One of my ongoing themes is thinking about how we, the fans, can help this sport we love. It’s a fascinating topic for me – on the one hand, I can (and do) bemoan the fact I feel women’s cycling is unfairly marginalised by the UCI, the cycling press, the media – after all, fans LOVE women’s racing when they get to see it, and more people watched the women’s Olympic road race on the BBC and Eurosport than watched the men’s – but on the other, what an amazing opportunity for us, as fans, to shape how the sport is portrayed, and to directly help it grow.
Think about it – with the ridiculous sums of money and publicity floating around Team Sky, for example, fans of men’s cycling tend to be seen as an amorphous mass, for riders to moan about, if they think about us at all. But on the women’s side, our blogging, tweeting, ‘like’-ing, and all our actions, can really make a difference. I truly believe in the maxim, “be the change you want to see” – and I am still in awe of how fans’ backing and support for the Unofficial, Unsanctioned Social Media Jersey blew all our expectations out of the water, and showed how, working together, we can directly support the riders, teams and sport we love.
And there are some more initiatives I want to highlight, that give us some really simple, easy and fun ways to help. I know I talk about some of these all the time, but damn, I love their passion, their continual commitment to the sport – and above all, how EASY they make it for us to help.