Hawkes Bay NZ Water trail

Thursday, March 29, 2012

My favorite solo women bike travelers: Louise Sutherland

"In 1945, aged 19, Louise Sullivan pedalled off to discover New Zealand, then spun her way around the globe, winning hearts along the way."

While cooling my heels at the Auckland YHA last month, I read a short biography by Bronwen Wall, Louise Sullivan Spinning the Globe [Kennett Brothers : Wellington, New Zealand, 2010].

It's hard not to like this free-spirited woman. In 1978, Louise, now aged 52, wearing a knee length skirt, rode her Raleigh bicycle solo on the Trans-Amazonian highway across Brazil.

Louise carried a bottle of nail polish as a trip essential, and it's wonderful to see how often she used this item to befriend people, break down barriers, and get out of trouble.

This book is number 6 in a series called "New Zealand Cycling Legends" at Kennett Brothers

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Friendlier Bike Events for Women?

What can be done to make bicycle events friendlier to women? I just read this interesting qualitative study from two Australian academics at Griffith University, who studied female participants on the 2010 nine-day Bicycle Queensland supported ride. I’ve ridden several day and week-long events over the past 10 years, and I’m familiar with being an outlier: solo female rider, perfectly happy to ride at the back of the pack so I can enjoy the journey, not the destination, and not having many other women riders around.

Here’s an academic take on what that might mean.

Fullagar, Simone and Adele Pavlidis, “It’s all about the journey: women and cycling events,” International Journal of Event and Festival Management (2012), Vol. 3, Iss. 2
Abstract here:

To read the full article, email Professor Fullagar

Friday, March 16, 2012

Bike maintenance basics for women

I figured out how to get myself, my bike, and my gear back to Seattle. A lot of sitting around airports (Auckland to Sydney, Sydney to San Francisco, San Francisco to Seattle), and experienced first hand the ups and downs of negotiating airports in a wheelchair.

Since getting back on Feb 28, I've been busy with doctors and kneeling on a scooter to get around without crutches.

As riding is OUT for months until I can put weight back on my left foot once more, and learn to walk with pins in my ankles, I'm making the best of it.

Went to the local outdoors store, and attended a free Bike Basics for Women demostration. I know quite a bit about bike maintenance and basic repairs, but I sure don't know everything.

This was a nice time to spend the evening, learning about lubes and things I should be doing, but haven't.