By Esin Huseyin
Yesterday I was greeted by the news that another cyclist had unfortunately had a fatal accident on London’s roads, so my appearance on a panel to get more women cycling couldn’t have come at a more crucial time.
It’s maybe best that I explain that I’m not really a cyclist, if you did ever catch me doing some form of physical activity it’s usually running to my local corner shop to buy some form of chocolates. But, I was there to give an amateur viewpoint, as well as giving the fashion industry a bit of a voice.
Now don’t misunderstand me when I say I was there to represent the fashion industry, I am just a Denim Curator at G-Star Raw. But, what G-Star Raw do well is make 3D denim that are ergonomically shaped and perfectly made to actually be used – we actually have a style called Elwood (5620) that has darts at the knees to make them 3D, they’re practical and can handle a lot more stress at the knees than “normal” styles, hence why cyclists who go from office to bike have started to love this style.
Now, this idea of having specialised products, for example cycling gear, works on the same principle that my store does. If you have incredible product knowledge and you’re enthusiastic about the sport, you can inspire someone. The first step in cycling for them is to enter the store, you’ll need to be supportive and motivating, a negative experience in a store could completely close the bridge for a woman in to cycling.
Even though this panel was mainly hosted and focused around Marianne Vos, and did mainly focus on getting women in to competing, we did discuss ways of getting women safely on bikes on the road. Education. We decided that education such as a mini lesson would help women technically know what to do, but cycling in a club or group with peers would help with boosting motivation.
But I think that cycling as a sport is changing at a rapid pace, and for an amateur such as myself, I saw the change happening just after the Olympics in London. The boost of cycling in the peripheral vision of the public, made it more of a “glamorous” sport, and I have seen the interest in cycling increase. There are women only clubs at the Lee Valley Velopark, if you were interested in perhaps trying track. But, for me, I’m just excited for the increased awareness of cyclists on the roads. With London proposing a floating cycle route over the River Thames, they’re starting to take bikes in the city seriously.
where are your favourite places to cycle? Let us know in the comments below, and keep us updated with tagging your pictures on Instagram with #spinmaybeldner