Across all disciplines, we are seeing more and more women on bikes thanks to the advocates creating the space, support, and resources for that to happen. Let’s look at a few ways the cycling community has shown its allegiance to women over the last year— and highlight the women who are the driving force of that action!
The women letting the world know cycling is for riders of all shapes and sizes
All Bodies on Bikes is a movement that aims to get more people on bicycles, make cycling more size-inclusive, and eliminate anti-fat bias in society as a whole. This much-needed advocacy is led by two bike-loving adventurers — Kailey Kornhauser and Marley Blonsky. Kornhauser is a PhD student, adventure cyclist, advocate and writer. Blonsky is a self-described bike adventurer, advocate and dog mom. Through All Bodies on Bikes and individually, this dynamic duo is changing the narrative around what it means to be a cyclist in an industry that has historically catered to people with smaller bodies.
In Blonsky’s words, “The cycling industry is very, ‘You have to be skinny and dress a certain way and want to ride for the fastest time or the most epic trip ever,’ and our whole thing is, if you want to ride your bike, in any way you want that’s safe and feels good to you, then you’re a cyclist.” We 100 % agree! These women ran a series of fantastic events over the last year, and you can check out what they are dreaming up next right here.
The champion leading the rise of women’s bikepacking
Bikepacking has exploded in popularity in recent years, but there are still more obstacles for women riders. From safety concerns to less support within the community, there are a lot of women out there who are curious about adventuring on their bikes but are struggling to find the resources to help them prepare to do so. Thankfully, some experienced thrill seekers are stepping in to fill the void. Having successfully hosted their third edition earlier this year, the Komoot Women’s Rally is a women’s bike-packing event intended to educate and inspire.
Open to women, non-binary, and trans riders, the rally tackles new terrain for each event. The brainchild of Komoot ambassador Lael Wilcox, the rally aims to connect, unite and break down the barriers in adventure cycling: making adventures by bike more accessible to women of all backgrounds. A collective event rather than a race, the goal is for participants to ride a challenging route carrying everything needed to get from start to finish without extra support. Riders come together as companions in an uplifting environment emphasising sharing knowledge, learning-by-doing and having fun. We couldn’t think of a better way to find your inner bikepacker.
The fierce riders making mountain biking more accessible while standing up for mental health awareness
We love how cycling inspires so many to use their bike as a force of good in the world. With mental health becoming an increasingly pressing issue the world over, we are always particularly heartened to see the efforts of people who decide to take matters into their own hands.
Such as the women of the Ladies AllRide. These founders have a mission: Change women’s lives with two wheels and some dirt. Lindsey Richter and Meredith Brandt are the brains behind the operation and proudly claim that life is about CREATING yourself, not finding yourself. Richter is now a world-renowned leader in the women’s mountain bike movement and a champion for mental health advocacy. She knows firsthand how mountain biking can change lives and has devoted her life to sharing it with others. Brandt shares the vision of her business partner, and wants to eliminate the struggles she faced while learning to ride “by trial and error” and give women the support they need to overcome their fears and tap into their inner power. You can find upcoming events here.
The bikepacker de-stigmatizing female hygiene on a bike
If you are a woman cyclist, you may have noticed that it is relatively easy to find information on hot topics such as choice of gearing or tyres, but it can be a heck of a lot trickier to find a safe space to discuss and learn about more intimate matters. From on-the-go skincare to managing your period, plenty of things can be intimidating when you first start tackling longer rides.
Rather than feeling sheepish, though, we should be talking about and helping one another out with these things! To help de-stigmatize and shed some light on female hygiene while bikepacking, Belén Castelló put together this wide-ranging 25-minute video that shares her perspective on several topics. Castelló is an adventure cyclist and route designer from Spain, and in her video, she covers showering, skin care, periods, and much more. Watch it here.
Of course, there are so many more women out there creating all sorts of inclusive and innovative spaces for women to ride, and they all deserve recognition! We love being a part of this community and encourage you to take a moment out of your day to send a little love to a women cyclist who inspires you (and that can absolutely be yourself ;).