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.

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How to go about building a different kind of team structure (Part 2 of I don’t know how many)

So in the first post of this series we set about getting the lay of the funding landscape and exploring some of the bigger problems that teams face in trying to secure money and the stability that money allegedly provides them and (by extension) their riders and staff.

The reason I started there, with an overview that most people didn’t need, is because I wanted to highlight some serious but not-directly-financial issues that are impacting on the financial realities for teams (and to acknowledge that they exist for men and women, although the consequences and circumstances are more severe for women). This is important because we’re now going to stroll through some of the cultural, social and psychological issues that I think are at play and what we need to do in order to change them for the positive.

First of all I think there’s a real disconnect in the way that we mentally consider teams, particularly at the top level (World Tour) of the sport. Teams don’t exist as charities or non-profit organisations (although they may not turn an actual profit). Ostensibly we’re talking about professional sport here and as such, it’s expected that certain standards and conditions will be applied to riders, staff and the team structure in order to be deemed professional.

So it’s far less of a demand to add a condition for a minimum salary to a team than (for example) the UCI spokesperson mentioned previously may want you to believe.

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