Cycling Queens of 2013…The Pedal Medals

“I got boobs, I got a bike” may be this year’s slogan for bicycle touring. The booby led bicycle touring revolution has become amply endowed this year with the WOW (Women On Wheels) Wall filling out to include over 100 solo female bicycle tourists. The Wall busted her britches with the sisters of cycling from all over the world coming together in celebration of a growing community. It is a remarkable top heavy resource that has kept my skalatitude@gmail e-mail box overflowing this year with all the free camping, safety and gear questions.  Drum roll please………this year’s Pedal Medals go to…

Ballsy Bronze

Cycle touring on one wheel, not at all of classic proportions for a bicycle, unicyclist Anne-Sophie Rodette took on a 6 month dirt and pavement tour of Patagonia. Anne-Marie got in touch with me on twitter to join the community and to say that my completion of cycling the length ofAfrica was inspirational to her. “Tsst”, I said “enough about that, Emma Sweden Meets Africa On A Bike (FB english website swedish) just made it to Cape Town, the book Desert Snow was just released with great reviews, and I just met South African Leana Niemand through the WOW FB fan page, she has been on the road for over 6 years. Brenna Coupland is setting up a mobile bicycle repair project in East Africa. Psst, lets here about your unicycle because it isn´t everyday that I get to meet someone on such an intrepid journey on only one wheel” The bronze medal goes to Anne-Marie for inspiring with her balanced courage to take it slow and offer some great advice for the new year “sure, it's slower than a bicycle but I'm in no rush in order to better discover, learn and think along my journey."

Splendidly Silver

At 64 years old, Kathryn Mossbrook Zimmerman is the oldest woman on the WOW wall. and  Rachel Hugens, at 63, are top contenders. The youthful Antoinette Morgan who overcame an emergency hysterectomy is also a force to be reckoned with. But Gerdi Geist takes the lead. Geist, the years silver winner, who this year cycled to the Black Sea says it best: “Many years ago, I took a year out of university to travel. I had lived a sheltered life and I wanted to ‘find myself’. Now 35 years later, I live a sheltered life again. I have a husband, a mortgage, an all-consuming job and grown up children. And again, I want to break free. So, I’m going on a bike ride. On my own. I’m middle aged, not very fit, I don’t know much about bike maintenance and I am not particularly resourceful. But I want to experience the thrill of being a nomad again, the thrill of not knowing where I will sleep that night, not knowing who I will meet and the thrill of fending for myself. The thrill of feeling alive.” 

The GOLDen Road

In the last 2 months I have met 3 solo females camping and cycling solo on RT. 40 Argentina. Mati was on a 3 week holiday from Barcelona. Dorothee Fleck was triple loaded on her second bike tour around the world and Kat from Australia on a 6 month tour of South America. Kat had started the tour with her partner but when the relationship dissolved she headed for Ushuaia solo. Kat and I laughed when we both admitted to free camping concerns. “My headlamp is on my wrist when I sleep” Kat says. “My headlamp used to be on my forehead and I have slept with my shoes on so I could run away from the boogie man” I laughed and said in complete comederie. Camping solo is a popular concern, Teacher Alison Davies says “ if I get scared camping, I put my ear plugs in!” 

The gold award goes to all WOW (Women On Wheels) who despite occasional gliches completed their first bicycle tour this year. Lori Bell and Heather Jones across America and sums it up“Ladies- We can soar like birds, traveling the world on our bicycle, embracing our independence, and making our lives our own. I'm so proud of all of us! Pedal on!"  

Special note: I just loaded 2 weeks of food on the bicycle.There will be lentils dangling from my handlebars at 4748m/(15,577ft) in the Paso San Franscisco (Chile/Argentina border), the Paso Pircas Negros is unfortunately closed until January.  I am not sure about communications but check the right side bar for updates from the cell company through my smart phone. Happy Holidays!


The Bag Lady said...

What a compliment! For once I'm proud to be the oldest female and I'm amongst the best company in the world...all these amazing woman doing amazing bicycling things! (I do have a thing about getting my name correct...Kathryn Mossbrook Zimmerman...thanks;)) In two months I'll close on my selling my house and hit the road for a couple of years going to Europe, Australia, and Africa, I hope. I sure hope I cross paths with many of the women on this wall. What an honor! Happy Christmas...and bah humbug!!!

Unknown said...

Ah bah humbug, I just love saying that! Sorry about that typo, Ellenor MOSEMAN, The Wander Cyclist is also a Pedal Medalist, sorry about the mix up, it is corrected now..ahh bah humbug!

Anonymous said...

Hi Loretta! I love your wall, love reading about other riders and being part of it, though I am no doubt one of your least-intrepid solo female cyclists! And love learning that there are others about my age! At a few weeks shy of 65 I don't often see others equally .. young. Have been following your travels for years now and you remain an inspiration!! Be safe, ride through New England sometime... Suze

Suze said...

Hey again Loretta, my thumb hit the wrong button on my little tablet, sothe above comment came in as anonymous, not as me, Suze. I'll try again, and I apologize. If you want to kill both of these, I'll repost!

Jaybird said...

Hey Retta. Merry Christmas! Love from Canada. Proud to have ya on my friend 'o mine list. Keep crankin'!!

Skalatitude..."When humans and nature are living in harmony there is magic and beauty everywhere"
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