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.


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

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What do riders think about the 2017 Cyclocross World Championships? Q&A with Marianne Vos, Sophie de Boer and Christine Majerus

It’s the Cyclocross World Championships!  And 2017 has probably the biggest field of possible winners ever – it’s going to be a fantastic race, and such luxury that we can watch it live.  I asked Marianne Vos, Sophie de Boer and Christine Majerus some questions about the race, and you can read what they said.

Marianne Vos

Vos is going for her eighth World title!  Listen to her talk, or read the transcript below:

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Watch this weekend’s LIVE women’s cycling – the 2017 Cyclocross World Championships, and the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race

It’s a huge weekend of women’s racing – with the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race in Australia, and the 2017 Cyclocross World Championships in Luxembourg, both on Saturday 28th January – and I’m here to tell you how to watch them both, LIVE!

Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race


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Videos from the 2016 u23 and Elite women’s Cyclocross World Championships

Wow, what a weekend of racing, so much drama – absolutely fantastic racing, that really shouldn’t be overshadowed by the mechanical doping scandal (and the bottom line on that, it’s great it’s getting caught – I’ve got some links about that too, if you scroll down).  I’ve got some videos, photos and media for you from the women’s races, starting with the first EVER u23 Cyclocross World Championships…

u23 women’s race

Update! I love this new UCI video, on the impact of the new World Champs – it’s good that they’re celebrating this, and the awesome riders (spoiler, includes the first ever u23 winner’s interview!)

Highlights and full race reply

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Videos from the 2015 Cyclocross World Championships

I think my heart-rate has just about slowed down after Saturday’s race.  It was AMAZING!!!  It feels like after most of the women’s 2014/5 World Cup season races, I was saying “best race EVAH!” but Worlds took it to another level yet again, one of those races with continual changes at the front, duels for the win and for third, and….  If you don’t believe me, here’s the replay, and below the highlights…

This Shimano video made me very happy – love that post-race hug!

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How to watch the 2015 Cyclocross World Championships – LIVE!

It’s Worlds time!  It’s so tempting to point to global warming for why we’ve had a lack of snow and ice races in recent seasons, but with Worlds in Tábor, the Czech Republic, we’re going to have at least one frozen Worlds.  And hooray for the UCI, because of their sterling job of promoting CX, we’ll get to see the racing live!  I’ll tell you how to watch it, and point you at interesting resources.  There’s bad and good news about that – lots of tv, but not necessarily live…  but you know me, I’ll always find you ways round that!

Let’s start with Eva Lechner‘s course preview

Here’s the Worlds programme:

  • Saturday 31st January, 11:00 European CET (10am UK GMT; 5am USA EST; 9pm Aus AEDT):  Junior Menlive UCI stream
  • Saturday 31st January, 14:00 CET (1pm GMT; 8am EST; midnight AEDT): Elite womenlive UCI stream
  • Sunday 1st February,  11:00 CET: U23 Menlive UCI stream
  • Sunday 1st February, 14:00 CET:  Elite Menlive UCI stream

If you click through and it says the stream is blocked, check out the UCI’s tv guide, because you might be able to watch it live locally.

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Videos and links from the 2014 women’s Cyclocross Championships

It was such a great day in Hoogerheide, with a race full of drama as favourite Katie Compton had problems in lap 1 – and a great battle for third between Helen Wyman and Sanne Cant.  Here’s a collection of videos, photos, interviews and other links from the race – tell me more in the comments and I’ll add them in as I see them.

Firstly, huge thanks to all the riders who raced, whether they finished it or not, for providing so much entertainment and inspiration.  I always, always appreciate their hard work, sacrifice and dedication.

Next, the highlights in English from the UCI

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