Saturday, August 29, 2015

Rapha #Womens100 2015

Remember last year when I rode my single speed bike from London to Southend on a single speed bike..?

Never felt so deserving of an ice cream. Kudos to my friend for an awesome recommendation- Rossi's Westcliff

That ride was especially hard work as it was super hot and bikes without gears are tough to get up hills. But it was all in aid of the Women's 100- a worldwide call to pedals for women to get out there and enjoy riding their bikes, devised and publicised by cycling brand Rapha (who make some of the loveliest kit EVER for both girls and guys)

Running might be taking over my life but cycling will always be my first love. 100 very wet kilometres complete for the #raphawomonens100 #womens100
Braids for the 2015 Women's 100

The 2015 edition was all set to be a bit less dramatic. This year I'm riding a road bike that's well geared, light and designed for exactly this kind of event and beyond. I went along with T and his parents on a planned route circling Peterborough. The scheduled rain kicked in about half way through the ride, but didn't stop play.

I fail to understand how my jersey gets so dirty #womens100
I'm not sure I'll ever really understand how I get so damn dirty when riding my bike....

And a mere 20 minutes from a hot shower and eating all the things, I had a bit of an... *incident* with some wet rail lines. Rail lines that ran almost diagonally across the road. With nice big gaps either side of the tracks. Skinny road bike tyres and big slippery rail lines with gaps either side do not hand in hand go....

Rail lines 1:0 Chloe I have some killer bruises all down my left side from impact. Note to self, be careful on wet rail lines with skinny road bike tyres #womens100
To go with some spectacular bruising rainbows on my hip where I landed....

In short, the bike slipped on the rails, got caught in the gap and stopped moving.... I did not stop moving. It's the first time I've come of my bike and some very unpleasant shock like symptoms started up fair promptly. YAY. Luckily for me, T's mum is an ex-First Responder and made sure I got some sugar in me and no major damage done. 

Women only rides and runs and all kinds of things get a mixed response- I know plenty of people who feel they alienate women even further from mainstream participation in sports such as cycling. The great thing about the Women's 100 is that it's not about segregating cyclists, but about encouraging even more women to get out there and enjoy a great sport (despite some of the awful press this week). I rode my 100km with my (for want of a better description) Mother and Father-in-law and my male partner because both these men are happy to celebrate female achievement and would never dream of excluding me from a ride or a run because I'm female. Encouraging more women into sports doesn't mean excluding men or alienating sexes, it should be about empowering everyone to enjoy sports and for me riding my 100km as a mixed group whilst encouraging more women to enjoy a sport I love is as good an opportunity to empower as I can think of. 

Take me back.
Ok.... so maybe I do know how I get so dirty after all.... 

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