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

November 22, 2016 Leave a comment

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

November 21, 2016 Leave a comment

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…

Read more…

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

November 17, 2016 4 comments

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 Aamazon Associates link.

Read more…

Emily Chappell on changing the world

November 16, 2016 4 comments

Podcast interview logo2016 has been tough for a lot of people, and what with politics, the economy, Daylight Savings Times in the northern hemisphere, and so on, a lot of people are feeling bleak right now.  So when Emily Chappell suggested we podcast on how the women’s cycling world is changing for the better, and how we can all have positive impacts on that, I jumped at the chance.

We talked about Emily’s own year – winning the women’s TransContinental race (read her blog about that!), and her other successes (including having her book published) and also about the Adventure Syndicate.  I can’t quote believe it hasn’t been around for even a year, but wow, those women have done so many great things.  All this, and more – including Emily’s and my pledges for our own 2017 cycling challenges (Emily says she’ll try cyclocross, if someone will show her how, so if that’s you, get in touch with her!).  Listen to it all – and scroll down for the usual tons of links.

You can find Emily on her website, her twitter and her instagram – and of course, please buy her (first) book – What Goes Around: A London Cycle Courier’s Story(If you’re not sure, Feargal McKay reviewed the book on Podium Café, and I interviewed Emily about it which you can listen to or read some of).

The Adventure Syndicate has a fantastic website, and a great twitter you should be following, an instagram and facebook too, of course.  I talked to Emily and Lee Craigie about their hopes for the Syndicate back in May, which you can listen to if you want to see how it compares to now!

Posts about the Adventure Syndicate’s North Coast 500 record-breaking ride, and the trip with (extra)ordinary women later on.

The Syndicate is running a Winter Training Camp for female endurance cyclists in Girona, in January 2017 – find out more and book places here.

You can support the Syndicate’s Crowdfunder for that gorgeous-looking book about Lee and other riders’ adventures at the Highland Trail 550it closes on Friday 22nd November 2016, but it’ll also be for sale afterwards through the Adventure Syndicate website.  Check out the blogpost about how the initial crowd-funder reached it’s goal in 24 hours, so they’ve added stretch goals, to help support the Syndicate’s work inspiring and enabling women and girls to have their own cycling adventures.

You can get a little taster in this interview with Lee Craigie on BikePacking.com.  And because I love this project so much, I’ll buy a basic crowdfunder copy of this for one blog reader – leave me a comment below, or tweet me by 21st November 2016 telling me you want this, and I’ll pull a name out of a hat.

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If you want to read more books by Adventure Syndicate members’ cycling feats, check out Juliana Buhring‘s book This Road I Ride: My incredible journey from novice to fastest woman to cycle the globe (and read Feargal McKay‘s review on Podium Café) and Sarah Outen’s second book about her quest to kayak and cycle across the globe despite illness and crazy conditions, Dare to Do: Taking on the planet by bike and boat.

Emily is on the cover of the first edition of the new women’s cycling magazine, Casquette (her and Nicole Cooke!)  You can pick up that mag for free from lots of mostly London-based places, or get it posted to you for shipping costs, with your choice of covers, via this page, and the article about Emily is on the website.

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VeloVixen, the online store for women’s cycling clothing, were the people behind the Women’s Cycling Hub at the Birmingham Cycle Show – if you want to watch (or re-live) any of the talks from that, watch the videos.

Emily wrote a great piece for Total Women’s Cycling about women who are beating the men in cycling – something she predicted would happen, back on this 2012 blog.

Linked to that, we mentioned Sarah Hammond‘s fantastic Ultra-Endurance riding – you can listen to an interview with her after she finished the TransAm and watch her videos from Race to the Rock on Ella Cycling Tips.

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Emily and I talked about our own cycling pledges for 2017 – and if you have an idea of one that you need helping out with, but don’t know where to start, please do leave a question in the comments, or tweet me, and I’ll find you someone who can help.

I’m funded to do this kind of women’s cycling work thanks to my super-generous Patreon supporters, who pay from £/€/$ 2 a month – thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Podcast 2016 Episode 36 – EPIC (That’s a Technical Term)

November 13, 2016 5 comments

Podcast logoHey remember that time a few days ago when Sarah and Dan started talking about all the Best of the Year categories that VeloVoices are going to be holding voting on this week, and it took them an hour to get through the first category? Well they’re back! And this time they’re determined to get through all of the other categories (including the two extra ones that Sarah made up so that she could fit everyone in that she wanted to) no matter how long it takes!

Look, we’re not gonna lie, this podcast is EPIC (that’s a technical term). It’s huge. It’s long enough to be a Hollywood blockbuster, but it’s got more plot, more drama and more action than your standard Hollywood blockbuster, so there’s that! How could it not be when we’re discussing Best Race Finish of the Year, Best Breakthrough Rider of the Year, Unsung Heroines of the Peloton for the Year, Unsung Heroes/Heroines Behind the Scenes and Step-Up Rider of the Year?

So many great and worthy nominees, so much to argue about! Make sure you’re stocked up on time and refreshments, this one’s perfect for that long drive to see all your extended family for the holidays. Here goes… (1:59:50 MIN / 109.72MB)

You can get free automatic updates from our RSS feed here or via the iTunes store here.

And listen to, and read, our nominations for 2016 women’s cycling Rider of the Year.

Best race finish

There were so, so many fantastic racing moments this season, and it was especially exciting as we got more live racing, and long highlights, than ever before.  In chronological order…

Read more…

Podcast 2016 Episode 35 – So Many Great Riders

November 10, 2016 10 comments

Podcast logo

 Our friends at VeloVoices are preparing their end of year voting and asked Sarah to help them come up with a short list of nominees in a whole raft of categories, from Rider of the Year to Best Race Finish of the Year to Breakout Performance of the Year (and a whole bunch more). Of course, to make it challenging the inimitable @kittyfondue told Sarah she needed to keep it to a list of 5 finalists per category.

Sarah dutifully stuck to that requirement (and simply invented new categories when she needed to go over😉 – no really) and so here we are with the first instalment where we discuss our nominees for Rider of the Year, including a couple of honourable mentions and a couple of riders we considered, but ultimately couldn’t include. We review their seasons, the highs, the lows and the reasons for and against. Will our top pick be the same as yours? (1:01:11 MIN / 56.02 MB)

Part 2, with all the other categories (Best race finish, Unsung heroes, Breakthrough riders and Step-up riders) can be heard and read here.

Rider of the year

This is probably the most open competition in years, with all kinds of riders taking steps up, or consolidating their positions.  But some have stood head and shoulders above the rest.  In chronological order of their achievements….

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Podcast 2016 Episode 34 – The Dystopic Science Fiction Architectural Cycling Digest

October 19, 2016 1 comment

Podcast logoThis week we catch up on everything that happened in the Junior Women’s and Elite Women’s World Championship Road Races, including all of the things that surprised and delighted us. We do a bit of a wrap up of the latest news in UCI rule changes (there have been a lot of them for track in particular) and there are a couple of points of unavoidable controversy. We do our best to tackle them from a glass half full perspective but we’ll let you decide how well me managed to pull that off. (1:10:46 MIN / 64.8 MB)

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

Stuff We Talked About

It’s all here in Sarah’s wrap-up post with videos, highlights, the stories and whatnot from both the Junior and Elite Women’s Road Races.