I’ve been to see a documentary tonight as part of the Bristol Bike Festival, introduced by infectiously passionate four time world Ironman champ Chrissie Wellington. Totally gobsmacking. Utterly inspiring. Who knew that the gender gap in cycling was this big and the discrimination so unapologetically blatant.
This is me taking on the Dundry Drubber. Just one of two girls out of around 40 or so riders taking part.
Chrissie introduced the film, and spoke passionately about battle for equality in women’s cycling. Seriously, where would we be without people like her, making a difference and actually making things happen. It’s too easy to be a bystander and too much work to stick your neck out. Chrissie challenges all that. Together with Emma Pooley (GBR champ) Kathryn Bertine (SKN champ and film maker) and Marianne Vos (NED champ) she successfully petitioned this year to get women into the Tour de France, in the form of a one day race on the last day, La Course.
So he turns around and asks about that M-Dot tattoo. Which is his way of saying, ‘…it’s ok, I know you’ve spent £470 on an entry to a race that’ll challenge you beyond what you think you can cope with right now which will probably involve emotional ‘development’, and I know it’s going to cost even more to get there and get accommodation, and yes – I’ll lose you to the pool, the saddle and the road for 7 months soon – but I support you.
It’s not going to be easy, but just like Chrissie said to me tonight; ‘Janine, remember that anything truly is possible!’ And so, I will be making it happen, and paying it forward along the way.