At the end of last year BikeBiz asked for your help to put together the BikeBiz Women in Cycling List for 2015, recognising women from the sport itself to all areas of the industry, plus advocacy bodies.
The list was put together in association with The London Bike Show and partnered with Total Women’s Cycling.
Here are the BikeBiz Women of the Year 2015: Part one (in no particular order)…
The 2014 Commonwealth Games had blind and visually impaired riders racing alongside the able-bodied riders, and the tandem sprinting was some of the most exciting racing to watch from a spectator’s point of view.
As part of this, McGlynn’s two silvers were especially poignant given the fact she was dropped by British Cycling when she hit 40. Having secured funding from Glasgow Museums to keep racing (they bought her a racing tandem which is now on display), McGlynn fought against the odds for her place on the podium.
You won’t have to search far on YouTube to find videos of Aimee Dixblasting down hills at significant speed.
However, Dix is not only handy on a bike, but handy when it comes to servicing one too, holding down the senior fork technician role at Mojo Suspension.
Based in North Wales and working with the CTC, Ally Campbell runs Campbell Coaching in between competing in enduro races. Having placed on the podium a few times, Campbell is well qualified for her role and is able to train newbies up to tackle the trail with her personally taking charge of any female sessions.
Based in South Yorkshire, Recycle Bikes’ Angela Walker is noted for her efforts to grow cycling locally.
Known for giving newbies the encouragement and support they need to take to two wheels via Sheffield’s CycleBoost programme, Walker delivers the bike loan scheme on behalf of the local councils, delivering maintenance classes and doctor bike sessions.
Best Day Ever Creative
Founder of the AnaNichoola brand, Glowinski was fondly thought of as bringing about a watershed moment in the design of women’s cycle clothing, bringing a mix of unique style and design to otherwise practical cycling gear.
Glowinski has since presented the ITV4 Cycling Show and has had a hand in organising events such as the Herne Hill Valentine’s velodrome ‘speed dating event’.
Having resigned from AnaNichoola, Glowinski now runs her own creative agency – Best Day Ever Creative.
With a background in cycling, writing and science, Aoife Glass was crucial during the launch of Total Women’s cycling and has also project managed the Total Women’s Cycling Awards taking place this month.
Glass is a seasoned cyclist who commutes some 25 miles to work by bike, which makes her a prime candidate for product reviews – something which she has done frequently in her freelance role.
Glass’ blog, found at www.aoifeglass.com, is well worth a read.
Baroness Jenny Jones,
The Green Party
One of the most vocal cycle advocates in politics, Jenny Jones is to be credited for training a very keen eye on Boris Johnson when it comes to planning for cycling in the capital, among other things.
Having outlined her support for active travel, Jones has been piling on the pressure to force the mayor’s hand when it comes to making the city safe for mass cycling, as well as adding her voice to those demanding a sharp cut in pollution.
Jones is also keen to roll out the cycle hire south of the river and even into outer London in the event that the Green Party comes into power.
Cycle team management
Becky Frewing has worked for several of the UK’s biggest UCI Continental cycling teams over the year (UK Youth, Sigma Sport – Specialized and NFTO Pro Cycling) and now is working on a new high-profile team and project for 2015.
Those who nominated Frewing, said she never fails to lend a hand when it comes to providing riders and teams for events for which she is involved.
Frewing is currently the race team manager for One Pro cycling, set for launch later this month.
Though still a twenty something, Cyclescheme’s Becky Smith has not been one to shy away from a challenge. Managing one of the busiest departments at Cyclescheme, Smith guides a team of four who service some 600 employer events annually, as well as being the first port of call for over 2,100 independent bike dealers.
Head of PR, Yellow Jersey Press
Chances are you’ve noted a significant increase in national and regional press interest in cycling literature, which could be in part down to Jones’ tireless efforts to promote Yellow Jersey Press’ latest cycle-based publications.
Cycle Law Scotland founder
Brenda Mitchell features in our top women in cycling for a variety of reasons, though most notably as the founder of cycling specific law firm Cycle Law Scotland.
A cyclist herself, Mitchell is also a campaigner, having founded Road Share, a campaign for presumed liability, as well as having set up Belles on Bikes.
As if that wasn’t enough, Mitchell has become a member of the Scottish Government’s Cross Party Group for Cycling, giving her influence when it comes to cycle policy.
Mitchell was gonged as lawyer of the year in 2013 by the Law Awards of Scotland.
Velocity Cycle Clothing
Though relatively new to the scene, Velocity Cycle Clothing has come to fruition to address what is percieved by some as a very limited supply of quality cycle clothing for women.
The firm began with just a single pair of cycling trousers for women and has since branched out to include shorts, merino t-shirts, softshell jackets, snoods and more.
In its first year, the label has reviewed well on road.cc and hosted stands at the Yorkshire Bicycle Show and Spin London.
Commonwealth games medalist Charlene Joiner proved to be an inspiration to many in 2014, bouncing back from a nasty spinal injury early in 2014 to continue making progress on the road and track circuits.
Having emerged from the City of Edinburgh Racing club where Chris Hoy and Craig McLean have previously been involved, Joiner looks to have a strong future in the pro cycling field.
Team Manager, Raleigh
One of very few female team managers in men’s cycling, Cherie Pridham is a long-serving Raleigh recruit who for the past three years has been in charge of developing Raleigh’s racing ambitions.
Pridham was delighted to receive the backing of former Tour de France winner Bernard Hinault as the team patron late in 2013.
Team Raleigh returned some strong results in 2014, performing particularly well in the Pearl Izumi Tour Series.
Trek UK marketing
Spearheading Trek UK’s marketing efforts, Chris Garrison has gone to great lengths to promote women’s cycling both within and outside her role at Trek.
From brokering sponsorship deals (The Matrix Pro Cycling team), to women’s only clinics where women can ask her questions about getting into cycling in a safe and non-judgemental environment, Garrison exercises her position of influence to all ends of the spectrum.
Newcastle Cycling Campaign
There’s a reason why Newcastle is emerging as one of the UK’s better cities to cycle and it’s not just because it’s where BikeBiz exec Carlton Reid regularly puts tyres to tarmac.
Claire Prospert is the secretary and treasurer for the Newcastle Cycling Campaign and a particularly influential advocate of cycling in the north. It’s not by chance that Newcastle has more councillors who have pledged their support to Space4Cycling than any other local authority outside London.
With 1,500 members behind the campaign, Prospert has an army of cyclists behind her team’s efforts and the results are beginning to show.
Bikeability trainer, shop manager
Curtis is one of the multi-taskers on our list of women who have made a significant impression since becoming part of the cycling business.
A founding member of #trailtakeover and an ambassador for British female 4X too, Curtis has helped grow participation through free women’s coaching, as well as encouraging numerous ladies to have a go on trickier tracks.
If that wasn’t enough, Curtis is also managing a family-owned store in the Cambridge area and fitting in Bikeability training too.
There’s many on our list that are juggling both a racing career as well as a full-time job and Madison’s Clemence Copie is one such talent.
Described as having a tremendous product vision and fashion flair, Copie brand manages Pearl Izumi for the Milton Keynes distributor, yet is set to take part in the Tour Series and plenty more on the pro circuit this year.
Marketing, Giant Bicycles
Giant’s Collette Clensy has long championed women’s cycling and has in recent times become one of many Liv ambassadors worldwide. Her role at Giant has seen her make a sizeable contribution to the ever growing brand, one of the nation’s top selling bike names.
Cynthia Barlow is one of the most eloquent and effective advocates for reducing road danger, particularly the threat of HGVs faced by cyclists.
As you may know, Barlow tragically lost her daughter Alex in 2000 after she was killed by an HGV while riding a bike to her job in a city law firm.
Barlow’s campaigning work was recently recognised with an OBE.
Dales Cycles, Glasgow
With a 20 year stint running the Dales Cycles family business, Houston took over from her father and now works alongside sister Kerry and brother Jim.
Houston is extremely proactive outside of the store too, promoting cycling for women and can often be found at the local Velodrome on a Sunday.
The store is involved with a local charity which Houston leads the way on. The ethos of the store is to give back to cyclists and the local community, encouraging more Glaswegians to get out there and have safe and happy cycling experiences.
Newcastle’s Recyke Y’bike, as you might expect, refurbish used bikes for the community, as well as contributing three lorry loads of bicycles to the Bikes4Africa charity annually.
Dorothy Craw, manager of the community social enterprise, plays a big part in helping all of that tick along, running the charity and business to be as self sustaining as possible, all while changing the lives of those at home and abroad.
Commercial Director, road.cc
Elaine’s cycling trade CV will put the majority of us to shame.
Spanning the past 20 years, Curtin ran the first national cycling show back in the 90s and has worked on many of the main cycling titles over the last two decades.
For the past six years, Curtin has been the driving force behind road.cc, having held the commercial director’s role.
Events such as the Core Bike show have also had significant input from Curtin who will have signed many of BikeBiz’s readers in over the years.
Having left a Physics degree at Oxford University to persue her passion for design, Emily Brooke took the cycling market by storm with her Blaze lighting system.
In November last year Brooke was recognised with a nomination for a Natwest EveryWoman Award, a ceremony celebrating female entrepreneurs aged 16 to 54.
In creating her unique lighting product, Brooke spent six months working with a driving psychologist in order to understand what would catch a motorist’s eye.
One of very few female cycling photographers in a male dominated arena, Emily Maye has a growing portfolio of work, with some examples having been on display just this month at Look Mum No Hands.
Maye has, in recent times, also been tasked with documenting high profile projects such as tracking Team Sky on the road, tackling photo duties for Google Glass’s sports applications, as well as working with Trek, Crank Brothers and many more.
Among the pro cyclists on our list, Emma Pooley stood out for many reasons.
Firstly, you can’t ignore the impressive trophy cabinet, which now includes Olympic medals, World Championship golds, victories in the Women’s grand tours and many more.
Perhaps more importantly, Pooley is a champion of women’s cycling in another sense of the word, with the pro cyclist lending her voice to those pushing for a women’s Tour de France, as well as her work on the UCI’s women’s commission.
Pooley is also semi-regular on Radio 4 where she will occassionally talk cycling.
Head of Winning Behaviours, Sky
The only woman on an all male leadership team, Fran Millar has been cruical to the development of Team Sky, for which she is one of the founding members.
Having risen through the ranks herself as one of very few women in the World Tour, Millar has carved her own success in both the sport and cycling business, setting up Face Partnership – responsible for the Manchester Revolution – in 2003 alongside James Pope. Between them they also managed Mark Cavendish, along with her brother David.
Millar now works alongside David Brailsford and is tasked with creating a development programme for all Team Sky staff and riders to help build on the squad’s success.
Riding for Team Neon Velo aka ‘Team Awesome’, Gabriella ‘Gabby’ Durrin starting cycling at 17 following a junior running career. Cycling soon took over, with mountain bike races and National Series Races following, together with two Welsh MTB Championship titles.
At Team Neon Velo, Durrin rides alongside husband Jeremy, the couple being among the most talented cyclocross duos in recent seasons.
Former World Champion
It was at the age of 46 that Glynis Francis won her first World Masters Gold medal for track cycling. Francis pioneeringly went on to become among the first women to ride in the National Masters Track Championships, an event that was previously closed to women. The inspirational rider runs training sessions for fellow riders and her cycling network for women, TeamGlow, has helped lapsed female riders get back into the saddle in the Manchester region. Team Glow caters for everyone from novices to more experienced riders and aspiring racers, with organised events and meetups for women riding road bikes.
A key member of the Sweetspot team, Metcalf has been responsible for the PR push behind races such as the Friends for Life Women’s Tour, the Tour of Britain, Tour Series, Prudential Ride London and many more besides.
Described as a game changer for women’s cycling, the Friends for Life Tour drew crowds into the millions when you take into account roadside and TV viewing, something Metcalf and PR colleague Peter Hodgson can take a lot of credit for.
If you list your home town as Fort William there’s a good chance you’re going to enjoy time in the mountains and Hannah Barnes has been no exception.
Competing since 2008, 28 year-old Barnes is backed by Specialized, Met, Bluegrass, Oakley and many other high profile sponsors. Among Barnes’ many achievements and podiums, she broke the women’s course record for Britain’s toughest off-road triathlon –the Big Ben Nevis Triathlon – in 2009
It’s a story that’s been repeated many times in the clothing market; “I was disappointed with the lack of choice in the market when it comes to female cycle clothing.”
And that’s how it all began for Flare creator Hannah Myers, who had previously been working in a bike shop.
Flare does, in part, owe its existence to Myers’ masters degree, where she chose to create clothing for the female form that would be practical on a mountain summit and not out of place on the street.
For any bike shops looking for a brand with a great story, Flare clothing is designed and made in the UK.
Author and editor
You’ve no doubt come across Hannah Reynolds’ France En Velo book by now, which is an excellent starting point for anyone looking to cycle France.
The book isn’t Reynolds first foray when it comes to writing about cycling, however, as she also commands the fitness editor’s role on Cycling Weekly.
It’ll come as no surprise to hear that Reynolds logs a decent mileage herself, whether its on the road track, or on her CX bike. Reynolds has put her knowledge to good use in other titles to which she has contributed heavily, including “Get on your bike” and Fitter, Further, Faster.
Founder, Racing Chance
Heather Bamforth stepped back from competitive cycling in ’02, but her association with the sport has endured, not least with her helping set up the CDNW (Cycling Development North West) Women’s Road Race League. Bamforth is also Trustee of the Racing Chance Foundation. The charitable incorporated organisation was established to help promote women’s cycling in the UK by offering training sessions and coaching from all levels – from novice to elite riders – as well as promoting races. Among the aims is to provide support and opportunities (and sometimes funding) for women who are capable of riding at an elite international level.
Total Women’s Cycling
Having spent the past year at the helm of Total Women’s Cycling, Heather Irvine adopted a fast growing website, which she and her team have since turned into a site boasting 200,000 unique monthly users.
With an ambitious plan to double that figure by the end of 2015, Irvine’s efforts to promote equality in sport haven’t gone un-noticed. Part of the total team’s objective is to make the site an open and inspiring place not just for those who are already keen cyclists, but also for complete beginners too.
Writer at The Guardian
Perhaps the main female voice of cycling in the mainstream media, Helen Pidd has risen through the ranks at the Guardian and is now a regular when it comes to talking two wheel transport.
Author of Bicycle – The Complete Guide to Everyday Cycling, Pidd is well researched and has excellent delivery. In recent times the writer has even taken to reviewing cycle products – including some items as diverse as electric bikes – for the national paper.
Pro cyclocross rider
When it comes to women’s Cyclocross Helen Wyman is likely one of the first names that will spring to mind.
A two time European and nine time British champion, Wyman of St Albans, ranks second in the world having raced since she was just 14.
Nowadays you’ll largely find her in Belgium alongside husband Stefan Wyman, where the conditions are as good as they get for cyclocross training.
Deputy mayor for transport
Behind the scenes, Isabel Dedring has championed the need for cycling infrastructure in London.
With a position on Transport for London’s board, the deputy mayor for transport has had a hand in creating Transport for London’s business plan when it comes to budgeting for cycling in the capital – with funds of £913 million now available to London Boroughs over the next decade.
One of the industry’s most well known females is Isla Rowntree who, through the creation of her own bike brand, has set the benchmark for children’s bike manufacturing very high.
A former cyclocross star, Rowntree put emphasis on placing kids bikes under the spotlight and began to adjust geometries to better suit the rider.
Rowntree has grown the business even in the face of some hefty production and logistical challenges.
Started in 2006, the company now employs 40 full time staff. What’s more, those who cycle to work are rewarded for their efforts.
An increasingly prominent figure at British Cycling, recreation manager Hudson has organised the UK’s biggest Skyride for the last five years in Leicester. The 2014 event drew 14,000 cyclists of all ages.
Hudson was also a key figure in the creation of the Leicester’s Breeze Women’s network and the Women’s Velo Club
She is also credited with establishing the Leicester Castle Classic as an elite professional race in just two years, including a sportive and triathlon events.
Deputy Editor, Singletrack
Jenn Hill is one of the driving forces behind mountain bike focused magazine and site Singletrack. As deputy editor, Hill wields a position of influence over the title and is one of the few senior female journalists in the cycle magazine world. The independently owned enduring title has gone from strength-to-strength, doubtlessly benefitting from Hill’s input.
British Cycling’s wealth of talent is further bolstered with Jill Puttman, the national operations manager.
Puttnam’s tasks include coordinating the delivery of British Cycling’s recreational cycling programmes, Sky Ride Local and Breeze, the award winning cycling network for women.
To date over 19,000 led rides have been delivered across both programmes, with over 110,000 men, women and children taking part across the UK.