'Women's Cycling' Magazine

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I'm quite used to cycling being dominated by men. I'm the only woman in the group I cycle with on Sundays and I can't say that it worries me at all. As a kid I was always a tomboy and as a cyclist I just feel like one of the lads but on the rare occasions I have cycled with other women I've very much enjoyed it, it has a different feel somehow. Instead of handbags it felt very good to be routing in saddlebags and comparing multitools! I have complained previously that 'Cycling Plus' barely acknowledges the existence of women cyclists, although Cycling Active presents a more balanced view. I enjoy reading cycling magazines, hearing of other people's misadventures and drooling over new shiny goodies so when I found 'Women's Cycling' in my local Smiths I just had to give it a read.

So just what goes into a magazine solely for women cyclists? It seems anything written for women or 'leisure cyclists' must include a piece on cycling while pregnant and then cycling with young children and sure enough both featured in 'Women's Cycling'. Excuse me while I yawn! Actually that is being rather unfair. They were well written and informative pieces and not everyone is of an age where they have long lost any interest they might have had in such matters! There was also a feature on pilates and stretching. So far, so predictable. But there was much, much, more to it than that. Of most interest to me was an interview with Juliana Buhring who recently set the record for the fastest female to cycle round the world – 29.060km in 144 days, a feat that has had scant mention in the more mainstream magazines. Then there was a feature on women's pro racing and a women only downhill mountain bike series, it was all great stuff!

The magazine clearly intended to have something for everyone – roadies, MTBers, tourers, and of course those who have just bought or who are contemplating buying their first bike. There is no doubt that all novice cyclists and probably women even more than men (or is it just that they are more prepared to admit it?!) dread the thought of punctures so detailed and sensible puncture fixing instructions were a good idea. I do think they missed an opportunity though when they failed to mention that some tyre and rim combinations can be extremely tight and that it is not a sign of failure or incompetence if you can't get the tyre back on with the ease that the instructions suggest. A few pointers towards Var Tyre Levers might save a lot of stress!

Elsewhere there was the usual mixture of kit reviews and ride suggestions covered by most mags, but the kit was, naturally, all women specific. It was great to read reviews of 12 waist shorts, 2 bib shorts and 10 3/4 tights that were all suitable for me! No longer the poor relation with only a fraction of the coverage given to men's kit! In fact I couldn't believe how radically different and refreshing it felt to turn over page after page and see women on bikes! I've nothing against pictures of men cycling but I've seen thousands of them, this made a pleasant change. If I was editor I'd lose the 4 page fashion spread but I suppose some people might like it. All in all I was very impressed – roll on the next issue!

9 comments on “'Women's Cycling' Magazine”

  1. Kern wrote:

    Tyre and rim combinations can be the ultimate humiliation. That's one of the reasons I like Continental Gatorskins – they are forgiving enough to get back over a rim. I hate changing tyres.

  2. Patrick wrote:

    I'd not heard of this magazine, but then I don't go in W.H.Smith. Is this the one? It would be better if women were properly represented in normal magazines but I suppose a women-specific publication is not a bad idea as long as there isn't too much pink.

    True, it's not just women that struggle with tyres.

  3. Hilary wrote:

    Patrick wrote

    I suppose a women-specific publication is not a bad idea as long as there isn't too much pink.

    Not a trace of pink, that's why I was impressed!
    Everyone knows women's bikes and cycling kit should be blue!! 😆

  4. Rachel wrote:

    I suppose there is a need for a woman's cycling magazine. I'm not sure how long it will last though. The first issue was generally good. Will it be around in 20 years time? I hope so, but I'm rather pessimistic.
    Why can't the other cycling magazines cater for us? Cycling Active is good for coverage of women cycling.
    Other magazines tend to ignore us. I stopped buying a certain mountain bike magazine when the writers felt they had to appeal to 15 year old boys.

  5. Chris wrote:

    Rachel wrote: I suppose there is a need for a woman's cycling magazine.

    And apparently clubs exclusively for women:

    http://www.sundaygirlsroadclub.co.uk/about-us/

    Just like the women specific magazine such clubs shouldn't be necessary, but I accept that there is a need.

  6. Mary wrote:

    I didnt know about this new magazine either, but then I dont buy any whatsoever. As Im off the bike for the rest of the summer season, I would have loved to read this. None available on IOM tho'.

    I reckon both you and I Hilary, plus a host of other women should put together an article based on our own cycling experiences!

    I would welcome a fashion page too, ok, Im no model myself, but I do hate being taken for a man...

    My luggage bag fell off on my way to hospital in early March, and some nice car driver pulled over and said 'Hey matie, ya lost ya bag..." which was wonderful of him, until he added...'Oh sorry, I hadn't realised you were a woman!' :) Not sure how he would have addressed me, but by his voice it would have been more gentleman like.

    So yes, I wanna look like a girl!

    Who publishes the mag Hilary?

  7. Patrick wrote:

    The gentleman driver should retake the practical driving test eyesight check 😎

  8. Bikesy wrote:

    Very sad that this magazine didn't last. Not only are they out of print but they didn't even continue in an online version with the articles on.

    With the rapid expansion of women's cycling you'd think this would be a key area for a new magazine to start up in.

  9. Sarah Gowe wrote:

    What a shame this magazine never lasted, surely there is a need for more female friendly targeted articles. Pick up any mainstream cycling mag and you can tell its edited by a man and aimed at mamils.

    With the upsurge of women riding sportive type events such as the Ride London, the increase of mini – holland town planning initiatives meaning mums can ride with their kids to school (http://enfieldcc.co.uk/cycle-enfield/ ), the increase of women's cycling clubs such as Yorkshire Lass http://www.yorkshirelass.cc/ and the abundance of women friendly cycling blogs pitching at all levels (e.g. http://spokeswomen.org.uk ) you'd hope a mainstream publisher like IPC or Immediate can get another women targeted bike magazine together.

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