Be the change you want to see – Sarah interviews Heather Bamforth

Podcast interview logoI always love the people involved in women’s cycling who look at what’s not there and think “right, I’ll fix that”, so I’m a big fan of Heather Bamforth, who, when she came back to cycling after years out focusing on work and looked at what wasn’t there for women like her in the North West of England, has made a huge difference.  She’s done some really interesting things, setting up a league of races in the area, with a special focus on getting first-timers racing, coordinating race skills sessions for newbies with a racing league for Category 2/3 and 4 riders, and most recently being one of the founders of the Racing Chance Foundation, which raises money to help everyone from first-timers to riders who want to make the jump to elite racing abroad.

We talked about all this and more, and you can listen to it here (click through to download it):

 

 

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You can follow Heather on her twitter, and read her writing on Cycling Shorts – I recommend her series of posts on bike racing for beginners, full of useful information.

If you want to join the Racing Chance Foundation club, from anywhere in the UK, for just £5, the information is here.  Their website is full of useful information like their calendar of race training sessions and races to enter,  and you can also support them by donating to the Foundation or buying their kit and clothing.   Follow them on twitter and facebook as well, and the Racing Chance Women’s Racing Forum group is on facebook.

Heather gave a lot of shout-outs to different people she works with, including (but not limited to!) Huw Williams, Colin Batchelor and Team 22, Alan Gornall, Carley Brierly and Anna Magrath – follow them too!

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Podcast 2014 Episode 5 – What’s the Capital of Delaware?

The-Unofficial,-Unsanctioned-Women's-UCI-Cycling-Show Hi everybody! This week Sarah and I recap the highlights and tragedies of the Omloop. We also ambitiously try to (kinda) follow Le Samyn semi-live while we record. We talk about the Track World Championships, including stellar performances from Kelly Druyts, Amy Cure, Sarah Hammer and more. We talk about Richmond worlds and a whole bunch of awards of the film type and other types as well! We get into a weird conversation about US state capitals and Sarah baselessly accuses Dan of lying, so of course Dan responds by accusing Sarah of lying about lying. See if you can spot who is telling the truth. Oh, and for those wondering, the Capital of Delaware is Dover, although Dan claims partial credit because there is actually a Wilmington in Delaware.(1:12:32 MIN / 69.64 MB)

Stream the trackiest edition of Le Samyn podcastery ever by clicking here.

 

 

Click here to sign up for ever (and free) in the iTunes store.

Things we talked about included…

The 2014 Omloop het Nieuwsblad

Some videos from the women’s Omloop:  two and half minutes each from Belgian news channel AVS which includes Lizzie Armitstead talking in English and Emma Johansson in Dutch – and from Focus WTV – and a minute on Sporza.  All of them feature interviews with Amy Pieters.  Please click through to show them all we love women’s racing!

and here’s a video featuring small team Isorex ladies, including Basque rider Irene San Sebastian, who came 11th.

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How we, the fans, can help support women’s cycling

One of my ongoing themes is thinking about how we, the fans, can help this sport we love.  It’s a fascinating topic for me – on the one hand, I can (and do) bemoan the fact I feel women’s cycling is unfairly marginalised by the UCI, the cycling press, the media – after all, fans LOVE women’s racing when they get to see it, and more people watched the women’s Olympic road race on the BBC and Eurosport than watched the men’s – but on the other, what an amazing opportunity for us, as fans, to shape how the sport is portrayed, and to directly help it grow.

Think about it – with the ridiculous sums of money and publicity floating around Team Sky, for example, fans of men’s cycling tend to be seen as an amorphous mass, for riders to moan about, if they think about us at all.  But on the women’s side, our blogging, tweeting, ‘like’-ing, and all our actions, can really make a difference.  I truly believe in the maxim, “be the change you want to see” – and I am still in awe of how fans’ backing and support for the Unofficial, Unsanctioned Social Media Jersey blew all our expectations out of the water, and showed how, working together, we can directly support the riders, teams and sport we love.

And there are some more initiatives I want to highlight, that give us some really simple, easy and fun ways to help.  I know I talk about some of these all the time, but damn, I love their passion, their continual commitment to the sport – and above all, how EASY they make it for us to help.

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