To celebrate women in cycling, last weekend saw the return of the Festival of Women and Bikes, held at the Broken Spoke Co-op, in partnership with the Adventure Syndicate.

Jam packed with all things cycling, from yoga to practical and inspirational seminars and workshops, they even provided the opportunity to ride alongside some of the Adventure Syndicate athletes.

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The Adventure Syndicate is a collection of extraordinary female cyclists that want to challenge what others think they are capable of and what others think they themselves are capable of. The athletes are passionate about sharing the stories and anecdotes of their own adventures and in doing so, they hope to inspire others to set their own extraordinary goals.

The sell out weekend kicked off with a warm welcome and two seminars; the first of the two panels ‘Making space for women in cycling’ was held by Jools Walker, perhaps more familiarly known as Vélo City Girl. The second seminar; ‘Going places by bike’ gave Naomi Mahendran the opportunity to share the story of her successful career, and how she accounts that success to cycling.

After a delicious vegan lunch the seminars continued with a number of workshops; Emily Chappell, winner of the transcontinental, answered questions on ‘Preparing for a long distance bike adventure’, whilst Isla Rowntree provided insight on ‘The Science of Saddlesore’. 24hr racing legend, Rickie Cotter, brought the afternoon of talks to a close with the enthusiastic tales of her adventures so far.

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Day two and there was no slowing down; wrapped up in waterproofs we faced the rain with Scottish XC champion, founder of Cyclotherapy, and no stranger to the British weather Lee Craigie. Once back at base, dried and fed the panels kicked off once more with ‘Cycling as a family’, and the weekend completed on a high with a celebration of the Adventure Syndicate’s recent and collaborative success – the North Coast 500. Both days wound up with the opportunity to mingle, and further exchange stories over a beer or two.

Needless to say with characters like these heading up the Adventure Syndicate, the initiative and indeed the event was a great success. As one of the women there, I think I can speak for all when I say I am excited for the next.

Keep your eyes peeled to the Adventure Syndicate’s webpage for information on more events.