In our current Special on sale – number 213 – Laura Brown has written a fab article about inspirational female cyclists.
The main pic on this blog is of a woman called Lee Craigie. I saw her at Dundee Mountain Film Festival, talking about both her adventures abroad and her passion for getting everybody into cycling. Especially young women in schools, who might otherwise be put off trying it for cultural reasons or feeling that it’s not for them.
Inspiring urban/suburban kids to get out, cycle and explore is so good for their mental health. Lee’s doing really important work, alongside her own awesome adventures.
I’ll not repeat the article, because I couldn’t do them justice the way Laura has, but I was in awe of them all. Take Kittie Knox, who joined a U.S. cycling club in 1893 as an African-American. Kittie had to fight for her right to cycle alongside them at all.
Then there’s Annie Cohen Kopchovsky. The first woman to cycle around the world, she did so only days after she learned how to ride! As Laura says, “Annie arrived home 15 months later with new-found fame – and a broken arm”. Astonishing.
New Age, New Challenges
Modern day female cyclists might not have the same enormous barriers to surmount towards equality, but they’re are definitely still barriers. There’s no female Tour de France, for example. The infamous, hair-rising Red Bull Rampage event still doesn’t have any female competitors. It doesn’t explicitly block them, but maybe there’s not enough effort to include them.
One rider, Casey Brown from New Zealand, tried to qualify on a particularly windy day. She ended up with a broken collarbone, separated shoulder and bruised her liver. On big features, even a slight crosswind can cause chaos, but she’s back in action after her recovery.
Casey is pushing for a women’s version of the event, to inspire the next generation, and give amazing riders like her somewhere to push the envelope further.
Cycling is now accessible to even more people, thanks to inventions like hand-cycles. Mel Nicholls was paralysed by a series of strokes, but has achieved phenomenal things on a hand bike.
Basically a bicycle upside down, it lets you lie on your back and use your hands to pedal. It’s a life-changing invention, and it’s letting motivated folk like Mel achieve everything they want to.
If that didn’t stop her, I shouldn’t be letting a bit of drizzle stop me!
Anyway, take a look at what other fab stuff is in Special 213 in our sneak peek.