Mondays mean Ella Picks – a round-up of links of the women’s cycling content we don’t want you to miss. Featured below are some of the best things we’ve read and watched over the last week. Our picks this week include the Philly Cycling Classic highlights video, updates on Julie Leth (Hitec Products) following her horrific crash at Winston-Salem and a feature story on the 28-year-old New Yorker who hopes to become America’s first African-American professional female cyclist.
Julie Leth returns to Denmark following Winston Salem Cycling Classic Crash
Danish time trial champion Julie Leth was involved in a horrific crash at the Winston Salem Cycling Classic in North Carolina on the first of June. She hit a dip on the road while descending and was thrown from her bike suffering fractures to the elbow, jaw and vertebrae. Her team issued a statement that said she would likely be “out of cycling” for 10-12 weeks.
Leth’s saga did not end there. Due to the extent of her injuries, she required all sorts of permits to travel home to Denmark. Leth’s father flew to the States and stayed by her side throughout her ordeal. When they attempted to book their flights back to Denmark, they learned that they required a Danish doctor to accompany Leth on the flight. Leth wrote on her Facebook page: “Due to my injuries, no airline company wants to take the responsibility of flying with me if I’m not joined by a doctor.”
According to airline regulations, Leth would require a Danish doctor to fly to the States, rest one day following his travels and then fly home with her.
Having followed along as Leth detailed each new obstacle, we were thrilled to learn that she had finally made it home last Thursday.
It’s been some long and painful days here at Wake Forrest, but everyone has been really kind and helpful. Having my dad by my side also makes things easier. Yesterday, I finally got a shower, and got out of my hospital gown. My jaw surgery went well. They wired it together, so I’ll be on a liquid diet for the next few weeks!
Excerpt from Leth’s Facebook page:
“I’ve been asked a bit about my injuries: The cast has been taken off my elbow. I’m not allowed to push or lift anything, but I need to move it, to prevent it from getting stiff. My jaw will be wired for another 2 weeks or so. It needs to heal in the right place. The back brace I’m wearing, supports my back, after the small fracture, and helps it grow back together. I probablyhave to wear it for about 10 weeks!”
Follow Julie Leth on Facebook for updates on her progress.
The Bike Industry is Sick
Bike Shop Girl adds her two cents to the discussion on the bike industry’s inclusivity problem (or lack thereof), arguing that hiring more women won’t fix the problems that plague most bike shops. While she’s quick to point out serious issues within the bike shop industry, she’s just as quick to offer plausible solutions.
Over the past 5-10 years the focus of getting more women riding has spurred a lot of new product, brands and a great amount of debate within the inner circles of the industry if women really need special product. As a woman that has essentially grown up in the bike industry I really hope that the industry will catch up with the times and start to understand the larger problems that are keeping the industry from growing. These same problems will also keep turning women away.
Best moments: 2015 UCI Women Road World Cup – Philadelphia Cycling CLassic
The UCI produces a highlights video a few days following each of the World Cups (save Chongming – we didn’t seem to a highlights video out of China this year). While we were lucky enough to have a live stream out of Philly, this video is still worth a watch – includes several interviews and pre-race/post-race footage that wasn’t part of the original broadcast. Ned Boulting and Rochelle Gilmore commentate.
Happy Tenth Anniversary to Twenty16 p/b Sho-Air
The UCI interviewed Nicola Cranmer team owner/general manager of Twenty16 p/b Sho-Air on the history of the team as they approach their tenth anniversary. While the team has undergone several name changes over the last ten years, Cranmer has remained one of the programme’s constant. A second constant has been the team’s mission of developing athletes to compete at the highest level of the sport.
Shelley Olds (Bigla) and Megan Guarnier (Boels-Dolmans) emerged from the program (what was then called Proman), and the team produced two Olympic medals in London – with Kristin Armstrong taking gold in the individual time trial and Lauren Tamayo earning a silver medal on the track as part of the American team pursuit.
This gem of a women has been through all the ups and downs of the team ever since the idea of starting a women’s professional cycling team brewed in her heart. @nicolacranmer puts her heart and soul into managing Team Twenty16 and we love and admire her hard-work, resilience and passion for sharing women’s cycling with the world?????? #womenscycling #womenracebikes #heart #passion #nevergiveup #shine
A photo posted by TWENTY16 Pro Cycling (@teamtwenty16) on
Finding and securing sponsorship was one of the challenges for the team as it grew. The biggest low for Nicola Cranmer was when the team’s title sponsor pulled out mid-way through the 2013 season.
“We kept the team together but I didn’t know if I would have a team in 2014 so I recommended that they seek other contracts.”
In true Cranmer style, she rebounded and recruited development athletes, which she now sees was a blessing in disguise.
“We discovered some shining stars and our experience illustrates that teams go through cycles which make them stronger and more resilient.”
DIY: How to Make a Bike Tube Bracelet
This tutorial from Liv walks you through the steps to turn your holey tubs into adorable bike tube bracelets. If you can make paper snowflakes, you can handle this project.
Stores are filled with men’s cycling-enthusiast apparel, but a little lack-luster when it comes to the women’s selection. Well, ladies, DIY to the rescue! Why not show off your love of bikes by wearing your favorite used bike parts as jewelry? Up-cycled tires, tubes, washers and spokes can make attractive bracelets, necklaces and earrings. Some women have already perfected the art of bike jewelry and are capitalizing on their skills through Internet retail outlets like www.etsy.com and at local bike shops. But, what about all your used bike parts collecting dust in the garage?
Zwift + Evelyn Stevens + #GetSomeoneRiding
In our Ella Picks last week, we introduced you to Bicycling Magazine’s #GetSomeoneRiding campaign. When Evelyn Stevens first started riding regularly, she lived in New York City, worked on Wall Street and did most of her riding on a stationary training. In part, this was out of necessity, but she says this was also fueled by her intimidation around riding outdoors.
Stevens sees indoor training riding as a good way of building confidence in beginners, and she sees Zwift as a tool to help connect women riding indoors. Zwift will roll out women rides led by Steven’s in the fall, but Stevens hopes to #getsomeoneriding on the trainer before then with the tips she shares to make the most out of your trainer session.
What if you could eliminate all of that and just learn how to pedal, how to shift, and what’s comfortable from the comfort of your living room? World team-time-trial champion Evelyn Stevens is working with Zwift, the virtual indoor program, by starting on the trainer. This fall, look for women’s rides led by Stevens on the Zwift program. “The ultimate goal is to get more women on bikes, and more women on Zwift,” Stevens says.
Interview with Specialized Global PR Manager Katie Sue Gruener
SBS chatted with Specialized Global PR Manager Katie Sue Gruener about the Specialized Amira, the various factors that women might want to consider when selecting a bike and how the company’s partnership with Boels-Dolmans contributes to product design.
“I don’t consider myself a racer, but I love to go fast, and I love to have a product that will instill that confidence to meet those speed goals.”
Will Ayesha McGowan Become America’s First Black Women Pro Cyclist?
When someone sent me the link to this story, I was astounded. Has there really not yet been an African American female professional cyclist in America? Because USA Cycling does not track racial demographic data, it makes it difficult to confirm that Ayesha McGowan, a category three bike racer from New York City, could become the first African American professional in women’s cycling.
McGowan might only be a category three racer today, but she has progressed through the ranks swiftly. She won her first bike race and upgraded from a category four to a category three in just one summer. She’s mid-way to the points she’ll need for her next upgrade – a upgrade that will allow her to compete in the elite fields in most of the race across the country. Should she stay the course, she hopes to be part of the solution to cycling’s diversity problem in United States.
McGowan is a 28-year-old preschool music teacher in New York City and an up-and-comer on the Ride Brooklyn team. Like many city-dwelling bikers, her path to competitive cycling began with bike commuting in college. McGowan went to Berklee College of Music in Boston and got fed up with her lengthy daily commute on the train. She dragged her mom’s old bike out of the basement, fixed it up and started riding to class every day.
The bike cut her commute time down by 30 minutes and sparked a passion for riding and the culture around it.
When she moved to New York in August 2010, McGowan got her first taste of bike racing in unsanctioned races—called alley cats—such as Monster Track and Cranksgiving. The races loosely resemble the work bike messengers do, with racers dodging and weaving through traffic and pedestrians between a series of checkpoints throughout the city. After a few years of that McGowan was ready to try sanctioned racing.
Ella Reads You Don’t Want to Miss
Here are a few of my favourite stories published on Ella in the last week:
- The Veloroos Roundtable: A conversation with Australia’s first all-female RAAM team
- Bone density and the female cyclist: Mum was right about drinking your milk
- Women’s cycling kits tested and reviewed
- Happiness Watts’ cold brew coffee
- Crossing continents to concentrated climbs: Tips and tales from top female Everester Gaye Bourke
- Five times on the Emakumeen Saria podium, Emma Johansson finally climbs to the top step in Durango