From invisible to awesome! ‘Letting Ourselves Go’ at Look Mum No Hands is an event to celebrate older women who ride bikes. Here’s why, and how you can join in…
I’m really excited to be part of this event which will turn the cycling spotlight on older* women who ride. I’ll be joined on the panel by Alex Feechan – mountain biker, fashion designer and founder of FINDRA who will be flying in from Innerleithen especially for the evening, and Belinda Scott, road cyclist, bike shop pro and founder of BellaVelo, a women’s cycling group based in South West London.
(*We’re not specifying a ‘minimum age’ for this event and everyone is welcome, though if you are over 40 you’ll be in good company!)
What are we hoping to achieve?
While women are generally enjoying a higher profile in cycling, older women tend to still be an invisible generation – yet many of us are out there leading active and diverse cycling lives with no intention of slowing down or taking it easy.
We’ll share ways that bike riding enhances our lives, careers and well-being, discuss barriers to participation and, of course, how to get more women’s (older) bums on saddles! From road racers and mountain bikers to the rise of e-bikers, we will also be discussing why its time to ditch the tired stereotypes and embrace the joy that comes from riding a bike, whether you choose to use it for a Gran Fondo or a trip to the shops for a pint of milk and a Kit-Kat.
What does ‘letting ourselves go?’ mean?
When it comes to older women, ‘letting yourself go’ is usually interpreted as giving up – particularly regarding appearance.
However, and in total contrast, ‘letting yourself go’ can also mean losing your inhibitions, taking risks and living for the moment. In mountain biking, ‘letting yourself go’ – at the top of a drop off,or start of a technical trail for instance – is the moment when you trust your skills and intuition, push your boundaries, and get to relish your endorphin-pumped rad-ness as a result. Or ‘letting yourself go’ may mean allowing yourself time to escape on a long road ride, or enjoying the moment when you take your feet off the pedals and free wheel down the road, yelling ‘Weeeeeeeee’.
So, as women who ride, ‘letting ourselves go’ certainly isn’t about giving up – instead it is about going forward and empowerment.
Want to join in?
We want to hear your experiences as an older rider too – both in terms of achievements and participation or ways in which you have struggled, as well as ways to inspire other women to ride – so do leave a comment below as every story helps us to create a more inspiring and complete picture. On the night we will be opening up the discussion to the audience too, and if you can’t get to London then the event will also be shared on Facebook Live via the LMNH FB page and you can comment there.
I hope you can to join us!
Letting Ourselves Go – 7pm on April 5th at Look Mum No Hands! 49 Old Street, London, SE1.
Entry is free but spaces are limited so you do need to register here