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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Emily Chappell on changing the world

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.

Inspiration and aspiration – Emily Chappell and Lee Craigie on The Adventure Syndicate

Podcast interview logoI’m really excited about this brand new cycling-and-women project, The Adventure Syndicate, that brings together nine amazing women who have incredible adventures on (and off) the bike, to share their stories, and inspire other women (and men too) to have their own cycling experiences too.  I interviewed two of the Syndicate members about it – cycle courier, solo round-the-world-ish cyclist, and author Emily Chappell, and Scottish cross country MTB star and Cycletherapy founder Lee Craigie.  They told me how it came about, who else is involved, and where they want to take it all in the future – including how everyday cyclists can get involved in their North Coast 500, and hang out with them in Inverness on the weekend of 16th May.

 

 

This is just the start, so make sure you bookmark The Adventure Syndicate website, and follow them on twitter, instagram and facebook. There’s more information about each of the Syndicate cyclists here, including links to their personal sites.

You can find Lee at her website and on twitter, and learn more about the Cycletherapy Project.

Emily is on her twitter and website – and if you missed my interview with her about her excellent book, What Goes Around, the audio is here, and a partial transcript is on Podium Café.

Emily wrote about the North Coast 500 here – and you can follow them on the Adventure Syndicate media – and join them en route, as well as before and after in the Velocity Café in Inverness, on 14th and 17th May.  Emily’s post about riding up Mont Ventoux is here.

Emily and Lee talked about Findra, the Scottish cycling clothing company for women (which men are wearing too!) – and here’s that snowboarder being chased by a bear…

Big, big thanks to my Patreon supporters, who fund me to do interviews and lots more women’s cycling work – you can join them from as little as #/€/$ 2 a month over here.

Couriering and other adventures: Sarah interviews Emily Chappell

Podcast interview logoFor six years, Emily Chappell was a cycle courier in London, living that dream of cycling-as-livelihood, and she’s now written a book about her life.  Of course it focuses on that courier lifestyle, but it weaves in so much more – stories about living in the city, romance and heartbreak, psychogeography, love of cycling, and addressing that glamour and mythology around couriering, and how it’s changed and changing.

I talked to Chappell about how she moved from blogging to writing, how couriering lead to bigger bike adventures (Cycling solo across Europe to Japan!  Riding across Alaska on a fatbike in winter!  Moving into ultra-endurance racing!) and lots more.  This is a long interview (sorry Emily!) so there’s a write-up of parts of it it over on Podium Café, or you can listen to it here, or click through to Soundcloud to download it.  And if you want to win a copy of the book, read on below…

 

You can get automated free podcast updates via the iTunes store here (leave us a review too!) or via our RSS feed. (Please note, this is a new RSS, so long-time listeners may need to re-subscribe)

Chappell’s book comes out on 7th January 2016, but you can pre-order it from your favourite local independent bookshop, or from AmazonWhat goes around: A London cycle courier’s story” (Guardian Faber, ISBN 9781783350537)

I very much recommend this book, so I’m really happy that, thanks to Faber & Faber, I’ve got a free copy to give away – if you want to win this, leave me a comment below, or tweet me with the hashtag #PigeonsGiveaway, and I’ll pull a name out of a hat on 24th December.

Follow Chappell’s adventures cycling round the world, getting into racing, and all kinds of other things, on her blog – and if you’ve ever thought about solo cycling adventures, check out her Q&A sections about the practicalities, including answers from other women about their international travels.  And of course you can follow her on twitter, and go and see her talk when she turns up in bookshops.

Big thanks to Feargal McKay, and to Lauren Nicoll at Faber for setting this interview up.