Monday, 26 April 2010

London Women's Cycle Racing

Late last year, several of my fellow female cycle racers led by Maria David came up with the idea of a London league: a dozen or so local races that we would tag as "league" races, add up points based on the results, and hand out prizes at the end of the season. From the humble beginnings of a few e-mails sent around and a meeting at the pub grew the London Women's Cycle Racing League, or LWCR for short. We're now over 50 affiliated members strong, representing 20 clubs across Greater London and southeast England and beyond! It can certainly be said that women's cycle racing is growing in popularity and enthusiasm.

So far we've held four events and the feedback from both riders and organisers has been excellent. Racing continues throughout the summer into late August, with the top 7 results for each rider counting towards the final points tally. In the meantime, the points leader wears a leader's jersey especially designed and created for our LWCR league. And our gracious sponsors Look Mum No Hands cycling cafe are on hand after every event to award the jersey to the current points leader.

I'd be lying if I didn't say I was interested in wearing that jersey at some point. But for me, the league means more than results and points. I'm really impressed to see how many women have jumped on their bikes and come out to race. All of our races have had more than twice the number of entries usually seen at their respective circuits, and the competition at all levels has been great. Being fairly new to racing myself, one of my biggest disappointments last year was showing up at races to find fewer than a dozen -- often not more than a handful -- of women to race against. Meanwhile, I would look on enviously at the men's races filled with willing participants at all levels. With the LWCR we've taken some big steps in improving that, and there are no signs of it slowing down. And this is great news for women's cycling everywhere, not just London. Women want to race and they are showing it.

If you haven't been to one of our league races yet, by all means come out and race (if you're a woman) or cheer us on (if you're not)! You will not be disappointed.

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