Total Women’s Cycling is the voice of a growing community of female cyclists, with smart writing, inspirational stories, clear how-to’s and jargon-free buying advice.
The team is made up of Editor Michelle Arthurs-Brennan and Staff Writer Jessica Strange – and a whole host of amazing contributors who are just as much a part of the TWC family. We caught up with Michelle and Jessica to find out more about their own riding…
5 Minutes with Editor Michelle
What’s your favourite discipline of cycling?
Honestly? I mostly race time trials – which is around the point most people move an inch away from my wheel on a club run! I’ve dabbled in triathlon, crit racing, cyclocross, and am currently a bit in love with the track but I do enjoy the honesty of time trials and the emphasis on self-improvement. Most of all I just like riding my bike!
How did you get into cycling?
I never did any proper sport/training as a kid – though I did do jazz dance, ballet and horse riding once a week until I was about 16. It all fell apart when I went to uni, so I started running to lose a bit of weight – promptly got injured, and found myself in the pool and cycling to get around. Soon I was a fully-fledged triathlete, but it didn’t take long to figure out that I’m happiest on a bike.
How often do you get out on the bike?
Ohh – it depends. I’m out and about quite a lot on various super secret TWC missions. I try to do around an hour of training every day, 6 days a week, with a long ride on the weekend. I swim with a club, too – so said exercise isn’t always on two wheels!
What bike(s) do you have?
*deep breath* My summer bike is a Specialized Amira – I adore it. I’ve got a Specialized Crux cross bike, which doubles up as a winter road bike. For time trials, I have a Quintana Roo Dulce – I mainly chose it because I was 22 and poor when I bought it and it was massively reduced! On the track I’m riding a HOY Fiorenzuola track bike.
Aside from cycling, what do you like to do?
Reading, writing. I’m a journalist because I love telling stories, listening to stories – I like people. Though I’m usually better at saying what I want to say via pen and paper or keyboard, a hugely frustrating trait that seems to plague many writers!
As the Editor for TWC, what are your goals for the website?
I want the site to be a place that makes women feel welcome in cycling – something that a lot of magazines and websites in the industry do not do. I want us to encourage more women to ride, and motivate those already on two wheels keep at it – be that for sport, leisure, fitness or getting around.
5 Minutes with Writer Jessica
What’s your favourite type of riding?
Mountain biking has to be my favourite discipline of riding. Living in Wales, I have some beautiful trail centres around me which I ride as often as possible. There’s nothing quite like flying down some muddy forest trails to get the blood pumping and heart racing.
What bike(s) do you own?
I’m the proud owner of a Canyon Spectral which I’ve kitted out with some carbon components, all colour coordinated of course! I also own a We The People BMX which I use to play around with at the skate-parks when I don’t have time for a full trail ride.
What do you love most about cycling?
The best thing about cycling for me has to be the community. I’ve met some amazing people, and made some lasting friendships with other riders which I’m really fortunate for.
Where are we most likely to find you on a weekend?
Every weekend I try and clock up a few miles on the bike, or have a little play on the BMX. A weekend wouldn’t be complete if I couldn’t ride! My local ride spots are Brechfa, Afan and Ramps skatepark, so I’m usually at one of these places.
What are your hobbies outside of cycling?
Off the bike, I’m usually found in the kitchen. I love to bake, but I love eating cakes even more. It’s a good thing I ride so much to off-set this! Can my cat be a hobby? I love my cat, Gomez Thunderpaws, and we’re currently in training for him to be the best trail cat ever.
What are your goals/dreams for TWC?
I’m passionate about riding, but even more passionate about promoting women who ride. Regardless of discipline, age or skill, I think riding should be equal and accessible to everyone. Whilst working for TWC, my goals are to encourage more women to get on two wheels, and fall in love with the world of cycling.