Some things I’ve been thinking about this week

Two things I’ve been thinking a lot about, in terms of the state of cycling:

  • The Giro Toscana organisers are still threatening to take riders to court over the protest in the race.  I can’t believe it, but apparently riders aren’t allowed to withdraw from races in protest – but this can’t stand up in any court, surely?  The Italian Cycling Federation has been asked to investigate, and damn, I hope it backfires on the organisers.
  • I’ve done some analysis on the 2013 and 2014 road cycling calendars.  Some quick facts:
    • in September ’12, 180 racing days were on the calendar for 2013, but because of cancellations etc, only 147 were raced.
    • But despite losing races, there are currently 168 racing days planned for 2014 – 10 more, if you believe the races in Syria and Brazil will go ahead.
    • There are some unfortunate overlaps in next year’s calendar, but some clear gaps for new races, or for existing races to expand into.
    • Overall, it’s good news – click through and admire my skill in colour-coding charts.

Also, if you want to celebrate Marianne Vos winning the 2013 Road Cycling Championships, Freebird Velo has her “When I grow up I want to ride like Marianne Vos” t-shirts back in her Etsy store.  I love mine, I really recommend these for all your friends & family & children you know & Secret Santa gifts etc etc etc!


There’s a new Cannibal in town – the latest Freebirdvelo t-shirt

I’ve written before about how much I love Jenny Wilson’s Freebirdvelo range of t-shirts and tops – I’m wearing my When I grow up I want to ride like Marianne Vos hoody right now – so of course I’m extra-excited to own her latest Marianne Vos t-shirt design: There’s a new Cannibal in town.

These are sold on her Etsy shop, so sometimes the different sizes sell out – but if you go to her main page, she has all her stock there, and you can always ask her questions on her website or via her twitter (she’s a delight to deal with too, so I recommend her even more highly, now I’ve bought things from her, than I did before!).  Seriously, if you’re looking for presents for women’s cycling fans, or women who are fans of cycling – or a treat for yourself – have a browse around!

Presents for women’s cycling fans – part 3

I love women’s cycling fans – they definitely deserve the best presents, whether at Christmas, Hanukkah, for their birthdays, or just to show them how great they are.  So to this end, I’ve been pulling together some lists of presents I really hope someone will send me will inspire you.  Part 1 and Part 2 are full of art, clothing, photography, jewellery, books, delicious oils and much more – and Part 3 will have more of that – including recommendations from all kinds of real-life women (and men) who love bikes, and ideas for things to buy from companies that support women’s cycling.  Gift ideas for every budget – get shopping!  As always, I’ve got no personal connection with any of these, and buying them doesn’t benefit me in any way…  but it will benefit you, as your favourite women’s cycling fans think you’re fantastic!


Glacier Glove sponsor one of Dan and my favourite riders, Amber Pierce, and she raves about their gloves, especially for cycling in cold conditions.  Ask her all about them on her twitter – she’s VERY enthusiastic!  They also host her superb live Q&As on their facebook, so they’re more than worth a promote.  I asked her why she likes them so much, and she said:

The Cyclocross Gloves keep your hands warm and let your palms breathe in cold, inclement weather – perfect for those crazy souls grinding it out in the mud of winter ‘cross races. But if you’re facing longer rides in freezing or sub-freezing temperatures, nothing will keep your hands toasty like the Perfect Curve, my personal favorite for warmth and – importantly – uncompromised dexterity for shifting and braking. For those who might need to race in freezing temps or in cold rain, the Super G Race Glove is super light, allows full dexterity, and keeps those digits warm and ready to shift on instinct. Great for classics-style racing!

If you want to buy some of these, Glacier Glove have given us a special discount code “amber” (no quotes) which will get people 25% off their purchase (no immediate expiration on the code…) on the website – even more incentive!

Continue reading

Presents for women’s cycling fans – part 1

It’s that time of year again, and I’ve been thinking about things I’d love to receive in my Christmas stocking how to show all my friends how much I love them…  so here’s a selection of lovely things you can all buy me gift ideas for any women’s cycling fans in your life, for Christmas or any other reason.  I don’t know what the online equivalent of leaving a catalogue/advert lying covered in giant circles around what you’d most like to receive, as a super-subtle hint to your nearest-and-dearests, but feel free to do that with this!

I’m always on the look out for fun things, so if you see present ideas you think I should know about, leave me a comment, email me at prowomenscycling [at] gmail [dot] com or tweet me on @_Pigeons_.  I’ve had some great suggestions already on twitter, so I’ll put up another post next week with people’s recommendations.

Lovely post-ride massage oils

I love Simon Lamb’s Il Dolore oils, but my favourite is Rosa, his post-ride recovery oil.  Here’s the description:

A unique blend of six essential oils specifically selected to help physical restoration and mental balance. The completely natural ingredients, which include Arnica, Lavender, Geranium and Chamomile are also reputed to reduce swelling and inflammation and improve recovery from the muscle pains associated with cycling.

I’m allowed to say this, as I’m a girl, but those oils are very good for period-related fun – and I also love pouring this into the bath, and just mellowing out, because it smells SO good.  Plus Simon is a great guy, very generous and kind – the reason I blog about women’s cycling is because he asked me to guest-post on his old website, years ago – so I’m extra-happy to promote him.  But I’d never recommend you spend money on presents for me anything just because I like the person – this is bloody good, whoever made it!

Read on for more lovely things

Continue reading

When I grow up I want to ride like Marianne Vos

I really, really love this t-shirt, and as soon as I get paid, I’m buying one, if there are any left!  It’s made by Jenny Wilson, who’s @freebirdvelo on twitter, and blogs at  These t-shirts are on limited release on her Etsy store – click through for the unisex fit here, and the women’s fit here and buy one before they go!

25/11/12 Update: Those t-shirts have sold out, but there are some sizes still left – a large and an extra-large women’s fit t-shirt, and hoodies in small and medium sizes.  She’s also got a t-shirt inspired by Evelyn Stevens – “Evie would attack

28/11/12 Update: I’ve included information about these and other freebirdvelo t-shirts on my guide to Presents for women’s cycling fans – have a look at lots of great gift ideas for the men and women in your life who love women’s racing!

08/01/13 Update: There’s a new Freebirdvelo Marianne Vos design – check out my post on it!