We’re hosting a women’s hands on fix a flat clinic this coming Tuesday, July 29th at the Wisconsin Bike Fed Office (409 E. Main St., 2nd floor). Join us along with Team Luna Chix Madison for an in depth demonstration and a hands on learning experience to learn not only how to change a tube, but to repair flats while out on a ride.
Attendees are encouraged to bring a wheel and any tools they may have to help with the hands on learning. This includes tire levers, patch kits, as well as a frame or floor pump. We’ll have some extra tools on hand for anyone that may not have a riding kit available. Also at the event we’ll have some items for sale if you are in need of tire levers, patch kits, etc. so bring cash! We do have a card swipe if need be 🙂
The clinic will start at 6:30pm so come a little early to park your bike or your car. There’s free on street parking after 6pm. Beer and wine will be provided thanks to the Wisconsin Bike Fed and Team Luna Chix Madison.
You must RSVP to the event at the above link. We don’t have enough space to accommodate a very large crowd! If you can’t make this event, please e-mail us through the contact info on our website and we can get you information about future events.
Last night the Mad City Velo club hosted a viewing of “Half the Road”, a documentary by Kathryn Bertine. Kathryn is a seasoned professional cyclist who spent many months, if not years, traveling around the world to participate in women’s cycling races sanctioned by the UCI in hopes of qualifying for the Olympics.
Not only does the documentary tell Kathryn’s story, but also stories of many seasoned pro women cyclists and how the world of competitive cycling is still in the dark ages when it comes to equality in the sport.
The documentary showcases additional interviews with supporters and advocates of women’s cycling including coaches, trainers, shop owners, sponsors, celebrities, and the famous Bob Roll (Tour de France announcer).
On the opposite side of the spectrum, we have representatives from the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) who defend their archaic stances on women’s cycling as a competitive sport. They cite lack of sponsorship dollars, lack of spectator interest, and lack of elite level athletes as the root cause of having no equal platform of stage racing for women’s cycling. All falsehoods promoted by the figureheads of the UCI to create epic gender inequalities in the sport of cycling.
If you see the film, you should definitely pay attention to the “Pentagram of Blame”. It all starts and ends with the UCI blaming other outlets such as sponsors, riders, and media for their lack of commitment to women riders.
Fun facts we learned from the documentary include:
-Women can only ride 8 day stage races. (The men’s Tour de France spans 21 days)
-There are limitation on distances of any UCI women’s race.
-There was a median age rule that stated teams must have a certain percentage of riders under the age of 28 (this has since been lifted).
-At one point the UCI considered telling women who were menstruating that they couldn’t compete!
(We’re glad to say this never ended up becoming a rule!)
-Back in the late 70’s and early 80’s there was a shorter version of the Tour de France stage race for women that occurred on the same days and courses as the men’s race. Spoiler Alert: The spectators LOVED it!
There’s lots of other unsettling information “Half the Road” covers in the documentary, but we’ll leave that up to you to watch. While the film is hard hitting with seemingly depressing information, Bertine and the other subjects are able to present the information with some comic relief. Parodies of the UCI rules and racing circumstances had filled the theater with laughter on many occasions.
Overall the film was a great watch and we would recommend it for any sports fan.
Since we are on the subject, we also want to plug LA COURSE! It’s a one day race for women during the 2014 Tour de France. It’s not quite the awesome version of the stage races of the 80’s, but it’s at least one way the UCI can make up for their lackluster support of women racers.
NBC sports is offering coverage of the race, so check with your local cable provider or bike shop if you’d like to watch the race! Coverage starts around 7:30AM (not sure what time zone, which is a little frustrating), but if you don’t mind being an early bird, you can watch it LIVE!
It’s been awhile since we’ve posted an update. Our summer has been jam packed with cycling events around Madison. Everything from Cyclofemme to Fix A Flat Clinics to Sunday morning brunch rides has kept us busy!
We’re still in the planning process of trying to get an awesome and unique women’s only shop in Madison, but part of our planning is getting our name out to the world. Spoke Haven has been working with key partners such as the Wisconsin Bike Fed, Team Luna Chix, Wheels & Reels, the City of Madison, and other community leaders to make this all happen. So far we’ve received great feedback and support from every person we’ve worked with up to this point and it’s all very exciting.
Our goal is to continue to help not only offer fun cycling events for women in our community, but to also support others who want to help promote cycling for fun, for sport, and as a mode of transport. We want more butts on bikes and we can’t make that happen unless we all support one another.
Spoke Haven will continue to provide support and educational resources through the end of the year. We’ll continue with workshops through the winter, indoor training opportunities, and planning of events for next year’s riding season. We also plan on continue to change and mold our business plan to provide the best possible scenario for us to thrive. There’s still plans of running a crowd funding campaign to offer up fun and unique incentives for those who want to support us. We’re also selling our awesome jerseys (seen in the photos above) in our online store for those who want to show their support. They were made for us by Borah Teamware (aka Mt. Borah) right here in Wisconsin. Full zip, fully custom jerseys with a club cut for comfort. Men’s and women’s sizes available!
We’re looking into getting some other fun Spoke Haven branded gear made up that’s a little more pocket book friendly, but in the meantime continue to keep an eye on our online store and check us out on social media or Meetup.com for info on upcoming events.
Thank you to all of you who have been supportive and have come out to all of our events. We cannot express how amazing it feels to be able to provide women a place to be social, have fun, and ride bikes!
We had a fantastic time at the Madison CycloFemme ride. There were 35 riders at the event total. Not bad for our very first one! The event coinciding with Mother’s Day always seems to be a gamble as far as attendance, but we were glad to see over half of the actual RSVP’d women attend.
The weather was in the low to mid 40’s and a bit chilly, but we made it all 18 miles with no issues! Lots of riders were new to the group environment, but seemed to enjoy themselves. It puts smiles on our faces thinking that we have given these women a chance to experience cycling in a fun and social environment.
CycloFemme will hopefully open the door to more events like this and maybe even a recurring Sunday morning monthly ride. We want to thank all the women who came out to the event. It was a pleasure meeting all of you and we hope to see you in the future!
A HUGE thank you goes out to the Froth House and their staff for hosting us. We also want to thank Saris Cycling Group for donating a parking rack for us to use at the event as well as a Bones 3 rack for the raffle. Thank you’s go out to Hoo Ha Ride Glide, Team Luna Chix, and to everyone who helped promote the event.
Last, but not least, we have to thank CycloFemme and Girl Bike Love for creating such an amazing movement to try and get more women on bikes. We’re grateful for the effort and the inspiration.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the women (who are mamas) in our lives and go ride a bike!