Ride Like a Girl – Leigh

Name/location/discipline

Leigh/born in Minnesota (USA) but living in Sydney (Australia)/fixed, cargo, touring

What does riding mean to you?

I come from the most bike friendly city in the United States –  Minneapolis, Minnesota. I remember seeing cycle messengers around the city when I was in my teens and I just thought they seemed rad and I loved the concept of actually physically working to make a living, a modern hunter gatherer – if you want to eat, you have to chase that bread. So after college, instead of pursuing a career in line with my degree, I became a bike messenger and completely fell in love with the community and the joy of the ride. Since then, I’ve worked in cities across the US, began competing in messenger events nationally then went on to compete in events and tour around the world making some amazing connections. Here I am 4 years later and I am still at it, pushing paper on the other side of the world!

So, in short, cycling means to me exactly what it brought me – I learned to take in the world around me through the best and the worst, the sunny days and the bone chilling days, embracing discomfort and showing myself what I’m capable of. More importantly, though, the thing I am most grateful for is is that cycling brought me a ridiculous, driving and loving community.

What is your favourite set up?

I’ve been riding my All-City Big Block fixed for a majority of my mess career, I have even toured with it. But I’ve been working on an Omnimum for a bit and wow I am falling in loooove.

Generally I like narrow bars and a set back seat post because I somehow always wind up with tiny frames. Currently my gear ratio is 46×18.

Do you think the environment is male dominated? If yes what are your thoughts about it?

Absolutely. I would say in all the cities I have worked in and events I have attended, I was either the only non-man person or non-men made up at most 20% of the cycling community. It took me years to finally get a job as a courier because, sadly I was confronted with a wall of men who believed that non-dudes just couldn’t hack it. It was discouraging and annoying as hell. I find that still, there are a lot of issues that face the community regarding sexism but I’d say that is pretty universal across industries and niche communities, especially those that require manual labor. It isn’t a cycling thing, it’s a whole society thing. I make the best of it by encouraging other non-men to join in and by participating in collectives like the *BMA and generally remain an outspoken woman that demands equality in order to attempt to get those waves of equality kickin’.

Any riding plans for the future?

Heading to Hawaii after Australia so I’ll be checking out those beautiful landscapes. Hoping to do a South America trip coming up! Really keen on doing some rides throughout Europe and checking out Japan!

Ride like a girl is a series of interviews with WTF (women *trans femme) riders from around the world. If you would like to be contributed drop us an email.

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