Friday, 25 March 2011

What do woman want?

I started my new job this week, one of my roles is to find industry reviews on cycling products we sell and input them onto the website. I have spent my week looking through cycling magazines and online review sites.

It dawned on me that there are very few reviews for woman's kit, possibly as there is very few woman's kit on offer anywhere.

It is starting to improve though. At least there is more then one pair of shorts on offer on the various websites.

Last year I visited the cycle show in London and asked various suppliers about the amount/type of woman's specific items they were selling/creating. My responses were generally not to helpful and sometimes just plain rude.

So why is it that bike companies still aren't supplying a decent variety of kit?

I did ask at work what kind of issues they were having when it came to woman specific items, what are they stocking, what sells, and why. It was an interesting reply. They get woman's kit in, it doesn't sell. They put a forum up on the website asking woman what they are looking for and they got no response, their customer base is mostly male.

So where are the woman spending their money? What type of kit do they want? Do woman not shop online because they would rather go shopping in a store, make a day of it with their girlfriends? (I bloody wouldn't) Do they only want to buy cheap tack? Do they really like pink and flowery? What the hell do woman want?

Its an ongoing issue and one that baffles me. I spend money on good kit because its what works. I prefer woman's specific kit if possible because its made to fit over my chest and backside. I don't like pink, or flowers and I want to have the same amount of selection as men do. But am I the only one?

If woman aren't willing to spend the money on kit then why would a company waste money making or selling it.

What do woman really want?

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

my dream ride

Ive been studying the relationship of the teams in the pro peloton for a couple of years. Watching the classics and the tours closely to see how the teams work together to ensure the ride is safe, fast and their man wins.

Its the beauty of the sport, the family that is created around one rider to ensure that they are on the podium.

Even the slower riders have their place.

Occasionally riders will invariably fall off the back. A climb beyond their capabilities, a pace just a bit to fast, an injury or illness, or just a bad day. But their job within the family is not forgotten, and at then end of the day they all get on the same bus and head back to their hotels, together.

The thing to remember is that the ones that fall off the back are never alone, and many times team mates are sent back to bring their rider back into the group, or, their is always another rider with the same issues at their side, team cars, police and a broom wagon, just in case.

Its the peloton that inspires the type of ride I think I love. A group, working together, to keep everyone within an arms reach. To ensure that every rider is safe and secure within their own peloton, no matter how small it is. Where riders pull each other along and motivate each other. Where a pace is set that most can cope with, and if one flags and drops off the back, someone is there to ensure they to are safe.

Its the type of ride that can inspire every kind of rider to stay on their bikes, to continue to ride and one day, to be the one who is helping the slower rider back into the middle of the peloton.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Still learning

I almost, yes almost, made it through the month of February without any serious tantrums, it was going so well until the mountain bike ride on Sunday 27th. 5 min into the trail, and off I go, landed on a rock and put a wee dent in my knee, although it felt as if someone had crushed my knee cap with a hammer!!!!

FFS!!! Learning to ride a bike has its drawbacks.

So what do I need to successfully learn how to ride a bike properly?

Mountain Bike wise, Im thinking knee pads may be a good investment? Already a proud owner of elbow pads, and a new helmet after my previous tumble, maybe I will add knee pads to my attire. Actually, if anyone has any spare cotton wool, I could always just wrap myself up, then you can just push me down the hill.

Then maybe there is the fact that I need more practice, "practice makes perfect" so they say, absolute fucking bollocks!!! Could you imagine a perfect mountain biker?? Well I guess if they were saying perfect looking, but then Im already gorgeous so I dont need to work any more at that (as if) But yes, I need to get out a bit more, on trails I can trust aren't going to chew me up and spit me out.

I think the most important thing I need when riding the mtb is just some more confidence. Every time you fall you lose it for a little while, and to be honest, every time I encounter a steep descent I still pee my pants a little. But I still enjoy getting on the mtb and I do know that one day I will be flying down the hills laughing rather then crying.

Road Bike wise, Im not quite sure what I need. Last year I thought it was a carbon bike, and yes, it did help. Some people may say its not the bike but the person who is pedalling, I think their just sad people without carbon :) Oh and might I add you also need SIDI shoes to go with said bike.

I then thought, maybe I needed people to ride with, so I went on twitter, I found people, I rode with people and I enjoyed myself. But sometimes the frustrating thing about riding with people as that the majority are faster, and better climbers. And yes, I know, its good to ride with people better then you, its supposed to be challenging (something like that anyways) And the people I have ridden with have been pretty brilliant and patient, but it can make me feel worse when I know their waiting for me, or riding very slow so I can keep up.I know they dont mean to make me feel that way, thats just my own insecurities.

But really I think I just need to get my fat ass off the sofa and ride my bike. My lovely carbon bike, still in the shed until the muck spreading, hedge trimming and salting disappears. Only a few more weeks on the winter bike and I will feel nothing but light air between my thighs. (hmmm not sure thats the best way to describe it) But yes, ride my bike, lots, and you know what, if Im slower then everyone else, its either because Im riding behind boys that look delicious in their Lycra, Ive got a bit transfixed with the view, Ive got cake, or I may have just fallen off (in that case can you come back and help me up please)