Please can you tell me why you love cycling?

Either here in the comments, on my tumblr, or tweet me as @_pigeons_ – I’m wanting to see if I can do a photography project based around cycling.  What I want to do is take some photos that illustrate why people love cycling, and see if I can take photos that capture that feeling.

If you could tell me in the comment, or in a tweet, how you cycle most – you know, like racing, or commuting, or riding for leisure – or what you like best about watching/following pro cycling.  Or if you have different things you like about different kinds of ridiing, or disciplines, I’d love to know that, too.  And it’s not necessary, but if you could leave a name/handle, country and age – or any of those, whatever you feel like.  It’s all up to you!  I’d appreciate it enormously – thankyou so much!

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Big thanks!

It was a crazy long weekend of women’s cycling – amazing racing on the road and MTB, all over the place.  I wrote about the action on Total Women’s Cycling, but I wanted to post a ‘thankyou’ post.  I’ve been struggling with my fan-motivation for the last few weeks – there was just so much bad news everywhere, and that really got me down.  But then, this weekend!  So much superb racing – and getting to enjoy it with an online community of fans, including watching riders on twitter having a great time and congratulating each other too – it reminded me exactly why I love the sport.

So, in no particular order….

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Thank-you Total Women’s Cycling!

I’ve mentioned Total Women’s Cycling before, the British-based website that’s aimed at all aspects of cycling for women, whether it’s riding, or following cycling as a sport on the road, track, MTB etc – so I was really flattered when they named this site as their blog of the week.  Thak you so much, TWC!

You can click through here to find out why – and if you’ve come from there, the post they quoted was the recent “Dear women’s peloton….” that I wrote while the Tour of Qatar was on.

If you’d like to see some more things we’ve been up to, check out Dan and me podcasting on women’s cycling (it’ll get back to weekly once the season starts), our crazy-fun Unofficial Unsanctioned Social Media Jersey, where we gave fan-provided, fan-nominated and fan-voted prizes for riders’ great social media in three 2012 races, our various thoughts on how to help women’s cycling with the Click Through Thursday initiative and my series on various fantastic ways the women’s peloton use social media.  Or just have a look through the site! I write as sarahcycling, Dan writes as entendered – we hope you like what you see!

Dear women’s peloton…

It’s been a hard few years to be a cycling fan.  On the men’s side, relentless doping stories, more and more and more depressing information about how institutions have turned a blind eye, or actively condoned the shitstorm.  As an engaged fan, it is more a confirmation of things we already know, but still, if I never have another “You like cycling – what do you think about Lance Armstrong?” conversations, it’ll be too soon.

And then on the women’s side, it’s been a hard few years, with endless news about races being lost, teams folding, and reading about how all that shit on the men’s side disproportionately affects the women, even though they don’t have the cash for that industrial-level, institutional doping.  Another conversation I can do without?  Those people who pay NO attention to the women’s racing, but can tell me I’m stupid not to “know” the women’s side is just as awash with drugs.  No, it’s not.  YES, there are doping cases, but it’s a different culture, the patrons like Vos, Bronzini, Teutenberg are outspoken about how much they hate doping, and actively work to stop it.  The stupidest thing I was told last year?  The instant-expert who told me, totally seriously, that he wouldn’t be surprised if the doping doctors like Fuentes and Ferrari gave big discounts on EPO regimes to women, so they could do it too.  Because they’re altruistic like that…

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Happy New Year, women’s cycling fans!

It’s been a great 2012 in the world of women’s cycling – and even more fun, for me, being able to share it with other fans. It’s lovely, being connected to this world, making friends, sharing things I love with other people who love it too.

If you missed it earlier, here are Dan’s and my highlights of the 2012 season, from our podcast – and actually, podcasting has been one of my personal highlights – especially our interviews with Amber Pierce and Helen Wyman – and another was the crazy, exciting, fun, bonkers project that was the Unofficial Unsanctioned Social Media Jersey.  Huge thanks, from the bottom of my heart, to everyone who contributed, whether by giving money, nominating, voting or just sharing the project with other people.

And thanks to everyone who’s ever “liked”, re-blogged or re-tweeted anything on my women’s cycling tumblr or twitter, shared, commented on or just read anything on this blog.  The interaction with people makes me happy – knowing that we can connect with each other, and through our own social media, and little initiatives, like the Jersey, or like Click Thru Thursdays (if you’ve missed that, check out Amber Pierce’s original post, and my post about it – as well as the twitter hashtag) we are doing our bit to promote and help the sport.  I can’t wait to see what we come up with, together, next year!

Here’s to a fantastic 2013 to all the teams, riders and races who work so hard provide us with so much entertainment, and to the media – whether “home-made” or mainstream – and to all women’s cycling fans, wherever you are.  May the new year bring you everything you want!

Thanks again, for everything

Sarah

The Social Media Jersey – a very quick update – and THANKYOU!!!!!

Thanks so much to everyone who made the Unofficial Unsanctioned Social Media Jersey so very, very successful!  Together we raised a prize pot of $3,535 to be shared among the winners, we had nominations for 33 different rider’s tweets, blogs and videos, and an incredible 4,605 votes were cast.

We’ll be announcing the full prizes very shortly, once we’ve worked out currency conversion etc, but thankyou, thankyou, thankyou!  Watch this space!

 

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