The story behind the photo…

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If only we took the time to really see the story in a picture and explore it’s depth, if only we knew the true stories behind the faces, then maybe the picture might hold more significance. This photo for me is not just a great picture taken by Georgie Wilson (@georginamonette), it is the story of courage, challenge, commitment and friendships forged through unlikely circumstances.

For a moment, my breath was taken away when I saw this: it reminded me of what Wheel Women is about and how far we have come in the just over 4 years we’ve been running, and what it means for all the women who have experienced the joy of a ride with us. I am lucky to know the extraordinary stories behind every rider.

For any person seeing this picture I guess it looks very much like a group of middle aged women, who ride bikes. In fact, this is the story of women who are single, some widows, some married, some not, some with children and some who never have, some who work and some don’t…in all shapes and sizes. But above all, it is the story of so many who one day took that first step to go on a ride…in the dark so no one would see, alone and wondering how they would ever manage, or those who just said dammit and dragged that old bike out of the shed. They rose to the challenge regardless of their age, size, fitness or care of what others might say.

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There are so many faces in this picture that started as beginner riders with us, some barely able to do more than a circuit of the park. Some are now coaches with us, some are ride leaders, some climb hills while others are just content with the endorphins from their regular social but active catch up. They are bonded by their love of cycling and their age, background, career or other detail is irrelevant…it is the bike ride that bonds them.

And then there is the bike shop guy. Not afraid to admit most of his clientele are women these days, I think all of us can say we are treated with respect, patience and a willingness to teach us what we need to know. He’s also happy to share a beer with the girls at the end of the week. We are not demeaned and we are treated with importance, as we should be. He is very much a part of Wheel Women and we like that! He is a role model for the supportive males we need in women’s cycling.

What also makes this photo special is seeing the commitment these women have made not just to their own mental and physical health, but to the cause that is Wheel Women. They are representatives of so many with INCREDIBLE stories of adversity, challenge and showing that they CAN.

Every woman I see cycling with us is an Ambassador for Women… to get healthy, ride more and inspire others! The women above reminded me of that. When other women see you out riding, they see themselves in you – they see your shape is theirs, your age is theirs, your grey hair, brown hair or even your cellulite on your legs is like theirs, that tummy that has a few folds is like theirs, and your laughter, smiles and friendships inspire them.

Keep doing what you are doing…you are all the change-makers!!

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NOTE: Cyclic Bicycles, 56 Pin Oak Crescent Flemington for the supportive bike shop guy Evan

Some things I learned after launching a women’s cycling site: a response to Wade Wallace

I’ll admit that this was a blog post I could not leave alone…perhaps I should. But as a previous recipient of the Iris Dixon Women’s Champion Award from Cycling Victoria I’m not hesitating to respond to what Wade Wallce, founder of Cycling Tips website, had to say on this morning’s Ella Cycling Tips website post in his article ‘Nine things I learned about launching a women’s cycling website’.

irisLast year winning the iris Dixon Award, and this year’s recipient’s Ella Cycling Tips

 

Last Sunday Ella Cycling Tips received the Cycling Victoria Iris Dixon Award for 2016 for their achievements in creating a women’s version of the Cycling Tips website in an effort to increase the awareness of women’s cycling and raise the profile of the sport. There is no doubt they have achieved much and they are to be congratulated for what they have created and what has clearly been a monumental task.

But when Wade posted ‘Nine things I learned after launching a women’s cycling website’ I was intrigued…here is a bloke writing about what he has learned about setting up a site dedicated to women! My quiet chuckles aside, I read with interest because I take this stuff seriously. I run a business, website, blog and social media dedicated to women’s cycling.
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Buying a road bike…feeling confused?

When you don’t know anything about what you’re looking at the whole bike shop experience can be daunting; so many bikes, so many components, so many different bits of advice and so much very cool looking bike bling to tempt! Buying a new bike can be super confusing! Continue reading

What if I’m too slow, what if I’m too unfit….the Wheel Women Awards. Be inspired!

Sigh…I can here you say it. ‘Not another bloody It’s-Christmas-haven’t-we-had-a-fantastic-year blog post’. Yes you can stop reading right now if you wish…but what if you were to read on? What if there is something good in what I am going to say…better still, what if there is something that inspires you?
There is a lot to say after a year at Wheel Women and we just can’t possibly fit it all in one post. And that’s been the problem for me…so much happens at Wheel Women that I’m usually just far too busy to even do all the blogs and writing I’d love to do. Sometimes so much happens I don’t even know where to start.

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What is it with bike shop guys?

I’m still seething…or am I?

I still can’t work out whether I’m angry or have been reduced yet again to being a stupid woman in a bike shop who knows nothing.

What is it with these bike shop guys who just make that instant assumption that I’m an idiot and know nothing about bikes, or riding, or in fact anything at all that requires even the tiniest amount of technical know how – like how to take my water bottle from the cage and drink, while heaven forbid, I’m riding at the same time! (It’s called multi-tasking I believe).

So I walk into the bike shop, one I wouldn’t normally go to, and wander around checking out the bike candy…nice gear I think to myself. I didn’t want to be too conspicuous because frankly I was just there to get one thing, on the off chance they’d have it…but oh the distractions of pretty bikes. The Dura-Ace on the carbon frame, glowing yellow bar tape, and the beautiful matt black underbelly of the frame…..STOP!!! This is NOT what I went into the shop for.

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