On the bike, there are no achievements that aren’t worthy of celebrating. With this year’s Women’s 100, we aim to celebrate every cyclist who pushes themselves to break new ground, whether that’s riding further than they have before or exploring a new discipline. Every rider’s achievement is worthy of recognition.
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Established to support women and non-binary riders looking to push their boundaries and try something new, we meet the Steezy collective as they prepare to take the Women’s 100 riding challenge off-road.
When it comes to groups that embody this ethos, the London-based Steezy Collective are a prime example. Set up to champion inclusive cycling spaces and break down barriers within the sport, the collective operates as a network for women and non-binary riders of various disciplines and skill levels. Following the collective on a gravel ride through South Downs National Park, it became clear that Steezy’s main priority is always to enjoy themselves. Whether they’d been riding for a few years or a few months, every rider got stuck in thanks to the encouragement of their fellow members.
We sat down with Alice, Kitty and Taylor - the collective’s three inspiring co-directors - to discuss what to keep in mind when trying something new, their experience with the Women’s 100, and what being a trailblazer means to them.
“It’s important to remove any expectations and just give it a go.”
“If you’re looking to push yourself a little further, it’s important to remove any expectations and just give it a go. Competing in my first fixed races this year, I went from picking up a fixed gear bike for the first time in January to jumping on the race track only a few months later. I shocked myself. Because I went in with a view to just enjoy myself, I ended up opening so many doors and meeting so many cool people.
For a lot of people, when they try new things on the bike, they’re scared of a perceived competitiveness and are concerned with what people might think of them. Steezy is special because it’s inclusive and no one has anything to prove. Everyone has different barriers to a lot of different things, but being able to feel like there’s nothing stopping you is important.
I haven’t ridden the Women’s 100 before, but I’m really looking forward to sharing the experience this year. As long as all my Steezy crew are with me, I’m sure it’ll be an amazing day no matter what.”
“Every time you head out for a ride should be an adventure.”
“We started a collective that embodied the idea that anybody who wants to cycle should be able to, with an emphasis on adventure cycling. Through Steezy, I discovered that a lot of women and non-binary riders were finding that unless they were joining women-led ride spaces, they felt like they were on the back foot.
It’s important to find a supportive group of people who are going to encourage you to push your limits, but who also want to ride with you if you can’t. Every time you head out for a ride should be an adventure. You don’t have to compromise your comfort on the bike to feel like you’ve done something worthwhile.
My first time taking on the Women’s 100, I was terrified since I’d only ridden over 100km once before. I had no idea how I was going to manage it. Because the event was on, it gave me a reason to push myself. I knew there were so many other women who were feeling exactly how I felt going into it. I’d only just started riding properly and, in the end, I managed to ride 120km.”
“It’s so much easier to get involved when you’re supported and encouraged by other riders.”
“When you’re taking on something new, it’s so much easier to get involved when you’re supported and encouraged by other riders. It’s important to find people that are genuinely excited for you. Your first step should always be taking the time to find people you want to ride and spend time with.
I’ve just finished my very first ultra race, The Pan Celtic Race, completing the 1240-mile route in under ten days. It was a life-changing experience, and if you told me I’d be able to do that two years ago, I wouldn’t have believed you. It’s probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done on the bike. With that experience, I’d tell any cyclist who rides semi-regularly that they could surprise themselves and ride the 100 kilometres in the confines of a day, with enough encouragement and enough breaks throughout the day. You don’t realise what your body can do. It’s amazing.”
Since the riding challenge can be completed anywhere, the Steezy collective are putting their own spin on the Women’s 100 this year. In September, the collective will be heading for a day-long gravel ride with the aim of completing the 100-kilometre challenge off-road. We wish them luck and will be staying up to date with the crew to hear all about their ride.
WOMEN’S 100 COLLECTION
Paying tribute to trailblazers old and new, the all-new Women’s 100 capsule collection will ensure riders stay comfortable and confident as they complete this year’s challenge. Comprising our most popular pieces of kit, the collection design prominently features the yellow stripes of the UK’s first-ever women's cycling club to inspire riders to achieve something meaningful.
WOMEN’S 100 PRO TEAM AERO JERSEY
An aerodynamic jersey with a limited edition Women’s 100 design.Shop now
WOMEN'S 100 CORE JERSEY
A versatile, mid-weight jersey with a limited edition Women’s 100 design.Shop now
WOMEN'S 100 CORE BIB SHORTS
A pair of durable, dependable bib shorts with a limited edition design.Shop now
WOMEN'S 100 CAP
A comfortable, cotton cycling cap with a limited edition Women’s 100 design.Shop now
WOMEN'S 100 SOCKS
A pair of performance cycling socks with a limited edition Women’s 100 design.Shop now
A celebration of women’s cycling, Rapha's annual challenge tasks thousands of cyclists worldwide with riding 100 kilometres however they want to. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, join the ride on Sunday, 12th September to celebrate what you and the women around you can achieve.
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