Bants, Bikes and Being Female
A chat show for female cyclists
Bants, Bikes and Being Female is a series of films aimed at women who cycle. In each episode, Anna Glowinski welcomes a host of experienced guests to help bridge the gender gap in cycling, discussing such topics as periods, cycling while pregnant and riding in the dark. The first season was livestreamed on Cycling UK’s Facebook page during the first UK lockdown when a lot of people were taking to cycling for the first time or returning after a long break. It offered advice on how to get into cycling. The second season, broadcast in November and December 2020, looked at how to keep up cycling in the winter months. The two seasons are now available to watch for free on Facebook and YouTube, as well as being available to view below. Keep scrolling to find out more about our expert panel.
Season 1: Find out more about each episode.
- Starting cycling (first broadcast on Friday 29 May 2020)
- Cycle commuting for beginners (first broadcast on Friday 5 June 2020)
- Periods, training & bib shorts (first broadcast on Friday 12 June 2020)
- Maintaining cycling as part of your lifestyle (first broadcast on Friday 19 June 2020)
- Pregnancy, cycling & kids (first broadcast on Friday 26 June 2020)
- Menopause, cycling & community (first broadcast on Friday 3 July 2020)
- Cycling & mental health (first broadcast on Friday 10 July 2020)
- How to fit cycling into your family life (first broadcast on Friday 17 July 2020)
- Cycling & cancer (first broadcast on Friday 24 July 2020)
Season 2: Find out more about each episode.
- Everything you need to know about cycling through the winter (first broadcast on Friday 13 November 2020)
- Are you scared of (cycling in) the dark? (first broadcast on Friday 20 November 2020)
- Looking after your bike in winter (first broadcast on Friday 27 November 2020)
- Motivation to ride in the miserable months (first broadcast on Friday 4 December 2020)
- How to plan a route for cycling (first broadcast on Friday 11 December 2020)
- Christmas special! (first broadcast on Friday 18 December 2020)
Bants, Bikes and Being Female took place during 2020.
Now that lockdown restrictions have been lifted there are no plans to run a third series.
The first episode
Our expert panel
Our guests are hand picked as cycling experts with years of experience in their fields. They are well known individually for championing the cause of women’s cycling, with plenty of passion and personality to boot.
Adel is a fitness expert with more than 10 years of experience in personal coaching and high performance. She is a former athlete with national and world titles, she has competed and succeeded in Ironman and short course triathlon, endurance events such as 24-hour races and has excelled in many sporting professions. Through her company Shaka Lifestyle Coaching, she offers Life mentoring, personal training and nutritional coaching. Find out more on Twitter, Instagram and her website.
Caz Nicklin launched award-winning brand Cycle Chic in 2008 because she was frustrated by the lack of attractive cycling kit and accessories aimed at women. She uses her bike to commute about town and take her daughter to nursery. She knows exactly what gear beginner cyclists need stay both comfortable and stylish – or should we say chic? Caz is also the author of of The Girls’ Bicycle Handbook. Find out more on Twitter and Instagram.
Charlie Stone Bsc (Hons) MCSP HPC
Charlie is a physiotherapist from Sheffield. She is one half of Fit4-Physio, a sports injury clinic run by runners and cyclists for runners and cyclists. She has been a physio for 17 years, including eight years serving in the British Army. Charlie retired from the army in 2014, after her last posting at the Defence Medical Rehab Centre, managing the team for lower limb rehabilitation. Also a qualified yoga and pilates instructor, she’s passionate about helping people to achieve their goals – in particular women.
With a can-do attitude, she takes a holistic approach to injury from assessment to treatment, rehabilitation and beyond. Bridging a gap between a women’s health physio and musculoskeletal physio, she works with women on their pre- and post-natal journey empowering women to exercise safely and confidently when planning a family. If she’s not at the clinic, she can be found running after her two small boys and a dog.
A runner-turned-cyclist, she’s never far from her two wheels or trainers. She has completed the Ride London and UCI World Champs sportives. She has developed a liking for Alpine Cols and daydreams of one day completing the Haute Route.
Crystal is a designer living and working in London. She has been riding bikes since she was a child, but since 2017, riding has become a passion. She spends her time in the saddle chasing adventure and escaping the humdrum of daily life. Crystal, who started commuting by bike in 2011 when she bought a road bike, prefers the quiet and alternative roads, the serenity and nature and meditation of spinning the cranks.
A few incidents have left her with cycling anxiety, but Crystal hasn’t let that beat her. Instead, she uses her anxiety to fuel herself, seeking adventure through travel. She plans to explore the wonders of bikepacking in the UK and abroad once the coronavirus pandemic is over.
Her fascination with cycling led her to learn everything there is to know about bikes. Now she builds them as a hobby, and takes online cycling maintenance webinars almost every week. Crystal’s mantra is ‘never stop learning’, which always opens up more opportunities, whether that’s learning about bikes, routes, technique, or community.
Crystal wants to get more involved in helping people on their bikes to overcome some of the worries cycling brings and believes that solidarity through shared experiences can be a powerful tool.
Delany got into cycling while living in London as a great way to save money, keep fit and socialise. In June 2015 she started working for one of the leading professional cycling kit brands in the world, ASSOS, and got involved with some racing on the track, through triathlon and also a couple of longer multi-day events.
In 2017 Delaney packed her bags and bikes, relocated to Italy and now works just across the border at their headquarters in southern Switzerland. Outside of work you’ll find her adventures out on the bike exploring the iconic mountain passes of Switzerland, the gravel roads of Tuscany and everything in between documented on her Instagram account.
Diana has ridden bikes for as long as she can remember – her main love now being road cycling. Over the years, she’s taken part in sportives, cycled in the Alps and raced time trials, criteriums and the odd road race. She also cycles for transport day to day, either alone or with her children.
She discovered cargo bikes when her children were three years and 18 months and it’s been their main means of family transport for the past five years. At eight and six years now, Diana is moving them to a tandem for the little one and independent cycling for the older one … but she still loves her cargo bike.
She’s passionate about supporting more people to cycle, whether that be riding to the shops or competing in races. She leads free rides for women in her local area of Edinburgh as a Breeze Champion and also supports other Breeze Champions as area co-ordinator for East and Central Scotland.
She is a British Cycling tutor, delivering Ride Leader Award courses throughout Scotland, and is a Level 2 Road coach and runs her own business, Active Cycle Coaching. When she’s not on a bike, she loves to write, especially about bikes!
Elle, owner of online fitness studio Keep it SimpElle, is a 30-something fitness professional and blogger based in Essex. Cycling was Ellie’s way to freedom as a child; she rediscovered cycling as an adult thanks to a friend and colleague and now loves exploring everything that cycling has to offer, having tried her hand at track, road and BMX cycling, not to mention bikepacking, cyclocross and MTB.
She says the fun of blogging and sharing her own adventures is leading others to discover their own passion for cycling. She's also a Breeze Champion, Liv Cycling UK ambassador, and a trainee cyclocross commissaire. “My goal in all of these roles,” she says, “is to encourage and inspire others to get on two wheels – especially women, and more specifically BAME women.”
Emily is a triathlete who had to pare back her training when perimenopause hit. She has subsequently set up the Perimenopause Hub, bringing together experts in the field so no woman need feel as lost as she did. Having been a skier all her life, Emily only really took up cycling (and triathlon) in her 30s so she is very aware of the hurdles beginners might face. She lives in Norfolk with her partner and six dogs.
Gemma was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 24 in 2012; she went on to establish MOVE Charity in 2016 in order to provide much-needed support for those living with cancer. She is also a co-founder – along with Lucy Gossage – of 5K Your Way, Move Against Cancer, a community-based initiative to encourage those living with cancer and their friends, family and carers to stay active.
Gemma went on to become an international distance runner following her diagnosis. She brings a different outlook to the panel both from a professional and personal perspective.
Jesse is a nutrition and lifestyle coach and personal trainer based in Brighton, with 10 years’ experience coaching women. By understanding the barriers that women face – both physiologically and psychologically – she keeps her approach very realistic, sustainable and enjoyable. By keeping things realistic and enjoyable, women learn how to thrive rather than burn out.
Her core principles lie in behaviour change and empowering women to make positive changes to their nutrition and lifestyle whatever stage they are at in their lives. She believes passionately that with the correct education, practical tools and by adopting the right mindset, women can become confident that they will never have to try yet another diet or exercise fad again. No foods are off limits, and Jesse coaches her clients to be inclusive not restrictive and importantly feel confident in their choices and actions.
Having been a runner and suffering from amenorrhoea (loss of menstruation) due to RED-S (relative energy deficiency in sports), she also recognises the importance of fuelling correctly to maintain good health, performance and prevent injury via the use of correct sports nutrition and recovery strategies. She is a fuel and lifestyle coach for Her Spirit, which provides her with the opportunity to fulfil her passion in helping all women to gain access to the tools to help them become healthy and happy individuals.
Dr Josephine Perry
Josephine runs Performance in Mind, a performance psychology consultancy based in London. She is a chartered psychologist working with high performers in sport, on stage and in business to help them overcome their barriers to success so their can achieve their goals. She regularly writes about how athletes and other performers can use applied sports psychology to enhance their performance. She is the author of Performing Under Pressure and The Psychology of Exercise.
Keri is a scientist, and mum of three. Cycling, for her, started as a solution to repeated running injuries, and coincided with her husband’s love of the pastime. He surprised her with the gift of a secondhand road bike, but initially annoyed at being pushed into ‘his’ sport, the bike was left in the shed.
However, missing her regular runs caused her mental health to spiral, and in October 2016 she suffered a massive mental breakdown. She narrowly avoided being sectioned, and felt terrified. After spending a few months recovering at home while supported by her GP and family, she eventually dusted off the bike and joined a 10-mile British Cycling Beginners Breeze Ride. She’d never ridden a road bike or cycled as part of a group, but loved every minute of it. Ten months after that, she completed a 75-mile sportive and treated herself to a new bike.
She covered miles while living with a damning voice in her head, telling her she was useless, fat and slow, but she decided to challenge it. She's since ridden in time trial, at velodromes, MTB, commuted many miles, and cycled coast to coast.
Kirsti is the founder and company director of Go Velo, delivering cycle instruction and instructor training. A qualified National Standards Instructor Trainer (NSIT), British Cycling Ride Leader and British Cycling Route Planner, she manages a team of cycle instructors, generating cycle training activity and providing bike maintenance sessions in the north-west. Go Velo was runner up in the Bikeability awards 2019. The company provides a fun, inclusive and progressive learning environment to riders, encouraging them to embrace their cycling journey. A single mum of two, living in the Pennines, Kirsti enjoys mountain biking, wild camping and open water swimming. Find out more about Go Velo on Twitter and Facebook.
Lesley Wilkinson MCPH
Initially trained as a nutritionist, Lesley qualified as a homeopath at The College of Practical Homeopathy in 1995 and joined the register of homeopaths. She runs a busy homeopathic practice in south Croydon, as well as a student clinic to complement the training of homeopaths
She is a keen and regular cyclist, and has competed in various forms of cycling, including Trans Portugal, where she was the eldest of the seven female entrants.
Lizzie is an English professional world champion track and road racing cyclist, who currently rides for UCI Women’s WorldTeam Trek–Segafredo. She was the 2015 World road race champion, and the 2014 Commonwealth Games road race champion. Lizzie is also a two-times winner of the season-long UCI Women’s Road World Cup, winning the overall competition in 2014 and the final edition in 2015. At the 2012 Summer Olympics, Lizzie won the silver medal in the women’s individual road race. She has won the British National Road Race Championships four times, in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017.
In 2018 Lizzie gave birth to her first child, Orla, and proceeded to race in the Tour de Yorkshire a year later. The mum of one is looking towards a best result ever at the next Olympic games.
Qualified bike mechanic and DJ, Lorraine Dixon is that person who can turn even the most dry of bike-related topics into a barrel of laughs.
Representing the Joyful Bellas and Fellas, Lorraine is known for encouraging beginners of all backgrounds, ages and abilities to join her cycling group in the Midlands.
Lucy Follett BSc (Hons), MCSP HPC
Lucy has always enjoyed riding bikes – be it road riding or mountain biking. She’s passionate about the outdoors and loves to be in the mountains with friends – and now her son – riding mountain bikes. She had her son, Jasper, in May 2019. She is a performance innovation consultant for the English Institute of Sport, where she works on innovation projects across all Olympic sports and has seen athletes come back from having a baby to winning gold medals within an Olympic cycle. Her return hasn’t been quite so prolific, but she gets out as much as she can and still tries to challenge herself with the techy stuff! She shares some of her experiences of riding through pregnancy.
Lucy is a cancer doctor and a professional triathlete. A 14 x Ironman champion, she entered her first triathlon as a dare while working as a junior doctor in 2006 – she refers to herself as an “accidental pro”. Lucy also co-founded – along with fellow panellist Gemma Hillier-Moses – the national charity initiative 5K Your Way, Move Against Cancer. She writes extensively on sport and her work as an oncologist. You can find out more about Lucy on her website.
Melanie is the co-founder, along with Holly Woodford, of Her Spirit, which was set up in 2018 to improve every woman’s health and wellbeing by reducing rates of obesity and anxiety, while increasing activity levels in women across the UK. The organisation offers personalised coaching for mind, body and fuel, and enables women to get fitter, stronger and healthier from their living room. Melanie is an experienced sports marketeer, with more than 20 years’ experience working in the sports and business industry in the UK and globally. She has worked with some of the biggest global brands such as Adidas, DFS, Speedo International and Boots through to numerous start ups, national governing bodies and major events.
Supporting this work, Melanie is a mentor and lecturer at Nottingham Universities Business School, and The Ingenuity Lab, and was recognised as the mentor of the year (2017) for Nottingham Universities Ingenuity Lab. She’s also a qualified triathlon coach and loves taking on new challenges such as marathons, triathlons and cycling events like the L’Etape du Tour.
Rachael Walker is an award-winning women’s cycling events organiser and has been racing bikes for more than 15 years, competing at a global level in Downhill and Enduro mountain biking.
She also loves a long-distance bikepacking adventures, which is what makes her the perfect Komoot ambassador. Komoot is a route-planning app that helps you find on- and off-road paths for cycling.
Silvi Vargas is a BMX racer and coach. She runs BMX-ercise classes for women and has worked as a mechanic for Evans Cycles.
She has fixed everything on a bike, hit massive jumps and created fun and welcoming environments in which women are able to push their limits and thrive.
You can find out more about Silvi on her website.
Dr Susanna Unsworth MA (Cantab) MB BChir MRCGP DRCOG DFSRH PGDip Gynaecology
Susanna is a menopause and women’s health specialist who works as a speciality coctor in the Breast Clinic at Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge. She has diplomas from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (DRCOG) and the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (DFSRH), as well as a postgraduate diploma in Community Gynaecology from the University of Bradford and the Advanced Certificate in Menopause Care from the FSRH. She is registered on the British Menopause Society Register of Menopause Specialists in the UK.
She started the Cambridge Women’s Health Clinic to provide women with the time and attention they need to discuss their health concerns, offering support and experienced advice. Check out her women’s health blog FemaleGP, where she is creating a resource of easy-to-understand information on all areas of women’s health. You can also follow Susanna on Twitter and Instagram.
Vicky Balfour is a mountain biking coach, mindset coach and bike mechanic. She teaches bike mechanics and cycle maintenance, and runs Resilient Riders courses via her company Vicky Bikes. She is also mum to two children who have health difficulties and disabilities, who need special support to be able to enjoy cycling like everyone else.
The voice of adaptive and non-standard cycles, she aims to educate audiences about the various options out there enabling everyone to enjoy cycling.
Zoe Banks Gross
Zoe worked as an environmental scientist for more than 15 years across the US, Germany and the UK. She has been employed in the public sector, private sector, academia and as a freelance consultant. In 2014, Zoe started working at a hyper-local, community level, founding a family cycling group – East Bristol Kidical Mass – teaching BAME women basic cycling skills, and coordinating regular Playing Out sessions on her street.
She is interested in social justice, health, sustainability and how these intersect. Her work focuses on the grass roots level to empower people to increase their physical activity, and take action about their homes, streets or neighbourhoods. She speaks regularly about women and children and cycling, environmental justice, democracy and data, and co-design with communities.
You can follow her on Instagram.