It’s time I let you all in on a little secret.
Yes, you read the headline correctly. The time has come for me to step down as editor of Total Women’s Cycling.
Some of you may know I married in the summer of last year. Well, we’ve decided to up sticks. We’re leaving the Big Smoke to see whether the grass is greener on the other side, in the Cotswolds.
It has been a heart-wrenching decision, but as A.A. Milne once wrote, “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”
For the last year, it’s been an absolute privilege to hold the position of editor at Total Women’s Cycling, being given the opportunity to do things I never thought little old me could ever dream of doing.
Please indulge me as I take a whistle stop tour of highlights from my time here and why it’s been so hard to say goodbye:
Right place at the right time
I’ll never forget the first article I submitted to Total Women’s Cycling. You can read it here, but in brief, it was about the joys and pitfalls of bib shorts from a lifetime of wearing them!
It was through this and a huge pinch of luck that saw me land the role as editor so the piece means a lot to me.
Inspired to write about bib shorts after wearing them for 62 days straight as I cycled the coast of Britain, I tweeted it to the then editor, was whisked in for an interview and the rest as they say is history.
Interviewing Queen Vic
Not only did I get the chance to meet and interview one of my cycling heroines – Victoria Pendleton, I also got to talk weddings (we both got married on the same day it turned out!) and ride a spin class with her.
From Chris Boardman to Laura Trott, through to the rising star of Hannah Barnes, I’ve been lucky to have met them all.
Never in my life did I think I’d be rubbing shoulders with so many of the great and good of the cycling world.
Giving our readers a voice
If you’d have told me 12 months a go, that we’d be celebrating the success of the inaugural Total Women’s Cycling Awards, I wouldn’t have believed you!
It was my mission from the get go to give our readers a voice in an industry that has often ignored women’s views.
The Awards gave you the chance to have your say on the people, places, events and organisations that you thought have made a difference to the continued success of women’s cycling.
I was overwhelmed at the positive response from the cycling industry and it just goes to show the exponential growth women’s cycling is experiencing at the moment. Long may it continue.
Social rides with TWC readers
Committed to getting more women’s bums on saddles, I created monthly social rides that TWC readers came along to. It was fantastic to ride with so many like-minded women, many who have remained firm friends!
Taken from my ‘Five minutes with‘ post, I think the following summed up the experience perfectly;
“Yesterday, we had the first Total Women’s Cycling social 60-mile ride. It was absolutely fantastic to meet and engage with our readers.
“It definitely gave me some inspiration for the site. As corny as it may sound, I feel that I’ve landed my dream job.
“I’ve made it my mission to get Total Women’s Cycling to reach as many women as possible to inspire them to get out and ride their bike.”
Which leads me onto a huge heartfelt thank you to all Total Women’s Cycling readers, especially those who have been with us from the start.
To those of you who have written encouraging emails or have met me in person and given positive feedback, it’s been wonderful getting to know the loyal community of readers that Total Women’s Cycling has built.
It’s been both humbling and deeply gratifying learning about readers’ stories and those that the site have helped inspire. You’ve made coming into work every day an absolute pleasure. Thank you!
To every single one of you…
And, before you realise I’m gone, I’ll be back. I hope to return at the start of May, but not as editor.
The illustrious Heather Irvine will be taking the helm of Total Women’s Cycling and you’re in safe hands. Heather writes for The Times, is an adventure racer, LOVES mountain biking and lives and breathes the outdoors.
So farewell, it’s been an absolute pleasure and I can’t wait to get back in the saddle so to speak in May.