“One of the big missions of the Veloroos…is to inspire more women to ride bikes, and more women to say ‘yes’ to challenges, and to let go of inhibitions a bit and just say ‘yes’ and then worry about how you’re going to do it…”
This is a fun conversation that left me both excited and, if truth be told, a wee bit jealous.
This week on Sparta Chicks Radio, I’m joined by endurance cyclists Sarah Anne Evans and Pippa Lyon who are both members of the Veloroos; an Australian non-professional women’s cycling team.
This is Sarah Anne’s second time on the podcast. She joined me with her Veloroos teammate Julie Ann Hazlett in July 2017 to talk about their experience at the 5,000km Race Across American 2015 and their preparation for the 2,200km Race Around Ireland (about one month after our conversation) in 2017 (you can find that conversation here).
In both events, the Veloroos not only won their category, but smashed the race record in the process!
In 2019, Sarah Anne and Julie Anne, together with a third team member, Pippa Lyon (who you’ll meet today on the podcast for the first time) are about to tackle their hardest challenge to date.
The ladies have joined an international women’s cycling team called the InternationElles for an ambitious project.
Together with a French women’s cycling team, the InternationElles will ride every stage of the 2019 Tour de France, one day ahead of the men’s professional race, in order to raise the profile of women in cycling and to fight for equality in the sport.
So basically, yes, they are riding the Tour de France!
It’s a journey of 3,640km over 21 stages, which works out at roughly 1200km of cycling per week - for 3 weeks!
And, if that’s not hard enough, the route chosen for this year’s Tour de France has been described as the mountainous in the 106 year history of the race!
Sarah Anne and Pippa join me today to discuss:
* how Pippa discovered cycling and ultimately found herself as part of the Veloroos team for the Race Around Ireland,
* their experience at the 2,200km Race Around Ireland in 2017 (including surviving on 5 hours sleep over the 72 hours it took the team to finish),
* the role that having a positive mindset played in Sarah Anne’s recovery after breaking both arms in a crash in 2018 and being told she may never ride again,
* why it’s important to quickly ‘get back on the horse’ after an incident,
* the InternationElles project and it’s mission to campaign for women’s Tour (de France) and to raise awareness for the need for gender equality in cycling as well as how they became involved,
* how they are preparing their bodies (and minds) to ride 1,200km per week, for 3 weeks,
* why the mission of the InternationElles is so important to them personally (after all, it’s one thing to say you support equality for women in sport; it’s another thing to put your body on the line in such a demanding way)
* why there is a little bit of extraordinary in everybody and how achieving goals you don’t necessarily believe you can is the key to unlocking your confidence,
* the power of being truly committed to your goals and why your goal needs to scare you ‘just enough’ to get you out of bed,
* how they are training (mentally and physically) for what’s been described as the most mountainous route of the Tour in its 106 year yesterday (given they live Sydney),
* whether they’ve struggled with our old friend the Imposter Complex and any sense of “who am I to do this?”, and
* how we all fear being the slowest and holding everyone else up.
I’ll be following the InternationElles journey for 3 weeks in July, 2019 through France and hope you do too.
And I look forward to getting them back on the podcast later in the year to hear how it unfolded!
Notes and resources:
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