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Two Incredible Ladies! Weekly Round-up #59!

Cycling Blog

Two Incredible Ladies! Weekly Round-up #59!

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Breaker of Chains

June 26th, 2016

This week’s round-up features two incredible female cyclists, one from the modern era and one from the 1930s, but both of whom have contributed to the momentum surrounding women’s cycling. It also includes a kooky bike design and an act of reassuring brotherhood from London.

The text on the top image translates to ‘Breaker of Chains’, and is the first Game of Thrones / cycling crossover we’ve ever seen. Credit to the image goes to Wawawiwa Designs on Facebook.

Lael Wilcox Smashes it

Look at this tweet:

If you’ve not heard of her before, Lael Wilcox is one to watch. She’s an adventurer and proclaimed bike-packer who recently won the formidable Trans Am Bike Race in America. Lael came ahead of 66 other riders (including 9 women) to win the 7,080km race. She managed it in 18 days.

You heard that right. 18 days.

That’s an average of 245 miles per day. All while being self-reliant and carrying everything she’d need for the entire ride. You can see her tracked ride and checkpoints here. As a taster, check out the graphs below showing her performance:

Lael Wilcox performance

What an absolutely astounding effort.

Mien Van Bree

Suze Clemitson has written a lovely article over at the Guardian which celebrates the contribution of previous generations of female cyclists to the ever-increasing (and overdue) momentum surrounding the sport.

Mien Van Bree, one of the ‘forgotten heroines’ that Clemitson identifies, was the first ever Dutch women’s world champion in 1937. Her role is described by Clemitson as “a salient reminder of how hard women have had to fight to achieve their foothold in world cycling”.

Mien van Bree (1915-1983)

Mien Van Bree

Her life definitely is a salient reminder to give women’s cycling (and women’s events in other sports) the attention they deserve: after her championship win in 1938 Van Bree left cycling forever. Her disappointment that women cyclists were still mocked and not taken seriously ultimately led to her death.

Thankfully cycling seems to be progressing in a positive direction in this issue: Clemitson highlights The Aviva Women’s Tour as a great event that will hopefully inspire others.

The Untameable Beast

This interesting and vaguely creepy contraption is the Strandbeest Bike, and is perhaps the least efficient variation on the standard bicycle we’ve ever seen:

The bike took 7 months and 700 man-hours to put together, and was based on a 3D-printed model of a Jansen’s linkage, which is the method created by engineer Theo Jansen of making his sculptures (appear to) walk.

It looks like this is purely a concept bike though, as there are risks of it falling apart if it gets up too much speed, and it requires a uniform flat surface to work correctly..!

Our Story of the Week

Warning – contains strong language!

In a week where the political landscape has asked some incredible questions about British national identity and our position on the world stage, the video below really hit the spot. It shows an interaction in Central London based on brotherhood and decency:

A taxi driver saw a driver knock over a cyclist and drive off without checking they were OK; instead of remaining a spectator, the taxi driver chases the other driver down and forces him out of his car, presumably to be bought back to the scene of the accident and to take responsibility.

A brave effort.

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