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Sunday, September 19, 2010

She stoops to conquer - The Femule

Way back in 2005 I first saw a young 23 year old female called Victoria Pendalton. She would not have looked out of place on the front page of any glamour magazine or stood next to David Craig on a film set.
However this was no glamour girl, this was a serious ‘butt kicking’ track cyclist clad in Lycra.

I found myself admiring her shapely legs, not for the obvious aesthetic quality, but for the serious horse power that lay beneath the surface.
Underneath an over sized helmet there was another similarly impressive quality, a steely resolve to succeed.
Since that time she has featured in more glamour magazines than those dedicated to cycling and I’m sure Mr Craig is still drumming his fingers in anticipation.
She has also obtained a large number of gongs, bronze, silver and lots of the gold ones.

The thing that has impressed me most about Ms Pendalton is how she has changed women’s cycling. It is something that I applaud wholeheartedly and something that I am very grateful for

For years the fairer sex appeared to be content with propelling their comfortable, aesthetic conveyances over the cobbled streets, or to the other end of the village.
Baskets and panniers would act as a storage facility for both household shopping and retail therapy. Speeds were governed not by ability, but by conversation and the ability to pass the time of day with welcoming gestures.
Accompanying clothes were not chosen by the bikes colour, saddle or frame dimensions but by what felt right.

Don’t get me wrong there were a small number of female cyclists on Sunday club run.

Although they were always welcome they were seen as ‘One of the guys’ and never taken seriously in their own right. They were also anonymous, constrained by male machismo and of a desire to conform.

Now when I take part in sportives I see a marked increase in the percentage of women taking part. There is no way that they could be described as being ‘one of the guys’.
I usually end up admiring their legs in the same way as I did with Ms Pendleton……when they fly past me !!!!!
These are often sassy girls with attitude, who will pull at the front, box you in, and shell you out of a chain gang like an errant pea on a dinner plate.
They don’t need to ask the question ‘Does my bum look too big’.

By regularly taking part in such events, this is one sport that helps subdue such a question.
You are more likely to strike up a conversation about cadence, power weight ratios and the new Sidi race shoe range.

Our ‘Travels with my mule’ cycling team has its fair share of women who all keep us in check.
Joanne my partner used to go shopping on a weekend on her dutch town bike.
The thought of covering herself with Lycra and being locked into pedals for five hours appeared as attractive as cleaning the cooker. Four years later she now has 1000’s of miles in her legs including a number of Century rides. She commutes to work by bike, and can change an inner tube in less than five minutes without breaking a nail.
She spends more time on the Internet looking for cycling gear than she does looking at anything else and can always give me give a run for my money on any flat course that we cycle.
She is also as feminine as it comes.
I am reliably informed that the wives and girlfriends of some of our Mules have thought about
getting on their bikes.
Well the message is clear

Our stable door is always open !!!!!!

Become a FeMULE


  1. woman cycling is always payed less attention's just sad..
    no sponsors in msia....would sponsor a female cyclist..
    everything has to be funded by's not easy

  2. First time commenter on your blog. Great info here, and I've only scratched the surface!

  3. i wish day i would get back in the picture....
    but till now i have no sign of a comeback


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