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I am starting to get very excited about this weekend. I’m going to Oxford for the Women and Bicycles Festival, where I’ll be chairing the Family Cycling panel on the Sunday afternoon.
I’m really looking forward to meeting some incredibly inspirational women, and chatting to them about cycling with children. We’ll be talking about lots of different aspects of family cycling, ranging from what changes when you start cycling with a little one, through the practicalities of the equipment needed to the joys (and stresses) of long distance family cycling.
Afterwards the panel will be answering some questions, so if any Cycle Sprog readers have a particular question you’d like me to ask the panel on your behalf, please do let me know via the Cycle Sprog Facebook page or Twitter account, and I’ll do my best to get your questions included on the day.
Here’s a quick look at who’s taking part in the family cycling discussion:
Maryam Amatullah is dedicated to breaking down the barriers that prevent women and girls, particularly from BME backgrounds, from cycling. When she started cycling regularly with her young daughter, Maryam realised how few women from the Asian community in her home town of Leicester could ride a bike. So she did something about it and became a cycling instructor (she works for Sustrans and Leicester City Council), a Breeze Champion and a committee member of her local cycling club. Maryam has won a number of awards that recognise the work she has done in encouraging women to cycle, including Unsung Hero of the Year at the British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards and even picking up an award from the Prime Minister for her work encouraging Muslim women to cycle.
Josie Dew has lived most of her life in the saddle. She’s ridden over 497,000 miles across 6 continents and doesn’t let having three young children stop her – they’ve cycled over 1,500 miles with her across Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands (and ride to school each day too). Josie has written 7 books about her cycling, is a patron of Sustrans and Vice President of Cycling UK. You can read here blog here, and she also has some more recent family cycling adventures on the Cycling UK website.
Carolyn Roberts has made her passion for family cycling into an award winning business. She runs Kids and Family Cycles and spreads her love of cargo bikes far and wide. Carolyn has four sons aged between 9 and 16, and has over 9 years of experience doing the school run by cargo bike.
Isla Rowntree is apparently the 13th most influential person in British road cycling although few would argue she's at the top spot in family cycling. For over a decade Islabikes have been redefining how a child’s bike should look, feel and ride, and has helped a generation of kids develop a life long love cycling. Isla’s latest venture is the Imagine Project, which is striving to build a fully sustainable children’s bike so future generations can continue to cycle as finite raw materials become scarcer. When she’s not building bikes, Isla races them – last year she won the 2016 British Cycling National Trophy Cyclo-Cross Series - 20 years after her first win.
As you can see there is such a wealth of experience on the panel – it’s going to be great to hear their words of wisdom on family cycling. If all goes to plan you’ll be able to read my write up of the Women and Bicycles festival at some stage next week.
Let me know via the Cycle Sprog Facebook page if you've got any questions you'd like me to ask the panel. If you're lucky enough to have tickets for the Women and Bicycles Festival (they've now sold out), then do come and say hello.
UPDATE: To find out how I got on at the Women and Bicycles Festival, and read full details of the Family Cycling panel discussion, please read my next post From Potties to Pot Holes: the WAB2017 Family Cycling Panel
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