Discussing the way forward for women’s cycling

Dan and I have slowed down our Unofficial Unsanctioned Women’s Cycling podcast for the winter – but damn, there’s so much going on at the moment, I wanted to tell you about various discussions out there at the moment on how to take forward women’s cycling – starting with a podcast you can listen to if you’re missing the sound of my voice(!)


The fantastic Velocast team have dedicated this week’s podcast to women’s cycling.  Here’s how they describe it:

The Velocast this week looks at women’s cycling by talking to Rochelle Gilmore, owner and manager of DTPC Honda, Matrix-Prendas director and the man behind the fans’ backed women’s cycling initiative, Stef Wyman, Heather Bamforth from the Biketreks women’s development squad and the sport’s uber-fan girl, Sarah Connolly.

Yep, that’s me!  It’s great, a women’s cycling podcast-documentary, and I’m flattered and honoured to have been included.  I love the interviews with Rochelle and Stef and Heather that explain how they developed their teams, and their hopes and dreams for the future.  Click through and have a listen – and check out everything else Velocast do on their website.

To find out more about things talked about on the Velocast:


Emma Pooley

Emma Pooley’s one of the very best interviewees in the sport – and there is so much to love in her latest interviews, with Ben Atkins on VeloNation.  Check out Part 1, where she explains why she signed for Swiss team Bigla, and how finishing her PhD will affect next season, and her goal of the 2016 Olympics – and Part 2, where she talks about the Worlds, doping in the men’s peloton, running her first marathon, and how women’s cycling is full of passion and enthusiasm.  As always with Pooley, there is so much more than that – rants, calls for change, laughs, and so many great quotes.  So much to love in there.


Amber Pierce – Continuing the Dialogue

Yeah, I know I keep talking about Amber Pierce, but she’s so passionate about the sport, and she’s always working on taking the sport forward.  She’s got a great new blog out at the moment on Triple Crankset, called ‘Continuing the Dialogue: women’s cycling’, where she lays out her ideas on how women’s cycling is different from men’s, and how she thinks women’s cycling could be marketed better, taking advantage of all the things that make the racing so exciting, and the personalities of all the fabulous riders.

This piece was written in response to ‘Women’s cycling moving ahead‘, an article on Australian cycling blog CyclingTipsclick through and read that too, because that’s really interesting too, from a different point of view.


So many interesting ideas, and SO much passion and love for the sport.  And so many good ideas.  I really, truly believe that there’s a bright, bright future out there for the sport, and I think there are all kinds of things we, as fans, can do to help take things forward – starting with clicking through all the links, and showing people we’re listening!


Podcast Episode 23 – Mulder and Scully

Well just because it’s been a couple of weeks between conversations doesn’t mean that there’s been nothing going on!. This episode we talk about the latest news in transfers and new teams forming. It takes a while to catch up on all the latest announcements. We then catch up on the latest in ‘cross racing and look ahead to the track world cup in Glasgow. Also, conspiracies and a very serious warning about something you should NEVER Google!

As ever, you can click the link here to stream the episode. (48.14MIN / 46.30MB)



If you like to kick it old-school and get your podcast from the iTunes store, then we’ve got you covered (also remember when iTunes was new? Crazy, huh?).

Things we’ve talked about in this one:

The photo of Marianne Vos getting kissed by a dolphin in Curaçao.  (more Curaçao madness photos – and more on Cyclingnews)

Emma Johansson blogging about leaving Hitec Products-Mistral Home to join Orica-AIS for 2013.  It’s a really sweet blog, on what she’s learned, what she’ll miss – you should definitely read it

Specialized-lululemon announce their roster for 2013 – and it has Ina-Yoko Teutenberg on it!  She’s not retiring after all! Remind yourself of how amazing Teute is, by reading her various blogs from the 2012 season.

Diadora-Pasta Zara will be Pasta Zara-Cogeas-Manhattan for 2013, with Amber Neben joining their line-up!  Here’s their press release about it (or via google translate). Read this recent interview with Neben, by USA track star Dotsie Bausch – and there’s more information about Amber’s Dare to Be Project here.

The exciting new team for 2013 – DTPC-Honda, owned and managed by Aussie sprinter Rochelle Gilmore and supported by Bradley Wiggins’ FoundationGiorgia Bronzini will ride for them in 2013 – alongside the British World and Olympic Team Pursuit champions Dani King, Laura Trott and Joanna Rowsell – but Sarah’s especially interested in multiple Japanese national champion Mayuko Hagiwara joining for her first European season.  There’s a Velonation article about it here – and a BBC interview with Gilmore about her plans, with all sorts of exciting ideas about women’s cycling.

Emma Pooley’s going to Bigla for 2013 – here’s a mini interview with Cycling Weekly, with some typically great Pooley quotes.

Dan had never heard of the term “being chicked” – if you hadn’t either, Marijn de Vries describes how Pooley introduced her to it.


If you want to see what other CX races are coming up, check out tgsgirl’s funny and informative CX calendar on Podium Café

Stefan Wyman on why he thinks women’s cycling has turned a corner – and his footnotes in response to questions on twitter.

Remember Amber Pierce writing about how much fun she had taking her mum on a bike ride for the first time?  Here’s her mum’s point of view, and it’s really lovely!  Nice to read about someone realising why it’s so bloody great, riding bikes!

It’s the Glasgow Track World Cup on 16th-19th November – the inaugural event on the new Scottish velodrome!

The Cyclingnews reader poll of 2012 – there are lots of women in all the categories to vote for, so please click through and vote for them!  (Dan says vote for Sarah – Sarah says * blush *!)

Cyclists raising money for good causes

Specialized-lululemon and Right To Play

One of the many things to love about Specialized-lululemon is their commitment to supporting Right To Play.  They took the charity on when they were Highroad, and do all kinds of fun work for them – for instance, Ally Stacher’s fundraiser in Asheville, USA (where Stacher, Emilia Fahlin and Loren Rowney “baked an aggressive amount of baked goods and sold them throughout the day”:-))

So I really love them using their ride at tomorrow’s Team Time Trial World Champs to raise more money.  They’re asking fans to pledge to donate money if the team ends up on the podium.  Now, I think they’re guaranteed the win, so only do this if you can afford it! But it’s a bloody good cause, so please donate for them – I’m sure they’d appreciate whatever you can afford.

More on their website – and here’s the donations page on the RTP site.  If, like me, you can be a bit slow, you donate through the red button at the top.  I assume it’ll link up to the S-L page, because the internet is clever like that.

Meredith Miller, Pretty in Pink

The other cycling fundraiser this week, is the opening of USA cyclocrosser & roadie, Meredith Miller’s, campaign to raise money for breast cancer – “Pretty In Pink“.

This is the third year Miller’s run this campaign, where she races in pink and runs a whole load of fun fundraising efforts.

You can buy this great t-shirt, Pink is the new Fast, for just USA $22 – hit the shop here, and there’s also a Pink is the new Fast cycling jersey for USA $69.95 – all profits to the Hope Lives! Lydia Doby breast cancer support centre – and she’s also selling raffle tickets, with some fabulous prizes, at 2 USGP Cyclcocross Races, the Planet Bike Cup in Wisconsin and the SmartWool Cup in Colorado.

Read all about Miller’s fundraising plan – to raise $10,000 this year – on her website.  And if you, can, support it.  That’s an awesome t-shirt, guaranteed to make you ride faster!


Finally, as part of the ongoing online conversation about how fans of women’s cycling can help support the sport we love, Matrix-Prendas‘ DS Stefan Wyman has ideas for how this might work.  Read all about the #fanbackedwomensteam idea – it’s evolving into how fans can support the whole of the British women’s racing scene, rather than just one team, and how, working together, we can change the sport.  It’s exciting – if you’d like to get involved, email Stef, through his address on the page.

Podcast Episode 18 – Rock the Vote!

Alright, this week’s exciting because we’ve kicked off the voting for the Social Media Jersey, but don’t worry, there’s still time for you to donate!

Among other highlights of the show, I don’t edit out my rant about haircuts, Sarah explains how a Frenchman discovers women can ride bikes and I give really bad job and relationship advice. We also talk about l’Ardeche and Brain Wash before previewing the worlds TTT and ITT favourites.

This one’s pretty fast and sweet. (39.08 MIN / 37.57 MB)

Click here to stream (or right-click, save-as to download).



Go here for iTunes podcast subscribing eternal joy style happiness (believed to be fully compatible with iPhone 5).

Things we talk about this week:

Stef Wyman‘s post on Cyclismas, The role of fans in women’s cycling (This is the one that describes Sarah as “British Super Dooper Über Massive Huge Slightly Barmey Snarky Passionate Sweary Wicked Awesome fan”!) – and check out how Stef’s team, Matrix-Prendas, do social media, it’s a great website.

UPDATE!  Stef’s since written a post on his vision of #fanbackedwomensteam – click through and read it!

Marijn de Vries‘ blogs from the Tour de l’Ardèche:

UPDATE! We didn’t talk about this, but check out former pro Christophe Edaleine, who was Marijn’s DS for the week, blogging from his point of view of l’Ardèche – the same story as in Marijn’s blog, but from the other side!

Evelyn Stevens‘ blog post, World peace and happy babies, on overcoming her case of Dutch Anxiety at the Brainwash Ladies Tour

Specialized-lululemon‘s plans to raise $10,000 for Right to Play in Rwanda – and their donations page linked to the World TTT Championships

Meredith Miller’s Pretty in Pink fundraiser for breast cancer – and how to buy her Pink is the new fast t-shirt

The startlist for the World Championships from VeloFocus, with links to all the riders’ twitters and blogs

And finally, we didn’t talk about this, because we ran out of time, but we both really liked this, and recommend you read it…

Bridie O’Donnell‘s excellent blog, Confession Week, on her grandfather, and realisations about herself and cycling.  It’s very powerful and honest

Celebrating Social Media – part 2 – blogging on team websites

Yesterday, I told you about 6 of my favourite rider blogs – but while all of those riders have their own sites, I completely appreciate that others may not have the time or the resources to run their own sites, or be able to commit to blogging that regularly.  So part 2 in my social media series is dedicated to the teams who give space for cyclist blogs – and encourage their riders to keep us up-to-date with their lives!

There are two teams I think of straight away, for this category.  They’re very different kinds of teams, but they share a passion for involving their fans

Continue reading

Episode 10 – The Product is Valuable

Episode 10 – The Product is Valuable (originally posted 20 July 2012)



This week we kick things off in style with our most ebullient opening yet, before we launch into philosophical problem solving as we try to work out what exactly a sausage stand is. I discover a specific circumstance under which I’d be willing to consider gender reassignment surgery, although it’s probably not necessary and Sarah gives you more information on Thüringen Rundfahrt.

Sarah and I see things differently on this article from Outside magazine. This also leads us to talk about Stef Wyman’s article for cyclismas which addresses some of the same issues from a different point of view.

I accidentally do an impersonation of a “real Aussie” according to Sarah before working my way through a quick, sweary list of practical things we (the fans) can do to help women’s cycling. I get really, really fucking excited about Vyclone.com

And then we wrap things up by reminding ourselves that the product is valuable. (53:27MIN / 42.47MB)

Episode 7 – Now with theme music*

Episode 7 – Now With Theme Music* (originally posted 28 June 2012)

Ok, so first up I reminisce about my former colleague & music producer Andy Sorenson. Interestingly his band that I steal music from is called the dwarfs, this is specifically interesting because in the not too distant future Sarah and I discuss the vindictiveness of cycling smurfs. We get there via some of the best and most entertaining stories to come out of the Women’s National races during the week. Among other things Sharon Laws is mistaken for an U23 rider and she is so happy she won’t give the jersey back (this may or may not be a true story).

Sarah and I also discuss the etymology of Swedish swearing and generally isolate our entire Swedish audience. We also do a bit of a wrap up of various blog articles about women’s cycling that have come out during the week. We discuss makeup tips for the pro women and the generally glamour filled life women cyclists lead. I reveal my detailed knowledge of what it’s like to be a woman and Sarah claims to be “the least good makeup person ever”.

I take a bit of time to gush about Stef Wyman’s blog on how to start fixing women’s cycling and I uncover the secret that this year the Giro Donne is entirely downhill time trials while Sarah sticks with reality. Neither of us advocate piracy.

I credit Stef Wyman with inspiring this week’s crazy idea and Sarah accuses me of stalking Stef, then tells me how to stalk Stef successfully. Sarah also tells me that my idea isn’t crazy enough. We end the show by apologising for me. You’ll understand why in about (49.07min / 44.95MB)

*for those who may be interested the dwarfs are a 2 piece band, keys and drums. Andy Sorenson and Jay McNeill being the members, and the track used here (Circuit Breaker) was actually recorded as a live soundcheck before a gig one night in Sydney back in 96. You can find more of Andy and his music here.