set up with a pretty self-explanatory purpose:

“…growing and supporting a community of women of color who share a passion for cycling. We champion efforts to introduce the joy of cycling to all women, but especially, black women and girls.”

They run rides, meet-ups, skill-sharing sessions and more, and do a great job sharing positive imagery that proves that despite what the average portrayal of everyday cycling in the media, black girls do bike.

There’s lots more information on their website, including how to join in, and how women can start their own chapters, and some interviews with founder Monica Garrison on Bicycling.com and on Bike Radar – and we can all support them by donating directly to them, or through their online shop.

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Presents for women’s cycling fans 2016 – Part 2: things made by professional cyclists

I always laugh at myself for my inability to write snappy, SEO-able titles, but I’m proud that I’ve managed to edit this down from “Christmas/Kwanzaa/Hanukkah/Solstice/Any-other-celebration/secular/birthday/payday gifts for women’s cycling fans, women who love bikes, and cycling fans in general I guess, that are made by, or with, or help support professional women riders”.  I’m ridiculous!

But it’s a category I always really enjoy, because there are always interesting things to see, and of course I really love things that support the riders.  You can find the 2014 edition here, and last year’s.  Have a look at all of them, because a lot of those things are still for sale.

Let’s start with things that support professional women’s cycling teams.  I pulled together posts of how to buy 2016 team kit and other goodies earlier in the year, and these always make good gifts – you can find the post full of 2016 WorldTour team shops, and USA domestic squads as well.

And another one, from a great UK domestic team, who I really like:

As always, if there’s anything I’ve missed, please do leave a message in the comments, or tweet me, and I’ll edit it in.  And I don’t get any financial benefit from sharing these links – I just enjoy it, and hope you will too.

So in no particular order…

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Presents for women’s cycling fans 2016 – this year’s books (and a giveaway)

It’s become a tradition that I pull together posts full of present ideas for women’s cycling fans and cycling fans/cyclists who are women, for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Solstice etc etc, or birthdays, or just because you want to treat someone (yourself).  And it’s also a tradition that I start with books published in 2016, either by women, or about women and cycling, because I do love a good cycling book.

If you want to see the previous posts, the 2014 booklist was the first, and included everything from autobiography to poetry, chicklit to history, science fiction to economics, and even books about men’s races!  Last year’s booklist had cycling and women’s health, more autobiography, photography and art, and more.

This year’s collection includes autobiographies, of course, but also a Young Adult novel, photography, economics, colouring books, fiction, city planning, global warming, a cookbook and some general bikey books.  It’s amazing how many things I found just from this year, and I always love the variety – and while this year’s theme was definitely ultra-endurance, and colouring, there are books about track, road, cyclocross and “everyday” cycling, including cycling for amputees – even a love story set at my favourite race, the Aviva Women’s Tour!  If you can find more that have been published in 2016, especially books in languages other than English, please do let me know in the comments, or on twitter, and I’ll edit them in.

As always, I don’t get any financial benefit from sharing these books, BUT if you buy though my Amazon Associates, I get a little cut of Amazon’s costs (don’t worry, this doesn’t affect the writers’ royalties, it just helps me).

Like last year, I’m going to start with a giveaway, courtesy of Microcosm Publishing.  They sent me a copy of Pedal, Stretch, Breathe: The Yoga of Bicycling, by Kelli Refer, which was published in 2013, and if you’d like this book leave me a message below or tweet me at @_pigeons_, telling me you want it, and I’ll pull a name out of a hat for whoever gets the free copy on Friday 25th November.  There’s another giveaway later in the post, too….

If you don’t win it, it can also be bought directly from Microcosm, and if you browse around the bike section of their catalogue, you’ll find all sorts of other books about bikes by other authors, as well as a whole section of bike zines.  So what else have Microcosm published this year?  All their books can be bought from their site in paperbacks, e-books and more – click through the title link for that, author interviews, little videos about the books and more.

screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-18-47-45The Velocipede Races by Emily June Street (Microcosm Publishing, ISBN 978-1-62106-058-1)

I am always delighted by the different genres Microcosm link bikes to – so a Young Adult Feminist Steampunk novel was always going to make me smile.   Here’s how they describe it:

“Emmeline Escot knows that she was born to ride in Seren’s cutthroat velocipede races. The only problem: She’s female in a world where women lead tightly laced lives. Emmeline watches her twin brother gain success as a professional racing jockey while her own life grows increasingly narrow. Ever more stifled by rules, corsets, and her upcoming marriage of convenience to a brusque stranger, Emmy rebels—with stunning consequences. Can her dream to race survive scandal, scrutiny, and heartbreak?”

Order from my Amazon Associates linkUpdate!  Feargal McKay’s review on Podium Café.

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Shirt week! Summer shopping, Part 2: 2016 USA domestic team kits

We’ve just finished a wonderful mini-season of North American UCI bike races – including the Amgen Tour of California, USA National Championships and Winston Salem races, GP Gatineau racs in Quebec, and the fantastic Philadelphia Classic (click through those links for videos) – and one of the great things about the series is the domestic teams and riders getting international exposure.  If you’ve loved watching the women’s teams race, and want to support them – or just like their style – here’s how you can buy their cycling kit.

These are the USA team kits I can find – with the American WorldTour teams in Part 1 of my summer shopping special.  If there are any I’ve missed, please do link me up in the comments, or on twitter, and I’ll edit them in.

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Screen Shot 2016-06-07 at 20.33.01Colavita-Bianchi

The team kit’s in that Bianchi Celeste, and you can buy the jersey and bibshorts in unisex cuts (they advise women buy a size down, as they’re sized for men) along with arm-warmers, baseball cap and cycling cap.  These are all on the cycling store page of Colavita’s online shop, where you can buy all kinds of Italian food, coffee and gift ideas.  They’ve been a sponsor of USA women’s racing for years, so why not buy something from them, and tell them it’s because of the links to the team!  And for an extra link to the squad, the team website includes pages of recipes from the team, riders and their friends.

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Shirt week! Summer shopping, Part 1: The 2016 WorldTour team kits

I’m very excited about the Aviva Women’s Tour, starting in a fortnight, because it’s still SO amazing to me that the best riders in the world get to race on British soil.  But it also reminds me of all the great fan interaction I’ve seen at the previous two races, and especially seeing kids and adult fans in team kit having great interactions with the riders and teams from those kits – especially the teen girl who ended up riding with Marianne Vos, after Vos saw her in the Wiggle Honda kit!

So, in case you’ve always wondered where you can get women’s cycling pro team kit, here’s Part 1, kits from the teams that get automatic invites to the Women’s WorldTour day races – I’ll be back with UK teams and USA teams soon.  And if a team’s not here, it’s because I can’t find their jersey for sale, so if you see it somewhere, please do let me know, so I can edit it in…  And if you want to see more of the team kits, I’ve got links in the 2016 WorldTour kit vote post.

Before we start with the teams, though, the Aviva Women’s Tour has a shop, where you can buy the race yellow jersey and Queen of the Mountains jersey, and all kinds of racewear from hoodies in black and blue to T-shirts. Wear your heart on your sleeve!

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Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 21.25.34Alé Cipollini

Alé is a cycling clothing brand, and the team kit is a version of the Bubbles design, which is available without team branding for women and men – not in short sleeve right now, but it’s for sale in the women’s winter jersey and jacket, and men’s winter jersey and jacket.  You can also buy the 2014 team kit in women’s sizes.

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Women and cycling – 2016 marketing I love

I’m always interested in how women are portrayed in cycling media, and I talk about the bad, of course, but also the good – and I was already collecting examples of great advertising, when this popped up in my twitter-stream:

This is such an amazing move!  For years, the ‘Assos Girls’ – topless models wearing bibshorts and caressing their boobs, jerseys allegedly advertised to women with a woman on her knees in stilettos and spray-on PVC leggings (check out the 2nd photo here, and read the post, it’s hilarious!) have been an embarrassment to cycling for years.  My post about the Assos Girl, and cycling companies who market well to women has had one of the biggest number of hits since I posted it in 2013 (despite all the pictures having disappeared because they’re all gone from the sites now).  So of course I immediately clicked through to the Ella Cycling Tips article to see what’s going on – and I loved the quotes from the new Assos CEO Phil Duff, including:

“Yes, I am quite painfully aware of how Assos has portrayed women in the past,” said Duff, who had been an Assos customer himself since its founding days.  “Not only do I know that from the market place, but in my first few weeks of getting involved with the Assos, I’d come home every night and my wife would say, ‘when the hell are you getting the naked women off their website?’”

and

“There are some things that are changing, particularly with respect to the customer-facing side of this company, one of which is that everyone here is now fully on board that we are now going to portray women the same way we portray men –as athletes,”

So hooray, Assos is now off my personal blacklist!  Their site is completely down, in development, but you can sign up to get notified when they’re back.

And one other good thing to celebrate?  It’s clear from Duff’s comments, and the comments from USA Cycling about their relationship with the company, that public opinion played a big part in this too – so when we see terrible advertising (‘I hate Jeffsy‘, #Sockgate, Six Six One’s kneepad imagery, the Maxxis calendar, to name some recent examples), talking, writing and tweeting about it may not have an immediate effect, but it does help effect change – isn’t that great to know?

So, onwards to more good that I’ve seen so far this year.  I’ve talked about these in podcasts and elsewhere on the site, but they’re so good, they deserve to be celebrated.  As always, if you’ve got 2016 examples of cycling marketing featuring women, please do share with me, in the comments, on twitter or on tumblr, and I’ll put up a second post.  And as usual, I get no benefits, incentives or rewards for talking about these – it’s just things I personally like.

Liv Cycling’s #ActuallyICan

The most recent advert I loved was from Liv Cycling, part of their #ActuallyICan campaign.  In my defense, I was feeling ill when I saw it, but it really did give me a lump in my throat – the moment when the cyclist stopped, looking exhausted, and then carried on.  It sounds so cheesy, but done so well.  I love the different kinds of women, and the way it shows what’s awesome about achieving in sport.

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Shirt week! Buy Boels-Dolmans, Canyon-SRAM and Liv-Plantur 2016 team kit

With the 2016 Women’s World Tour starting on Saturday at the Strade Bianche, it’s a great time to show your support for your favourite women’s pro cycling teams – and luckily for us, we have two great places to buy kit from two of the biggest teams out there – Boels-Dolmans and Canyon-SRAM – UPDATE!  and now you can buy the Liv-Plantur jersey too!

Boels-Dolmans

Boels have been the team of the 2016 Classics season so far, with Road World Champion Lizzie Armitstead winning the Omloop het Niewsblad and Evelyn Stevens setting a new Hour Record last Saturday, and Chantal Blaak taking her second Le Samyn des Dames win yesterday after coming second in OhN – and this is after Ellen van Dijk won Stage 3 of the Ladies Tour of Qatar, and she and Romy Kasper were on the final GC podium!

This year’s kit is more orange than last year’s, and if you’d like to look like all their stars, you can buy the team kit for women and men – and that’s just the beginning, their webshop is great, with everything from bidons and caps, socks and accessories to rainbow jerseys signed by Armitstead (OMG!).  At the moment they’re only set up for payments in Euros, but international payments will be added next week – keep an eye on the Boels-Dolmans twitter for updates, & if you have any problems, they’re VERY friendly.

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Canyon-SRAM

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