CycloFemme aims for 500 rides, in 50 countries on May 11, 2014 As the May 11, 2014 CycloFemme celebration of Women in Cycling nears, the bar has been set at 500 rides, in 50 countries, and all 50 US states. With last year’s 229 rides in 31 countries, CycloFemme continues to gain traction, celebrating the bicycle as a tool for empowering women and positive social change. BOULDER, CO, USA (March 19, 2013) — As registration gets under way for CycloFemme – May 11, 2014 Global Women’s Cycling Day, many riders are coming together to plan celebrations worldwide. With the third annual ride approaching, CycloFemme organisers are calling on the global community to plan rides with the goal of 500 rides in 50 countries, and all 50 US states. Among those standing behind CycloFemme is the US national cycling organization League of American Bicyclists.
“Cyclofemme is a unique catalyst and universal call to action for individual riders and organized efforts around women and cycling.” says Carolyn Szczepanski of the League of American Bicyclists. “This one day has already become an incredible unifying force for women around the world. The League couldn’t be more honored to promote and celebrate this event as a part of National Bike Month,” she said.
Unified primarily through social media and word of mouth, in 2013, the grassroots movement was celebrated from Kyoto, Japan to Alaska, USA and from Orebro, Sweden to Yida, South Sudan where two women learned to ride a bike in a MSF (Médecins Sans Frontières) camp in preparation for the big day, held in May.
“There is great momentum in the women’s empowerment movement, we see the bicycle as a tool for realizing positive social change. We believe that strong communities are built by strong women. As Susan B. Anthony said, about the bicycle, ‘I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance.’” said CycloFemme co-founder Sarai Snyder. “The bicycle provides access, connectivity, and mobility, essential tools for economic, community, and personal development. We see CycloFemme as an opportunity to celebrate these ideas and encourage more women to lead a healthy lifestyle.” With the statement “We Ride Together,” the goal of CycloFemme is to create a unified voice for women’s cycling by building a tribe of riders who recognize the need to empower one another and build a supportive community.
CycloFemme is celebrated annually on the US Mother’s Day, the spirit of the day continues to live on year round. Many cyclists still find opportunities to adorn themselves with the CycloFemme mark, in the form of a temporary tattoo, showing support for the global movement at local cycling events and rides.
Knowing that exponential change begins with the simple maths of 1+1, many have also made a personal commitment by signing the CycloFemme Pledge to “inspire one more woman to ride a bike.” Images of pledge signings can be found on cyclofemme.com/pledge along with pdf versions to print, sign and share. Currently available in English, Spanish, and Chinese with more languages being introduced weekly.
A creative initiative of Girl Bike Love + Language Dept., CycloFemme is global celebration to Honor the Past, Celebrate the Present, Empower the Future of Women in Cycling. The mission states “Teach women to ride, and they will change the world.”
For more information download the CycloFemme PDF below: [wpdm_file id=1]
The Herne Hill Velodrome Trust presents…
- Jon Snow throws down gauntlet to Russell Brand and Philip Hindes MBE, Olympic gold medalist
- Money raised will go towards securing the Velodrome’s future and riders’ nominated charities
The Herne Hill Velodrome Trust are delighted to announce the launch of the Herne Hill Velodrome Riband, a fundraising challenge pitching top cyclists against Twitter-savvy celebrities. The HHV Riband will be a high-profile fundraiser with 50 per cent of the funds raised going towards securing the Velodrome’s future and the other 50 per cent towards riders’ nominated charities.
So how does it work? Each rider, whether they’re Olympian Philip Hindes MBE or Jon Snow, broadcaster and Channel 4 News presenter, will ride three laps of the 450m track at the Herne Hill Velodrome – from a standing start, they’ll have one windup lap, then two timed laps. The fastest lap will be their registered time.
And who will win? Well, it really could be anyone’s. That’s right, we haven’t mentioned the special twist – the person with the highest total ‘score’ will be announced as the winner. A person’s ‘score’ will be calculated by dividing each rider’s fundraising efforts by their fastest lap time. So, a ‘slow’ celebrity could out sprint an Olympian by raising more cash – an ingenious way for a celebrity to beat an Olympian.
#bicyclebulletin presenter Sophie Robehmed & Jon Snow selfie at the launch of the Herne Hill Velodrome Riband.
The Riband announcement was made in the first episode of the #bicyclebulletin by Hillary Peachey, Chairman of the Herne Hill Velodrome Trust. The first challengers are avid cyclist, Jon Snow, Channel 4 News Anchor and Philip Hindes, Olympic cycling gold medal winner, who will both compete for the HHV Riband later in the year.
Talking to the #bicyclebulletin, Jon Snow said: “I will be riding for my charity New Horizon Youth Centre. I have more than 402,000 followers on Twitter so what I may lack in speed, I expect to more than compensate for through fundraising online. I believe dirty tricks are allowed so I will be calling on some old friends to help out.” And who would Snow like to be up against on the track? “I am very keen to challenge @RustyRockets – Russell Brand.”
Philip Hindes said: “I will be riding for Team Herne Hill. I am one of the fastest men on the track in the UK so, although I don’t yet have 400,000 twitter followers like Jon, I am quietly confident I can give my rivals a run for their money! I also have one or two old friends in the right places. I am challenging my friend, Andy Tennant, Team GB cyclist.”
Up to nine riders will be invited to take part in the HHV Riband, which will commence later this year. Their laps will be broadcast online on the #bicyclebulletin’s website: www.bicyclebulletin.co.uk.
Herne Hill Velodrome patron, double Olympic gold medalist and nine times world champion track cyclist, Victoria Pendleton CBE, said: “May the best team win.”
Interested riders should contact Theodore Bird ([email protected]; +44 (0)7711 747 334). Don’t miss all the action – subscribe to the Bicycle Bulletin’s channels at www.bicyclebulletin.co.uk.
Herne Hill Velodrome
The Herne Hill Velodrome is one of the oldest tracks in the world. It was built in 1891 and used for the 1948 London Olympic Games. The Herne Hill Velodrome Trust is a registered charity working towards building a new pavilion on site to give riders, staff, volunteers and spectators the facilities they all deserve. For more information please go to www.hhvt.org
New Horizon Youth Centre
Jon Snow is Chair of the New Horizon Youth Centre, a day centre for 16 to 24-year-olds in central London. The annual New Horizon’s Comedy Benefit, hosted by comedian Ed Byrne, will take place at the Shaw Theatre on June 2 2014, tickets available from Ticketmaster.
One Man And His Bike
A life-changing journey all the way around the coast of Britain
by Mike Carter
I must confess, I didn’t pick up this book with a great degree of enthusiasm – I’ve read motorcycle-based travel books before and found some can go on long after they run out of interesting things to say. So imagine my surprise when I picked up One Man And His Bike and was almost instantly drawn in – the tagline is simple enough (“what would happen if you were cycling to the office and just kept on pedalling”?), but it’s the execution that makes it fantastic. You can almost see it – a man desperate for escape, for change; he’s cycling to work and reaches a junction. One way – towards work is; traffic jams, road works, blowing horns and exhaust fumes – the other runs alongside the Thames, and onwards out to the sea. Who wouldn’t be intrigued at the possibility, the promise? It’s almost poetic.
Well, Mike Carter was, for one. Instead of heading to Argentina, he decided to load up the bike and follow that road to the sea, and the result is an amazing, epic travelogue, 5000 miles around the coast. It’s not written as a travel guide, or a “how to do your own epic ride”, it’s purely Mike’s story – as a consequence, he doesn’t get bogged down in detail and the narrative fair dances across the page. If you’re looking for his in-depth thoughts on your coastal town, or want a useful guide to an interesting seaside destination, you won’t find it here. But what you WILL find are 350 pages of the most wonderful snapshots, of places, landscapes, history, cycling, beer, cakes, camping, and most of all, people – Mike will clearly speak to anyone, and it’s his encounters with the broadest variety of the populace that really bring the book to life. On almost every page, it seems, there’s an artful vignette of a meeting between any kind of random person you can think of, and some bloke on a bike.
What makes this a stand out book is that Mike is first and foremost a writer, rather than a cycling enthusiast. His prose is wonderfully measured and efficient, a deftly-wielded artist’s brush picking out beautiful detail rather than a housepainter’s roller covering everything in stodge, so it races along, but it still leaves you with strong impressions of the many things he saw and did, so you get a wonderful sense of the country and its people in a nutshell. And it’s funny, too – proper laugh-out-loud-in-public funny, as well as wistful, insightful and informative.
If you’re a hardcore racer who’s only interested on the inside story from the peloton, this may not be the book for you. But if you’ve a love of cycling in general and you’re looking for a good read, whether it’s to pass the time whilst winter rages outside, in a hammock on your summer holidays, or even (dare I suggest) on a cycle tour round the country, I highly recommend it. This is a book that has the power to inspire.
One Man And His Bike
Author: Mike Carter
Published by Ebury Press
Available in Paperback & eBook
RRP £7.99 (Paperback), RRP £7.99 (eBook)
Following my high scoring reviews of the Bike Floss (90%) and the Bike Polish & Frame Protector (100%) from UK Company Purple Harry, I now turn to their Wash & Polish Mitt.
It is made from good quality microfibre material and shaped into a three fingered ‘lobster claw’ glove, which according to their website “has been ergonomically designed with the bike’s shape and contours in mind – allowing access to difficult areas whilst avoiding catching on the drive train and snagging in components”.
For this review I will be comparing this mitt with my usual cleaning materials; standard square shaped microfibre cloths bought from my local Pound store!
The Mitt costs at least SIX times more than the cloths I have been using for many years for cleaning and polishing duties, but is it worth the extra expense?
I hit a problem with the Mitt straight away; I couldn’t get it onto my hand.
My hands are not excessively large, but I struggled for a while before having to resort to using scissors to cut the black narrow cuff stitched into the Mitt to allow my hand in. Due to the Lobster claw shape your second and third fingers are forced apart, which felt uncomfortable to start with, but overtime became less troublesome.
Also while working on the bike, because you have two pairs of fingers held together, it restricts how well you can get into those small little gaps and crevices that need to be reached while cleaning or polishing. My natural instinct is to use just the finger-tip of my index finger to get to those more intricate areas, something you can’t do very successfully with this Mitt as the combined width of two fingers stops you reaching as far as you would like.
Also with my normal square cloth I can easily reach every corner on the frame by using it in a flossing action by just pulling one corner into the tight spot, for example cleaning between the rear wheel and chain stays, the gap is far too narrow to get my finger in between.
Another disadvantage of using the Mitt is that the actual area of material that you can use for cleaning/polishing is very limited; meaning that it quickly becomes too dirty or clogged. You have the whole Mitt but in reality can only effectively use the finger tips for finer work and the length of your fingers for working on the more accessible areas.
To use the other side you will need to take the Mitt off and put it on your other hand. This means that it might become too dirty to finish the job, you will have to wash it after every use or you will need to buy a couple more!
My way of working is that I currently have several microfibre cloths in use, each one is given a different task depending on how dirty it is; brand new ones are used for dusting and polishing only, but once they become clogged or a little dirty they then move onto drying or light cleaning duties and the previous one used for this purpose is ‘downgraded’ to more dirty tasks and so on until the very last one is used exclusively for chain cleaning work – and once this is oil soaked it is binned and another trip to the Pound shop is made to buy a fresh one to start the process again.
These cloths can be washed too, but as they cost as little as 99p for three it is not worth the effort. As they are square shaped you can use every inch of the cloth, both sides included, and by wrapping your index finger in the cloth with the remainder held in the palm of your hand you can reach those smaller awkward places with a clean patch of fabric every time unlike the Mitt.
From the picture above; in the bottom left is a new cloth, and each one in a clockwise direction becomes progressively dirtier.
So, as you can gather from my comments, I would not recommend that you pay £5.99 for this Mitt, instead buy six standard cloths and use a rotation system similar to mine, you will get much more value for money and they’ll do a better job too!
Left, is a comparison of cleaning area between the Mitt and cloths for the same price. Unfortunately I am awarding my lowest score so far, all the effort that has gone into cutting out the shape, stitching it together and attention to detail like adding the cuff and Purple Harry label has not only cost a lot to do, it has also severely restricted its usefulness, which is reflected in my score below:
Sorry to the Guys at Purple Harry, I can only give the Mitt a paltry score of 17%.
With the constant rain that has become the norm here in the UK lately, it has become more important than ever to regularly clean your bike. This will not only reduce corrosion, but also limit the wear from those little bits of grit and muck that stick to the frame and components when cycling on wet roads.
The UK produced Purple Harry Bike Polish will not only leave your bike sparkling, it also leaves a protective layer of waxes and silicones, adding an extra barrier to your paintwork which will make it easier to clean in the future too!
Simply pour a small amount onto a clean soft cloth of your choice, apply to the bike in a circular motion and then wait for at least 5 minutes for the polish to dry, then buff off to reveal a gleaming silky smooth surface. Of course, as with any polish, avoid getting any on the braking surfaces and it’s not recommended for use on the saddle or brake levers!
In the past I have only used the same polish as I use on my car (Turtle Wax), and have been pleased with the results, but I was very impressed with the Purple Harry Polish.
The crown on my carbon forks had minute scratches that always caught my eye in the past, but now they are gone, to be replaced by a nice deep black mirror like shine!
I also got a good finish when applying the polish to the painted Aluminium frame, carbon forks, Aluminium chainset and even plastic mudguards, so it can be used on most bike surfaces (take extra care if polishing wheel rims not to make the braking surface super slippery!).
My bike has never looked so good, after using the Bike Floss sticks to clean the cassette and chain and now protecting every suitable surface with the Bike Polish, it is almost in ‘as new’ condition. This is impressive; when you consider that it is a 2008 bike that I bought secondhand, which gets used nearly every day, for either a weekend ride or my commute to work.
It is difficult to say how often you should apply the polish, I guess it depends on the weather conditions and how often the bike gets washed, and obviously you wouldn’t use it every time you clean the bike. Perhaps 3 to 4 times a year seems to me to be a sensible figure. The bottle should therefore last for years (Unless, because of the fantastic results, you go on to use it on your car, caravan, or boat too!).
I really can’t find any negatives; it just works better than anything else I have tried before.
So, a first from me, a score of 100% for Purple Harry Bike Polish!
With a history steeped in textile spinning, Sportful was founded in Italy in 1942 as an undergarments manufacturer, before developing its first cycling specific garments in 1985. Come 2002, Cipollini rode to become World Champion, one of the Italian cycling team members to be wearing Sportful kit in the professional peloton for the first time. It’s fair to say, the 60 years of working with professional athletes and distributors is testament to the quality of their products. And this year’s range looks to set the benchmark even higher.
I’ve heard raving reviews about Sportful from various different cyclists and when looking for new kit for the coming season their designs seemed to stand off the page with some pretty impressive supporting statements. With distinctive white, black and orange bursts of colour, I was excited by the idea that I may finally stand out on the Sunday club run. Plus, with a statement as bold as Developed by Women, for Women, I can’t possibly go wrong.
4mm layer of Poron – does my bum look big in this?
The first thing I noticed on unpacking the BodyFit Pro kit, was the attention to detail. Developed by Italian garments designer Linda Bellio, this year’s kit really is designed by a woman for women. Breaking the pieces down, Linda and Sportful have looked at every element and individual panel in a bid to make the ‘best performing kit’ for women on the market. Forget the ‘pink and shrink’ strategy, with insight from their sponsored Women’s team, ASD Top Girls, Sportful really have developed a kit to suit our womenly bodies.
The BodyFit Pro technology uses the same ergonomic lightweight materials as ridden by the Tinkoff Saxo team. The bibs have straps like no others I’ve seen before. With a flat no-seam design and elasticated flex, they mold perfectly to the body whether you’re on the bike or stopped for a coffee. Plus, a bonus to the flat-flex design means they fit perfectly around the bust for seamless aerodynamics (I could probably do with loosing the bust if we’re to really talk aero!)
The same BodyFit Pro technology is again bought into the leg with AeroFlow, to provide a tight compression fitting that supports the muscles.
Moving further down the body to an area I have the majority of my problems with when buying comfortable kit, I notice quite a thick padding on the sit bone area of the chamois (con), but a highly flexible middle section (pro). Although they felt rather tight, these proved extremely comfortable. According to Sportful, the Infinity Seat Pad features progressive damping with softer foam on the top surface, medium foam in the middle, and in the most important sitting area, a special 4mm layer of Poron that gives shock absorption and is lightweight, breathable, and avoids heat build-up. I didn’t feel as sweaty as I normally would at the end of a ride, but only warmer weather and a longer session will prove this.
AirMesh one piece shoulders with raw cut sleeves
Both the bibs and the jersey feature seamless, non-grip, raw-cut edge sleeves and legs. Every cyclist has a preference, but with a slightly bulkier thigh, there’s no chance of the horrible ‘sausage’ effect or irritation, yet enough natural grip in the fabric to stay in place for those crisp tan lines. Lovely!
Both the jersey and bibs have clearly been designed for the warmer weather, featuring a breathable AirMesh in the single-piece shoulders and underarm of the jersey and the sleeves of the bibs for maximum airflow . This not only helps keep the body temperature down, but also makes for an extremely soft feel on the skin, yet with holes small enough to not appear see-through (and hopefully protect from a”Froome-tan“).
The only silicone grippers you’ll find on the kit is on the base of jersey, helping keep three full back pockets in check whilst on the bike.
All over, this kit is comfortable, looks and feels great on, and it performs. Definitely not cheap, every bit of kit is designed for perfection and well worth the investment.
Cycling Shorts gives the Sportful BodyFit Pro range a Star Buy rating of 95%
Riding since Feb 2011 Hayley is a 30 year old female who loves adventures. If she’s not on one of her many bikes or in the water on a bodyboard/surfboard, then Hayley is probably out looking for something new to keep the adrenaline pumping!