Getting More Women on Their Bikes

Laura Winter The Sports Presenter Journalist and Keen Cyclist,30 Talks About Getting More Women on Their Bikes

A‘s an early bird, I’m alw by 7am. After a good c coffee, I exercise, ofte doing a 40-minute Zwift workout on my turbo trainer at home. It’s harder when I’m on location, but I always feel better f training. I’m away with work for a the year, presenting and commentating on sports including swimming, rowing rugby, tennis and my biggest love, cycling. Home is in Cheltenham where I can get on my bike and be in the hills in 10 minutes. My mum lives nearby, helping to look after my beloved rescue dog Buddy when I’m away. Travel is the best and worst part of my job. This morning I worked out on Muscle Beach as I’m covering the Tour of California for NBC Sports, yet my flight home could be cancelled. But I love what I do, and I’ve never had a “boring day at the office”.

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FUELLING PASSION

I’ve always loved watching and taking part in sport, and swam competitively aged seven to 19. Knowing I wouldn’t make it as a professional, I studied English at Loughborough University, swapping swimming for competitive rowing while also doing media for the Uni radio and TV stations and newspaper. In my final year, I combined my passions and got into sports journalism. My first job was in comms and social media for the World Rowing Federation, and I studied for a NTCJ qualification in sports journalism at the same time.

Getting More Women on Their Bikes

I also met people who pushed me in the right direction, and was thrown into presenting my first gig was as a stadium presenter for netball at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow where I got the presenting bug. Presenting the British National Championships live on ITV in 2018 was a real “pinch me” moment. Race days can be physically and mentally gruelling so I always have a big breakfast – porridge or avocado on toast – as lunch is often slim pickings (I’m vegan and my options are limited). I always carry Rawvelo energy bars in case I can’t find anything to eat, but the adrenaline rush from being on camera keeps me going until I crash out at 10pm. I’m always in bed early, unless there’s an after-party – then I’m the last one on the dance floor!’ PEDAL POWER ‘I never see my gender as a barrier, but when it became apparent that people saw women’s sport as second-rate, I made it my mission to highlight the issue and rectify it.

I’m proud to be a part of the Voxwomen team, a project that gives female cyclists coverage. We started out on social media and YouTube in 2015, then our show was taken up by Eurosport and now we run a podcast, shop and events. Participating in cycling also gives me a greater understanding of what the competitors are going through – it’s essential that I walk the walk and talk the talk. It’s important I encourage more women to get into cycling.

That’s why I’ve teamed up with Cycle Surgery* for its workshop series that provides women with practical advice on how to get on their bikes. Cycling improves your physical and mental wellbeing and it doesn’t matter what you look like, which is crucial in a society that still treats women as passive ornaments in sporting events.’

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