At TWC we LOVE bike shows. They're a chance to check out all the bling new kit on the market and chat to cool people in our industry. However - as much as we love these cycling gear extravaganzas, we can't help but feel a little bit out-numbered by the dudes in the hall at pretty much every one.
At this year's Cycle Show held in Birmingham's NEC center - whilst we were hosting our Total Women's Cycling Awards - online women's cycling retailer VeloVixen was also hosting an event. A three day event.
The VeloVixen hub consisted of back-to-back talks and Q+A sessions given by inspirational women in cycling (oh, and TWC's editor - yours truly - who wangled a spot on the board of experts somehow!).
Hosted by the fabulous Jools Walker (VeloCityGirl) the line-up was pretty extensive and included - but was not limited to! - Olympic athletes such as Jo Rowsell Shand and Dani King, former World Champion Manon Carpenter, founders of women's brands such as Alicia Bamford (Queen of the Mountains) and Joyce Brereton (As Bold As) plus incredible adventurers like Emily Chappell and Shu Pillinger.
Speaking alongside Jools and myself, I think Cheryl Reid - Club president if the Cowley Road Condors and founder of their women's group - put it rather well when she said (just over one minute into the video below): "I'm president of a cycling club, I do 100 miles a week, I have four bikes, but I'm walking round here today and there's so many men I feel a bit like 'oh my god, do I belong here?'. And I can come here [to the stand] and feel like it's a place we can all be - love our bikes and have a passion for the same thing."
Sure, we can hang out with the boys at a bike show - they're ok (once you get over the smell and the cooties) - but it was incredibly nice to see a focused, epicenter of all things female, where we could hang out with the girls at a bike show, too.
Check out the video from the hub below, and see pictures from the three days of talks here. You can see what VeloVixen are all about at their retail site, here.