This week I received a gift from Adidas – a yellow cycling jacket. The message in the package said ‘In our sport, the colour yellow represents excellence, courage and achievement. Even though only a small amount of us will lead a grand tour, we want to celebrate the success of the everyday cycling hero. You have been hand selected for your commitment and dedication to the sport’. How wonderful is that! As I wear my jacket with pride I will raise a cheer and celebrate the success of all our ride leaders and riders that have helped change the face of cycling for women in the NW – glow girls GLOW.
GLOW IN NUMBERS
As of July we have:-
· 320 Facebook friends, (that is twice as many as July 2012) and we have
· 72 investing members giving us currently
· £1600 reserves to benefit members. We have
· 200+ followers on Twitter and on average
· 100 visits a day to our website. Of our 72 paying members
· 32 of those women are ride leaders and have led over
· 60 rides since Oct 2012 and only cancelled 2 rides due to extreme weather conditions
· 1 National Masters Track Champion 500m Time Trial
· Lost count of the numbers of new bikes or old ones dusted down making their first trip with us and all the number of miles we have cycled together
GLOW HILL CHALLENGE 2013
Our challenge for this year is to see if we could get 100 women to collectively ‘bag’ 100 of the greatest climbs in Britain. Autumn Barlow wrote a feature in the May issue of Cycling Active attracting cycling sisters the SE and SW who have since joined us in our challenge. So far we have 54 women bagging 55 of Simon Warren’s greatest climbs. We might struggle to reach 100 women/100 climbs this year but we are not beaten yet and in our favour lots more women are less fearful of hills and in fact some go a long way out of their way to find more. This year we have had:-
· 30 women rode the Cat and Fiddle in February and featured in the article
· 2 women complete the Fred Whitton and another
· 5 women do the Four Season Fred Whitton
· 6 women finished the Cheshire Cat Sportive including the ‘Killer Mile’
· 3 women tackled the Marmotte
· 6 women broke the back of the Whole/Half Hog
· 1 woman go Trans Pyrenees
· 7 women nailed Sa Calobra, Mallorca
· Lots of women glowing from riding up local hills be that Thorley Lane, Tatton Wall or Artist Lane and the Wizard
Well done to us all for whatever has been ‘our’ challenge this year.
GLOW SKILLS AND WISDOM
Our Face Book page is really well used and the quality of response to women wanting help with bikes, bodies and equipment is expanding with our collective experience and knowledge. There’s also a growing Garmin user’s network making ride leading and sharing routes easier and easier and then some fab techies out there introducing state of the art mapping and route storage systems. We love you.
Five of us, Helen E, Autumn, Emma, Ursula and Glynis are now qualified as National Cycling Instructors and Sarah Griffiths is our first Glow to complete a Level 2 cycling coaching certificate. Ursula recently completed her City and Guilds in Cycle Maintenance with Bike Right!
New kit is on its way in time for the Manchester 100 Sportive on the 1st September thanks to Joanna Watson and her perseverance in working with Endura. We will also carry a small supply of jerseys and gilets for new comers. Plus we are also the co-parents of Lezyne, she is a mini foot pump with gauge to be borrowed for GLOW tours.
Here is around up of the year so far – check out the Glow blog for write ups (& feel free to contribute your own adventures).
· March – 1st Women’s Social History Cycle Tour
· March - Beginners cycle tours – Cheshire Cycle Way
· April – Hadrian’s Wall
· April – Tour of Mallorca
· May - Lon Las, Cwyru North
· June – 2nd Women’s Social History Cycle Tour
· June - Tour of Snowden
SPORTIVES, AUDAX and RACES
· April/May - Four Seasons Fred Whitton
· May - Cycletta Cheshire
· May - Fred Whitton
· May - Whole and Half Hog
· June - Marmotte
· June - Great Manchester Cycle
· June – National Masters Track Championships
· July - Cheshire Cat
· August – Wild Wales Challenge
· Sept – Manchester 100
· Bike and body maintenance weekend as part of Manchester’s Wonder Women week
· Bike handling provided by Sarah Griffiths
· Tameside Circuits session for women
· Track – first time the track has seen so many women at once – we are still making history!
· Hills and speed – Sarah Roberts and Ange Hilton
· Learning to Love Distance (information evening and training ride) with Christine Evans and Nadia Kerr
WOMEN OF THE NORTH WEST UNITE – WE HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE BUT OUR CHAINS
Following correspondence over the past two years with Brian Cookson, President of British Cycling regarding the lack of women on the BC board and lack of development in cycling for women we are pleased to see their strategy launched in the spring to address both those issues. Kay Butler and I met with British Cycling’s national lead Jill Putnam and Natalie Justice (Breeze manager) to offer our help and share our wish for the NW to be an exemplary region in the development of women’s cycling. Our first contribution was a quick audit of existing women’s cycling groups in the NW. We counted 15 groups (excluding Breeze) with a combined membership of approximately 1000 women - 1000 women being ‘bold on a bicycle’ in the NW – nothing short of a revolution!
On the strength of the strategy and intention to develop women’s cycling the steering group have agreed to register and affiliate Team Glow to British Cycling. This means members with a license will be able to race in the name of Team Glow.
2013 GLOW ANNUAL RIDE AND SOCIAL EVENT
Members will be celebrating our year of cycling over the weekend of 18th – 20th October at Ilam Hall Youth Hostel, Derbyshire. Women are offering to lead A – D rides on both Saturday and Sunday and evening of celebration on Saturday. Our group booking is now complete but feel free to book as an individual directly with the hostel phone 01335350212 and let me know 07780900811. Exciting rides and entertainment planned!
LOOKING AHEAD … ….. 2014 CALENDAR
April – GLOW touring and training in Mallorca after 19th April
May - Team Glow has two free places on the Fred Whitton, Sunday 11th May 2014. If you and a girlfriend are interested please let me have your names by the end of November. The free places will be picked out of a hat. The organisers are keen to support more women take on this challenge and will do their best to offer places to women. Martine’s advice is to apply in a team of 4. Entry details will be on their website in early December. If riding this is not for you, there is a need for volunteers and in doing so you can earn free places for other GLOWS for 2015!!!
July –Grand Depart of Tour de France 5th- 6th
September – Manchester 100 Sportive 7th ??
October – Glow annual ride and social event 17th – 19th??
Glynis Francis, founder of Team Glow
on behalf of the steering group
30 July 2013