Inspiring stories from around the world to keep you riding this season.01 December 2021
Riding your bike is about more than turning the pedals. It’s about turning a page. Getting out of your head and into the world. Away from your screens and closer to what matters. To the end of the street or the other side of the world, there are no limits when you’re riding.
You’ll go to places you never thought you would and do things you never thought you could. Escaping inner demons and meeting like minds, you’ll break down barriers and build new bridges. All you have to do is keep riding.
Over the next few months, we’ll be sharing a series of inspiring human stories from riders around the world. But these stories aren’t solely about cycling, they show how riding fits into our lives. They’re about savouring success and facing up to adversity, overcoming obstacles and dealing with uncertainty. And they all share one simple message.
From setback to superpower, Maghalie Rochette’s educational new ‘Menstrual Health Series’ is helping to shift the perspective on periods. Part of her Fever Talk podcast, the series educates and encourages riders to harness the power of their period, and improve their performance in doing so, opening up a crucial conversation usually held behind closed doors.
After learning that understanding the strength of your cycle allows you to use it to your competitive advantage, Maghalie’s view on periods changed. Changing our mentality toward something, she discovered, can change us physically. In her research, Maghalie found that during a period, you are in fact ‘most primed for exercise because that’s where your hormone levels are lower’. She discusses the whole spectrum of the cycle, from those who have periods to those that do not, and is working to break down any shame or uncertainty that usually surrounds the subject.
For most cyclists, riding is all about enjoying the freedom. It’s about the ability to roam wherever you want, to climb to new heights and forge new friendships. Getting his first road bike whilst at university, Josh Jones found this joy and liberation for himself. But while finding it, he also found very few people from his own community. By setting up the competitive cycling initiative ALL IN racing, Josh is helping to increase visibility and inclusivity for LGBT+ riders in the sport. Determined to take the positive energy he’s found in cyclocross to the other areas of cycling, ALL IN racing helps organisations and teams become a force for positive change.
To promote positive change, ALL IN racing and Rapha have brought rainbow socks to cycling.
Check them out here
You have a little bit of everything in Los Angeles. Diversity, opportunity, creativity, it’s all at your fingertips. But there are two versions of this city: there’s Hollywood, and then there’s the multi-faceted, beautifully complex reality. Born and raised in LA, Ron Holden feels like he owes the city everything but at the same time, he’s always been missing something. Following Black Lives Matter protests in 2020, he offered his company the opportunity to make meaningful change but got nowhere. So instead, he quit his job and founded a movement that allows its members to go anywhere. Ride for Black Lives organises open-to-all group rides through town that spread the message of equality. It welcomes riders from all walks of life, it bridges the gap between communities, and it’s what keep Ron riding each and every day.
So often in sport success requires an unstinting focus from athletes whose merit is measured in milliseconds saved and medals won. The joy of just being a part of it all seems to have been lost on many of us, but not on Isaac Wallen. Despite growing up in the mountain biking mecca of Santa Cruz, bikes were never part of the picture in Isaac’s early years. With a surfer for a father and skaters turned filmmakers for friends, he always had interests beyond riding. Over time, mountain biking has come to mean so much more to Isaac but his mix-it-up mentality remains. Far removed from meaningless metrics, success for Isaac is simple and he feels it every time he rides.
It takes a lot to be a cyclist sometimes, but being a mother takes everything you’ve got. Having raced for her national team and ridden around the world, Kirsti Ruud knows what it’s like to make sacrifices for your sport, to put cycling first and forget about everything else. But nothing stays the same forever. After experiencing a loss that saw her step away from the sport altogether, a new chapter in Kirsti’s life has begun. As a new mother, she’s engaging with cycling in a new way and enjoying it more than ever.