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Women’s Cycling Project: Empowering ladies on every ride

On every 3rd Saturday of the month at 6.15am, you would see a group of ladies gathering outside Treknology Showroom at 11 Cuscaden Road, all ready to roll and have some fun together. 

The Women’s Cycling Project is the brainchild of Martin Choo and Lizzie Hodges. Thanks to their initiative of starting this community and vision of promoting women’s cycling in Singapore, we ladies are able to ride together in a safe and friendly environment.

 

Martin (1st from left) and Lizzie (2nd from right) leading the group
Martin leading pack 1 for some sprint and cornering drills at Seletar

 

We got to chat with Martin and Lizzie to find out how it all came about and they answered some of the frequently asked questions regarding the rides:

Q: Why did you guys start Women’s Cycling Project? 

Huge turnout for skills session + racing weekend back in October 2017

 

The whole concept is something that’s been bouncing around ever since the 2016 Seletar Aerospace Park Criterium where even after much publicity, the women’s fields were woefully small. So we started thinking of ways to get more women involved in races and to eliminate the barriers of entry one by one.

Not confident riding in large groups: Put on structured group rides with ride captains and sweepers for all abilities where we can safely all ride together.
Not wanting to get dropped: Organise no drop rides, have sweepers and even a support van to assist in the event of mechanicals.
No one to ride with: Build a community.
Don’t know how to fix my bike: Put on women’s only maintenance workshops.
Not confident on the bike: Host sessions to build confidence and learn the skills not normally taught. Close contact riding / one-handed riding / pace lines / cornering. 

 

Riding along Bartley Viaduct.  Picture taken from: Treknology3

 

The big picture goal is to have a Women’s Only Race team. A team that the members can identify as their own not in the shadow of a larger Men’s Team.

Once the riders have something they feel they belong to and the confidence to ride a race, then we can use that as a foundation to build a team. In the meantime, we are just having fun riding together.

 

Smiles for miles!

 

Lizzie leading Pack 2 for a 75km route on 19 May 2018, including a sneaky but fun gravel ride at Coney Island

 

Q: I am slow, can I still come? 

Yes, of course, you can! There’s always something for everyone. Normally we have three groups going out to cater to cyclists of different abilities. One is a social ride where you can go as “slow” as you want.
Group 1: Fast for race training
Group 2: Tempo riding
Group 3: Social group who aren’t in it to break any speed records

 

READ more:  Part 2 of 2: What is in Jin's bags?
Catching the sunrise while riding along Jln Mashhor

 

Riding in a group is a great way for you to improve and hone your skills. Don’t worry, there will be experienced riders around to guide you along. Usually, people ride much faster than they thought, once they’re having fun in a group! 

And… There is always a van (Thanks Treknology3 for supporting us!). 

 

Mandatory coffee stop after every ride 🙂

 

Breakfast and chit chat @ Jewel Coffee.

 

Q: Any future rides or events to look forward to?

1. Regular rides on the 3rd Saturday of every month! The next ride is on 16th June. Click here to RSVP. We will post the route options closer to the date. 
2. More bike maintenance workshops with Treknology3.
3. WCP team at local races: National ITT (Individual Time Trial), National RR (Road Race), URA criterium, Tour De Barelang / Batam 6 Bridges etc. 

 

Scenic views while climbing up Mount Faber

 

“I just love riding with other girls”

Don’t get me wrong, I do love riding and pushing with my fellow bros too. But… every ride seems to be a men’s only ride, doesn’t it? 

Through these rides, I have met so many lovely and strong ladies who have empowered and inspired me. The smiles on everyone’s faces are testament to the success of women-only rides. I look forward to every 3rd Saturday of the month, even if I have to drag myself out of bed at 4.30am. 

 

Follow Women’s Cycling Project on Facebook to be in the loop for upcoming events!

See you on the next ride Ladies!

Esther Koh

Author: Esther Koh

Cycling is her drug and therapy.
She is a certified Nutritionist (BSc Nutrition, University of Leeds) and loves both road cycling and mountain biking. She hopes that more females in Singapore will discover the joy and simple pleasure of riding a bike.

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