Spring gift guide part 2 – the Megster edition!

Last week I wrote a post on gifts ideas if you have women’s cycling fans, or women who love bikes in your life with birthdays in the Spring, or who you just want to make happy.  And as I always like to do, I asked for suggestions from readers – and wow, did I get some great responses, especially from the lovely Megster, who told me about art, clothes, hand-made bikes, comapnies you can buy from that put things back, and more.  They were so great, they needed their own post – so without further ado, I present, Spring Gift Guide part 2 – the Megster edition!

100 copies is a great idea – lovely t-shirts and posters, all with a bike theme, that are printed in limited-edition runs of 100.  Once those hundred are sold, that’s it, onto the next one.  And because they work fast, if you don’t see anything on offer that you like right now, there’s bound to be something else along soon.  Here’s the Great Migration poster Megster bought – and I’m gutted the women’s Pure Guts t-shirt sold out (though they still have the men’s version).  It’s a sweet project, and I’m interested to see what they do next!

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Spring gift guide part 1: Recommendations from Twitter women who love bikes!

You may remember that before Christmas, I put together some gift ideas for women’s cycling fans, and women cyclists (Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 – and of course, I still recommend everything featured in those!) – and as it’s coming up to a major birthday season (not that both Dan and I have May birthdays, or anything), and I keep seeing LOVELY THINGS everywhere I look, I thought it’s time for another.  Once again, I turned to twitter to ask what my fellow women who love bikes are coveting right now – and look out for part 2, which will be presents for women’s cycling fans of any gender.  As always, I have no connection with these companies, and get no benefit from mentioning them – they’re just things real-life women who love bikes recommend.

First, a recommendation from a pro!  Rhae Shaw is a Canadian triathlete-turned-road-cyclist, who races for US team Vanderkitten, and she recommends anything by Betty Designs:

There’s cycling and tri kit for men and women, t-shirts, everyday clothes and all kinds of goodies – have a look at the shop

Below, I’ve got a lot more recommendations, for bike kit, gear, art and more!

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Celebrating Social Media – part 10 – Cyclocross!

I love cyclocross – ever since tgsgirl first told me about this muddy, sadistic, crazy, beautiful sport, it’s intrigued me and made me very happy.  And one of the reasons is the way the riders engage with fans, and all the fabulous social media we get.  Riders don’t just race these exhausting, exhilarating races – they tell us all about it.  So it’s time for another episode of my women’s cycling social media series, this time looking at the CX riders who give us a fantastic insight into the sport.  I’ll be running this over a couple of posts, so don’t get annoyed if I’ve missed your favourite rider here – and there will be some links at the bottom to help you follow the women’s racing online – starting with how to see video from the races…

Helen Wyman Kona Factory Racing

I can’t start anywhere else than with one of my absolute superstars of cycling and social media, Helen Wyman.  She’s the current European Champion, has won the justifiably-iconic Koppenbergcross twice, and the British national championship seven times.  All that’s impressive, but she combines it with one of the very best cycling social media presences anywhere in cycling, men’s or women’s.  I’ll tell you more about her in a moment, but first of all, here’s a video of her winning the Euros, courtesy of Petitesreines…  and more on them, and how to watch women’s CX races, below!

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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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The Unofficial Unsanctioned Social Media Jersey – prize update

It’s very exciting!  We’ve sent out 10 of our 11 real cash prizes for the Unofficial Unsanctioned Social Media Jersey, most of the certificates out, and are only waiting for a few more details before we’ve sent everything out – and once again, we have all of you to thank.

We thought you might want to see what the riders are receiving – all the 11 winners get a certificate:

There's one of these for every rider!

and our fabulous overall Jersey prize winner, Emma Trott, gets a Jersey, too.  This is in the post right now!

Look! A real Jersey!

And here’s the back, with the Jersey sponsors’ names on it:

Isn’t that great?  THANK YOU TO EVERYONE FOR MAKING THIS HAPPEN!!!

We’ve asked the winners if they can take photos of themselves with the fabulous prizes, and anything we get, we’ll post here, so you can see them in real life.  And if you want to remind yourself who won what, check out the prize post – and here’s the post that started it all…  More to come very soon!

Celebrating Social Media – part 9 – the 2012 Worlds riders

I loved the Worlds road race – and Dan told us how much HE loved the Worlds – but looking down the results, it struck me how many of the top 20 riders have fantastic social media! So I thought, what better way to update my social media series, before I hit you with the cyclocrossers next week.  Check out all these riders – click their blogs and follow them on twitter, I know you won’t regret it!

1.  Marianne Vos

Marianne Vos’ win at the Worlds was spectacular, and she’s not only great on the road, she’s also fantastic online.  I’ve already told you about how much I love Vos’ twitter – it’s a lot of fun, she’s friendly, funny, and tells us all about her life and racing.  You can also catch up with all her news on her website, especially the video section.

2.  Rachel Neylan

It still makes me smile, remembering Neylan’s spectacular ride for silver.  I’ve been a fan of her for ages – her story is really inspiring, and she’s always told it so well on her blog.  She’s an enthusiastic social media user, with accounts on twitter, facebook and LinkedIn – I really liked her twitter, when she was so excited to be selected for the Worlds, but ever since the race it’s been adorable, thanking everyone for all their support, and emphasising that her silver is a team effort.   Here’s her story, from her website, and here’s an interview I did with her for Podium Café last year – yes, yes, I know it sounds like shameless self-promotion, but it’s evidence how happy she is to interact with fans, and online life!

3.  Elisa Longo Borghini

Our 2012 bronze medallist has a fantastic twitter account, where she tweets in Italian and English, and she comes across as friendly, intelligent and funny.  She also has a website, which has a blog section – it’s having piccoli problemi at the moment, but damn, she’s been riding SO hard, I’m sure she’ll get around to it in the off-season, so check back regularly for more updates on her.  She’s a huge talent, and at only 20, is just getting started…

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The Social Media Jersey – You only get ONE vote, use it wisely

It’s been an awesome journey to get to this point. Once again a huge thanks to everyone who has donated, tweeted, facebooked, YouTubed, podcasted, blogged, MySpaced, Friendstered, Craigslisted (is that even social media?) or whatevered this competition. It’s brilliant. Together we’ve already raised (at the time of writing) $2010 on the official count but of course, that’s going to change by the time you’re reading this.

We’ve seen some amazingly cool racing and we’ve seen some great use of social media. You can review the nominations for the Giro Toscana here, and for the Tour l’Ardèche and Ladies Brain Wash Tour here.

I greatly encourage you to review the nominations before casting your vote because you only get one vote.

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