What happens if you put a bunch of girls in bib shorts on the Tower Bridge? Exactly! Cars honk and crowds gather to see what’s going on. Flashing cameras, cheering guys – “beautiful, beautiful!”. We absolutely felt like world famous cyclists. Which we in fact are, of course. Or at least two of us: Manon Carpenter (world champion downhill) and Marianne Vos (best female cyclist ever).
No wonder the whole city of London knew about the launch of StrongHer, just as we wished for, last Friday. Cycle cafe Look Mum No Hands! (Never been there? Go! Coolest place I’ve ever seen) was packed with people who wanted to be part of this great happening.
In the meantime, we were eating pasta at the other side of the road. Peeking out of the window to see nicely dressed cycling fans – mainly girls, yay! – trying to jam themselves into Look Mum! Changing into dresses as well. And talking about cycling, of course.
The greatest thing about putting women who ride bikes together, is the interaction. We all do the same thing, just different styles. I, as a road cyclist, can’t imagine racing down brutal slopes like Manon does. I wanted to know everything about it. To me, Manon is the coolest dare devil out there.
It was just too funny to find out she can’t imagine herself doing a road race. It must be so hectic in the peloton, she said. I’m sure I don’t have the guts. Not just me, but also Marianne Vos, Lucinda Brand, Loes Gunnewijk and all the other road girls laughed: the gutsiest girl on the bike ever says road racing must be scary…
I do think it is scary though, if you ride a fixed gear bike, like Juliet Elliot does. I mean, how do you corner if you can’t keep your legs still? Juliet explained what the crits she races look like, but I still don’t understand how she does it. I do want to try, though!
Even before the official launch, half an hour later, we felt that this is exactly what StrongHer is all about. Sharing the fun, sharing knowledge, sharing stories and enthusiasm. I am so happy to have met these great girls who are as passionate bike riders as I am. I feel honoured to be part of this great platform for women on bikes. It’s inspiring. And most of all: it’s fun! I mean, look at this clip. This is us, the day after the launch. Says it all!
Photo's by Wall-art Photography & Events
About Marijn de Vries
‘You can’t buy happiness but you can buy a bike and that’s pretty close.’ That’s the favourite quote of a passionate, enthusiastic and spontaneous girl who quitted her job to become a professional cyclist. She likes to read, watch TV show and movies. If she could do only one more thing in life it would be having a baby.
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