If you, like me, live in the UK, you’ll know that February can be a hard month – so often grey, dreary, dreich, and feeling like it will never end. Cyclocross is over, and the Spring Classics are yet to begin. But there are also so many positives too – sunny days feel so much better, for their rarity, and days are getting noticeably longer; the first Spring flowers are out; and in the women’s cycling world, we get tons of great film-ettes that remind us that the winter is nearly over.
I’ve seen three that I love this week – and they include a book giveaway too, because I’m sharing the joy and want to give two lucky readers a nice gift!
1. Lee Craigie’s ‘Escape’ film
You probably already know I’m a huge fan of the Adventure Syndicate, a group of women who share their bike-based adventures to inspire and encourage others to do more. One of the Founders, Lee Craigie, has made a little film for UK charity Sustrans, sharing her love of cycling as she rides the Caledonia Way.
It’s a gorgeous little film, combining a love of bike riding with gorgeous scenery, and Craigie’s soft Scottish accent. It’s uplifting, inspiring and happy, and you all should watch it!
One of the things that’s both frustrating and inspiring is pro athletes having to crowdfund to compete in their sport. Frustrating, for obvious reasons, but inspiring because the fan community really helps them. There are three very different ones running fro British women cyclists right now – Para-cycling, MTB and road racing, and here’s how you can help.
Hannah Dines is a Scottish Para-cyclist, who competed in the 2016 Paralympics in the tricycle road races. She’s having a hard time right now – she recently lost her UK Sport funding, and on top of that, has had her racing trike destroyed, when her car was stolen and set on fire, with the trike inside it. As you can imagine, these both put a large dent in her goal of medaling at the 2010 Paralympics.
Her insurance won’t cover the cost of a new trike, so she’s raising the money herself – and anything she raises over her goal of £7,454 will be donated to the Neil’s Wheels bike shop, so that other disabled people can get their own specialised sports equipment. The
Read more about her crowdfunder, and please do donate, if you can. Follow Hannah on twitter, find out more about her in this articles by the Herald, read her blog about why ride a trike, and in this video about Rio, which also was crowd-funded, by handcyclist Karen Darke:
G’day from sunny Manchester this week team! Dan’s on holiday and enjoying the snow in the English spring. This week we’ve got heaps to talk about and it’s not all scandals involving Australians in Manchester. We also talk the end of the Assos Girl, the penalties for motor doping, crowd-funding and that big Marianne Vos crash.
On top of that, there’s heaps of racing to cover off. We’ve got Joe Martin Stage Race in the US, Omloop van Borsele, Dwars door Westhoek, and heaps of Cairns MTB activity. Of course there’s the usual hilarity and this week an added bonus of technical difficulties (which we’ve done our absolute best to correct, but sorry/not sorry).
Before you do anything else, make sure you vote for all the great cycling-related entries in the 2016 #BeAGameChanger awards – voting closes on 1st May, so hurry!
Things we talked about included….
I live in Bristol, in the UK, and I am very, very happy to see how well my friend Nicola Waterworth is doing organising the FIRST! EVER! BRISTOL GRAND PRIX!!!
Taking place in beautiful central Bristol on Saturday 20th June, there are races for juniors, Cat 1-4 women and 2 men’s races, Cat 3-4 and Cat 1-2. They’ve got a crowdfunder which has hit their initial target of £10,000, and they have 5 days left to reach their stretch goal of £15,000, and for just £12 you can help them achieve that AND get this fabulous t-shirt!
You can also enter via that page – they’re in the process of getting British Cycling registration, so it’ll count for points – and if you’re in/near Bristol on the day, why not pledge to be a volunteer too? Scroll down for more info!
Map, timetable, lots more info, including their links to Bristol’s Big Green Week on their website, and follow them on twitter too
Kristy Scrymgeour has seen cycling from all kinds of angles – she started as a cyclist in Australia and the USA, then became a cycling journalist when Cyclingnews was first starting, before moving to work for the ground-breaking HTC-Highroad team, in charge of PR and media for the men’s and women’s teams. When that team folded, she took the women’s side forward as Specialized-lululemon, who have just won their fourth Vårgårda Team Time Trial World Cup, and then backed that up with their rider Chantal Blaak winning her first solo World Cup at the Vårgårda Road Race. But alongside all this success, they’re also crowd-funding for their team to continue next year, with the Project X fundraiser.
Sarah talked to Kristy about the crowd-funding, and tons more, including how the team got through their 2013 full of injuries and dealing with the “less good” start to 2014 (and how “less good” can refer to results, but it made them stronger); how they stay on top of the TTT; running a race programme across two continents; the team goals for the rest of the season; Kristy’s work on the UCI’s women’s commission of the UCI, and changes we might see in the future.
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If you prefer to read interviews rather than listen to them, the first part, on Vårgårda and Project X, is written up on Podium Café.
You can follow Specialized-lululemon on their website, facebook and twitter, and support the Project X fundraiser on Indiegogo. Kristy is on twitter as @kscrymo and do check out her other initiatives – the Velocio.cc clothing range, and Ally Stacher‘s Ally’s Bars, which will go big in September.
The two Project X videos are below, starting with the brand-new video featuring the team talking about what cycling means to them, as well as the project