Tag Archives: bicycle

Bikes Aren’t Just For Men…

If you do a Google image search for women riding bikes you’re greeted with images upon images of women riding road bikes in a closed race style setting, or idealised images of a working woman on a city bike, suited & perfectly coiffured.  Both of these things could be (& probably are) true, however to me it paints cycling in an idealised setting. Showing that women should probably only ride this type of way….

I first & foremost, identify as a “cyclist” before lifting, before nutrition; I LOVE my bike. I have done since I got it, & I’ve loved riding for as long as I’ve been able to ride.  That being said, I am a minority when it comes to bike riding.  Courtesy of Cycling UK I have some figures for you:

2015-nts_cycle-trips-mileage-by-gender_-570x143

That’s a huge difference in averages – I can do 9 trips on my bike in a week.  Why is this? Why does cycling seem to attract boys moreso than girls & then the continuation of that attraction into adulthood?  It’s not like manufacturers don’t make bikes for women.  I can’t wrap my head around it, however I thoroughly love being on my bike so it’s natural that I wouldn’t understand why someone would prefer to not ride.

Again, I turned to Google & two main things appeared:

  1. Safety. As cycling is seen to be male-centric, women have (in some cases) felt belittled, scared or intimidated whilst riding.  It’s fair to guess that we’ve all seen *that* viral video (which; to clarify is staged & doesn’t represent a real life situation) However, that being said….if a bloke gets a puncture, chances are he can fix it road side. Could a woman do the same? Perhaps, maybe, certainly – however, not many women would be comfortable on the side of the road pulling out an inner tube, especially if it’s getting dark, or it’s secluded or whatever.
  2. Ease. Cycling to work, uphills, in hot weather or in winter layers can be a sweaty affair. Not good if you have a customer facing job, or don’t fancy helmet hair/wanting a shower etc.  Plus, how do you transport a suit/smart clothes/uniform on a bike? Then there’s the mothers out there…how do you carry your shopping & your child on a bike?!

I also asked friend’s on Facebook if they rode bikes, if so; what for:

“I don’t but I’d like to… no bike, and living in such a built up area there’s nowhere nice to go.”

“I like the idea of cycling but I always had shit bikes and the memories of bike maintenance on the go are kind of off putting.”

“I do! Generally to work and back or town and back for shopping”

“I cycle off road cycle paths as I don’t like car times. It’s my favourite way to relax and focus on the moment outside as nothing is being asked of me and I can just breathe.”

“Not any more, but I wish I did. I used to cycle to work, but it was uphill and I was super sweaty and tired by the time I got there. I also used to go shopping a couple of times a week.”

“I alternate between cycling and walking to work (about 2 miles each way) and just enjoy going on ‘adventures’ where I just get my bike and cycle until I’m tired to discover new places and just because it’s fun. It’s a bit of a nightmare to cycle in Leicester since bike lanes are horribly designed and only cover small segments all of which are crowded with pedestrians anyway.”

“I have a cycle but would like somewhere nice to cycle not just round the roads”

That’s just a few of the responses, however the majority don’t ride, or would like to but facilities/places to ride around England are pretty garbage, unless you can shove your bike in a car, drive somewhere & then ride for a few hours.  (For the record, the number of women that regularly cycle in Scotland is higher than it is in England)

I also got a response from Squat Rack Shenanigans (if you don’t follow her blog/insta/facebook, you *totally* should!)

Hi it me! San Diego, CA. I ride for cardio on bodybuilding contest prep, and for enjoyment because I live in a beautiful bikeable city.

July is Women’s Festival of Cycling in the UK, aimed at getting more women cycling.  I personally feel that it’s a shame that not more girls & women take advantage of the freedom that comes with cycling.  Like, seriously….Short on time? Ride. In a bad mood? Ride. Need to wake up? Ride. Full of energy? Ride.  There are many, many reasons to get out on your bike.

They’re not just for men!

If you’d like to learn more about women in cycling:

http://hopetechwomen.com/

https://www.letsride.co.uk/breeze

http://www.cyclinguk.org/womens-festival

https://totalwomenscycling.com/

emmett-560x373

Photo from @Liv Cycling


Who Took Away My Goddamned Vitamin D?!

The sun is gone.

I hate this time of year.

March 6th 1997 I moved 13,000 miles.  I grew up in the Southern Hemisphere, spent my entire childhood thinking winter were the months where it didn’t rain & the temperature got to 15 degrees.  That’s celsius by the way, not fahrenheit.  The first thing I said stepping off the plane was “send me back, it’s far too cold here”

The first winter, snow was a novelty but the long, dark evenings threw me.  The need for layers was weird, I grew up not owning a coat, or gloves or even a scarf.  The height of summer in the UK & I was wearing a jacket, 20 degrees was NOT warm.

I’m acclimated to the summer in the UK, more or less.  There are a few days a year where I will admit it’s “quite warm”  but once it hits late October, I’m a different person & it takes me aaaaaaaages to sort my head out.  This year seems to be harder than previous years….I could hazard guesses to why, but after chatting to a few of my peers, I think it may be SAD.

SAD-2

I’m not diagnosed but a few symptoms are there, but I don’t want to say I have it without a GP & I don’t think it’s at the point where I need medical intervention.  This week and last have been hard, despite eating right & continuing to cycle, getting up to go to the gym was overwhelming; to the point where I had like 4 rest days in a row (not 100% rest, I still cycle every day) My alarm would go off & I’d snooze for an hour & a half, despite knowing rush hour is a ballache to cycle in, I didn’t really care.

26d51e9a2217ad70903f07b68f2cf26d

I didn’t really want to leave the confines of my house, I like it in here, it’s safe & comfortable and I don’t have to deal with people.  However, I still got up (albeit too late to train) still cycled & still went to work.  Some cycle journeys have been a massive slog, others have been quite enjoyable, but nevertheless; the changing of the seasons has completely messedup my head.

tumblr_myajukqyel1r52w56o3_r1_500

Until today.  My lovely husband woke me when my alarm went off as he knew I’d not been to the gym in a few days (me not training means my back pain can return, & no one wants that) I got up, he made me a GLORIOUS pot of fresh coffee & I made it to the gym.

Saturday’s in the gym are a new thing for me as my time is extremely limited due to having to be at work before 9am, so i tend to train intuitively.  Today I opted for lats training as I can’t remember the last time I trained them.  On occasion I’ll film part of my session, today was such an occasion (just getting into the gym made me happier!!)

As you can see, it may still be double digits outside, but I’ve switched from leggings & vest to Adidas ClimaWarm gear (which, BTW is incredible!!)

So, yeah.  I hate the weather, I hate my mind, I hate people in general but today taught me that no matter how much I am feeling gloomy, it’s good to get up, inhale as much coffee as possible, layer up & go and train.  If you’re like me, you’ll feel a fuck ton better for doing so 🙂


Starting 2015 with a bang, literally….

Day 5 of the New Year.

I’ve started this year with renewed vigour & enthusiasm for the gym.  Waking at around 6am to cycle the 6 miles to the gym.  I’m excited to see how far I can go this year.  My rest days are the weekend (sort of) I still cycle to work on the Saturday, but no gym beforehand.

Anyhoo; cue this morning my SO asks me to nip to the shop for him. Yeah, no problem right?  Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight?  WRONG.  Dead. Fucking. Wrong. Going to the shop wasn’t an issue, it was on the way home.  I decided to go down a different road & as I turned the corner on to my road I must’ve hit some black ice because the next thing I knew I was on the floor, picking up my bike & realising I’d messed up my face.

Got home in rapid time to bleed all over the kitchen floor & have my hubby get the neighbour & she volunteered to take me to A&E.  Sat there for three hours in a fair amount of discomfort to be told I’ve probably broken my nose (again – last time was on roller blades as a teenager) I have to go to ENT clinic on Monday once the swelling has gone down to get it confirmed.

So, yeah.  Today has been fun!

Edited 06/01 to add photo:

2015-01-06 15.54.39