Name/location/discipline

Katarzyna/Wrocław (Poland) now, Portugal soon/fixed + bike polo + road

What does riding mean to you?

Riding is freedom. Bikes really bring friends together, a family type of community. In almost every city there is somebody connected to the fixed gear culture or bike polo, so it makes it easier to travel and they are super open to help you, meet you and host you. I enjoy the fact that bikes draw people who are little bit rebellious or outside the norms and they care about something more than just themselves.

What is your favourite set up?

Every set up which allows me to move, I hate walking in the city. But if I had to choose, I think it’s my first fixie, put together by one of my friends on a frame by Ted James, it has got a lot of memories through the last five years of life challenges.

Do you think the environment is male dominated?

I think there are statistically more men playing polo, riding as bike messengers, but there is no division in genders in those fields and I don’t feel masculinity taking over, maybe a little bit in myself. Everybody is welcomed to join, except assholes and rude people. I feel that the number of riding girls is increasing, they feel that it’s giving them power, tolerance, security and family vibes. I’m not a profesional rider, but what I see at competitions, especially fixed gear criteriums, many organizers underestimate girls’ skill levels and their power and that they are sometimes faster than men. I like the idea of the mixed teams in bike polo, it’s definitely giving different feeling. Everybody has different skillsets and unique character to their style of playing so they can all go along and complete eachother.

So the answer if it male dominated? Yes and no, I never heard that I am forbidden to or discouraged from riding because of my gender, except it sometimes happened that we couldn’t organise a race on the velodrome, simply due to the fact that there weren’t enough girls to race. So I think it’s beneficial at a certain point to shift the focus from gender, creating further divisions through categories and labels, and to try to unite us equally on the same playing field and ride along together as humans.

Any riding plans for the future?

Bike polo definitely gives a lot of opportunites to travel, riding only on the court, outside of it I feel like a hamster on the wheel. I’m going to be playing in Porto (Porto Open)  and in Berlin for two tournaments (Mallet Dolorosa and Berlin Mixed). Maybe I will join up with the ECMC or PCMC in the summer. And hopefully some events on Wrocław’s velodrome – we have a really nice crew here – and demanding concrete track. Who knows, I tend to be spontaneous.


Name/location/discipline

Sandra, Berlin, Fixed Gear, SHE36

What does riding mean to you?

Free will and embracing nature – on the one hand I love finding new routes e.g. on my daily commute by escaping the usual bike lanes. On the other hand it’s the nicest feeling to ride your bike every single day in ANY weather condition. I promise you won’t feel cold sitting at your office desk for the rest of the day in winter 😉


What is your favourite set up?

Most of the times I ride my Koga steel frame which I transformed from a retro road bike to a sleek fixed gear. As a mother of a 2.5 year old son and now cyclist I don’t need to ride my granny bike which comes with a child seat too often anymore <3

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

I can only tell, that most of the male commuters underestimate my kind of speed. But I do hate the slow people sneaking to the first row on a red light, too. Racing wise I feel like the whole fixed gear community gets more open minded (not just about female riders) but there is way too much discrimination shit going on in the big picture. 

Any riding plans for the future?

I‘d surely love to start transitioning to road cycling to do more long distance rides in summer…



Name/location/discipline

Mana / I was born in Eastern Europe but living happily in Switzerland / I am working for Kurierzentrale and I love my workhorses: fixed, singlespeed and cx geared – choosing after my mood and/or socks (:

What does riding mean to you?
Depending on the day: sometimes just work and nothing more at all. Friyay leg burns if the whole week was windy… But sometimes I am not even realizing that I am working. Cantering through the city on my rainbow unicorn and nothing matters to me like  I am one in the traffic.

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What is your favourite set up?

I love all my bikes. Everything is perfectly measured for me. I love my fixed with the cool panter painting. I love my singlespeed with the front rack. I love my cx with the drop bars and fenders. My bike my home.

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

Yes it is. But It’s fine.We are living in a man dominated world anyway. But the girls are getting stronger and braver and be aware: though chicks are coming! The change is in the air! [meow]

Any riding plans for the future?

Riding my shifts (and horse) [hihihi]. And the summer is coming! I will be definitely at the ECMC and at the German Champs in Duisburg. So sorry but Jakarta [Cycle Messenger World Championships 2019] is not for my wallet in this year…
As an everyday-working messenger can’t plan more ride because I am working my a** off and still need a regeneration time for the next week. Yes I am getting older too (:

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.


Name/location/discipline
Stephanie Ortega/Los Angeles/CX, MTB, fixi

What does riding mean to you?
Riding for me is what I see as freedom. As a courier constantly working in the city and time and time dealing with rabid drivers. It is really nice to unplug and go straight to the mountains near home. I grew up skateboarding and the distance you cover is nothing quite as close to cycling. You can travel longer distances through bike touring stopping when you need to and just set up camp. Cycling is a beautiful sport and never ceases to amaze me on how much we can actually push as human beings.

What is your favourite set up?
My favorite setup is probably my MTB, it’s a Niner Sir9 Hardtail. It’s the bike I feel most comfortable on plus the advantages of bike touring. Camping in the mountains and not being concerned that it’s too rocky or too steep, at that point its simply fun.

Do you think the environment is male dominated? If yes what are your thoughts about it?
I do think the environment is male dominated. Especially as a bike courier or as a mountain biker. I believe there is this fear that is bottled up in everyone that prevents us from doing things, from riding in the city and constantly battling the cars to going to the mountains and riding technical trails. I think to grow some of these areas of cycling we need to go against our fear and practice on getting better. All things take time for us to get comfortable. Other reasons in my opinion are that there is not enough of us that can get together to teach each other and to motivate each other. I think internally we have to be supportive of each other in every aspect and levels, more WTF clinics, more supportive groups but I also think men have to change their mindsets and encourage women rather than laugh at fears or being impatient.

Any riding plans for the future?
I am doing the landrun100, thankful to WTF Bike Explorers. I don’t think I would be able to fully afford a trip to Oklahoma Stillwater if it weren’t for them. If I had the opportunity, I would love to go to Grinduro and definitely more bike tours.

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.


I asked my friends from Coffeeteatrip to share some hints on how to pack for camping time out in the nature as they are experts on it. This is what they came with. 

We like coffee, tea and trips – guess you can read that in our blog’s name. Recently we really got into camping – nature, coffee and we are one the go. But before we set off there is always this same issue – what shall we take? Something to sleep in, prepare meals, change. Below you can find one of the sets we take for a night or two. Everything is packed in a waterproof bag fixed to the steering bar by Packman bag from Triglav, saddle bag from Wciąż w drodze and a frame bag unfortunately made by us. Unfortunately because we are not good in sewing and we have to fix it every trip – but well it works.

So this is what we pack – from the top left to the right:

  • first aid kit (mostly adhesive strips, painkillers, antidiarrheals plus a tooth brush and tooth paste)
  • tarp pegs
  • Stanley pot
  • Cafflano Classik – grinder, drip and thermo cup in one, plus a metal mug,
  • coffee
  • gas cylinder (usually a smaller one but this is an XXL version from last swift camp where it had to serve a lot of people)
  • frying pan, handle, spoon-fork and MSR cooker,
  • hammock Lesovik Ultralight
  • tarp Groza Ultralight
  • self inflating camping mattress from Decathlon (when it’s colder we put it in the hammock to save our asses from being cold, when there are no trees we put it under the tarp)
  • a rain coat and a head lamp
  • some cloths, swimming gear and a towel
  • down coat from Lidl (not a very small one and hope we won’t need it in the evenings now)
  • oldschool Pajak sleeping bag – old but gold
  • inflatable cusion
  • tool bag

Since this is all the cooking equipment all the food is carried by another person. But if you have to go by your own there is still some space for the food. Usually tortillas, eggs and bacon for scrambled eggs.

Additionally we take a hip bag with a phone, wallet, lights, a lighter, power bank, cables and small packable bag for beer bought in the last open shop.

Hope it helps to embrace your summer camping vibes! And remember – riding is about having fun, not achievements.


Due to many questions about restock we decided to bring back the Back on Track metal mug!

The Back on Track graphic has been made by Polish female graphic designer Justyna Fontkiewicz

The metal mug is made in Poland and holds up to 225 ml.

The restock is very limited – get the mug before it’s gone! Mugs will be sent after 21st of March.


Just RIDE HARD!

Designed, sawn and printed in Poland.

Slim fit.

100% cotton 180 g

Colour: black

Print: white

Sizes:

S (length 69 cm, width 51 cm)

M (length 71 cm, width 53 cm)

L (lenght 73 cm, width 55 cm)

Buy here.


Comfy socks designed by the best Karolina Skrzyniarz – a female tattooer from Warsaw.

Combed cotton.

Available in 4 sizes:

  • 36-38 EU (23-24,5 cm)
  • 39-41 EU (25-26,5 cm)
  • 42-44 EU (27-28,5 cm)
  • 45-46 EU (29-30 cm)

Photos by Partyk Wisniewski.

Buy here.


 

It does not matter if you just popped out for a weekend, head for a life journey, like riding a track bike or you are getting #backontrack after a difficult time in life. Just enjoy it.

Design: Justyna Frąckiewicz

Buy here.


Finally we made it – the first ever Cheesy cycling kit!

Strength. Power. Endurance. Speed. These are the four pillars of cycling that constitute both the amateur and professional cycling. However, we care primarily about the fifth element: the intangible one, which is composed of the sound of humming wheels, yet-to-be-discovered roads, astounding views and new experiences. This is why we created the Cheesy Cycling Kit. It does not matter whether you race or get lost off-road; whether you care about Watts or views, because Cheesy Cycling Kit will always satisfy your needs. We know that, because we have tested it everywhere: in “combat” conditions, during easy rides and even in cyclocross. Cheesy Cycling Kit materializes what we value the most.

The 5th Element kit consists of jersey, bibs and socks and can be ordered here.

Design by Saiko Ikko.

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