Name/location/discipline

Lorenza Walker, living in Oslo, Norway from Stockholm, Sweden. Working as a bike courier and bikepacking whenever I can.

What does riding mean to you?

My friend asked me this, the summer of 2018. We had just sat down to eat some cold watermelon, after riding over 340 km that day. It was midnight, we had arrived back home to an unusually tropical summernight. The last 50 km had been torture due to fatigue, but once we sat down the urge to get back on the bike itched in the back of my mind. I answered with my mouth full of watermelon, it’s escape. It can take you places physically, yes, but also mentally and spiritually.

Yes, it can be something very practical, taking you from A to B. But also travelling in the perfect movement. Where the escape becomes the meditation where you really meet yourself. The search in the escape is to find the flow, either within or on the road. Or both. Deep shit, but that is why cycling means something to me. Bikepacking as really struck a chord with me and with it means to go places with little gear and see how far you can go. It takes the escape and travel within to a whole other level.

What is your favourite set up?

I have been trying out a lot of different bikes lately, and there is rarely a bike I’ve met that I didn’t like. It’s been mostly road bikes, my first being an aluminum iconic Cannondale Saeco race bike, but now I just bought a crappy singlespeed for the coming winter at work and it’s so much fun on one gear.

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

These question perplexes me a bit, because I think the focus is wrong. Which is exactly the problem in the sport industry. Are there any women who have inspired you to ride? I think it’s incredible to see more and more women getting exposure and a cultural shift in lifting women by both men and women (in the industry). It’s when we see people who are alike, that can become an inspiring gateway for more people from all genders and walks of life to get into cycling. Now we are seeing women like Lael Wilcox, Ayesha McGowan and Fiona Kolbinger, whom are total forces and bringing important diversity into the industry.

Any riding plans for the future?

I did have a big plan for next year, which was to take on the Around The World record that is currently held by Jenny Graham. But after riding the Transcontinental this year, I had some insights in not being ready for it. I will do some more ultra distance racing the coming year, definitely take on the TCR again. Other than that just zip around Oslo at work and explore more of Norway.

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.


Finally an alternative for hot summer days. This is the first Cheesy cap with meshy side panels for extra ventilation. Enjoy the warmth!


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.


Name/location/discipline

I’m Julia. I work as a bike mechanic in Gothenburg, the second largest city in Sweden.

At the moment I only own one bicycle, it’s my reliable steel touring bike “Skib” that takes me wherever I want or need to go, all year around!

We are doing longer trips as well as the daily commute to work. I’m planning on getting a lighter gravel bike at some point soon to be able to keep my adventure bike ready for adventures, and something else for daily commute and #microadventures.

What does riding mean to you?

Riding my bike is freedom! It gives me energy and a happy face. Riding my bike means everything for me, without even knowing it until I stop. I get my daily exercise without even pushing it. I feel stronger by exhausting myself.

Riding my bike to places makes me free to leave from A and finish at B without being stuck to timetables. Also riding with friends, who are as in to bikes like I am, makes me feel that I have a community and a family that’s always there for me! Cyclists are in general amazing people!

What is your favourite set up?

I’ve tried a traditional bike touring setup on a previous adventure and it worked well. For the adventure that I’m on right now I decided to try a mix of bike touring and bike packing though I realized I would not need four big bags. I have a Pelago commuter rack that I can top load with a dry bag that carries my clothes, two smaller panniers that carries food, kitchen and repair kits, a frame bag that takes all my electronics and a seat pack that carries my home: containing tent, mattress, pillows and sleeping bag. In the back I also mounted two extra bottle cages for water. This is so far my favourite setup for warmer conditions 🤩

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

It’s definitely male dominated. I would say I’m pretty used to hanging out with men since long way back so I’m not really bothered by it. But I also feel I’m connecting easier with women that ride bikes than if they where not into bikes. Maybe because that is my biggest interest. If it will change in the future I think depends on that kind of bike community you belong to. I definitely see and meet more women cyclists as I travel the world and together we all make a community that it seem everyone enjoy. I’m happy if more girls would step up and be proud of their involving in bikes, but I would say as it is now I never feel less of a cyclist just because of my gender.

Any riding plans for the future?

Yes! I have no set plan at the moment. But I know that travelling by bike is what I love to do. I still have a wish to ride across Africa some day. Until then I’m working on a plan of how to make money on the road! Also, I’m always taking the chances to go on micro adventures, as often as I can!

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

Stefanie/Berlin-Bangalore/road and fixed

What does riding mean to you?

Honestly, to ride my bike means the world to me. Around 4 years back, when I started cycling, I was going through some big changes, I felt lost and disconnected and cycling really helped me to clear my head, free my mind and find a way back on track. Besides that, cycling is for me a huge self-confidence and self-love booster; I call it biketherapy. I found love and friends and met so many awesome, strong, inspiring and kind people I do not want to miss.

My Bike brought me to places I would have never thought about it. Be it on a fixed gear bike in the Indian traffic of Bangalore or descending on a road bike down the Nilgiris Mountains surrounded by tea plantations in South India.

I love to ride my bike, because it opens up new possibilities to test myself, pushes myself out of my comfort zone and let me mentally grow stronger. Cycling isn’t merely a sport for me, it’s whats keep me going and growing.

What is your favourite set up?

Right now, I enjoy riding my road bike, which is a Convolution Aspera that I got from India and barely use my fixed gear (Fuji Feather 2016).

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

Yes, it is. It’s not a limited problem to the cycling scene only. Women in nearly every sport are discriminated and face inequalities because of their gender in some way; in some more in others less. Thus, less women participate in sports, less women race etc. A perfect chain of causation. I wrote my Master’s Thesis about women in sport in India and did a lot of research on this topic in general, which gave me a holistic view on it and made me understand why thing the way they are, why and how we have to change it.

Even though the environment is highly male dominated, I can see – besides some scared, regressive guys- it’s changing and people are talking about inequality in sports. The discussion about equal price money, equal athletes’ salary, equal races etc. is making its way into the mainstream, which is good. Sexist images and useless objectifications of women in cycling are called out these days and the scene seems to come together in some points.

Nonetheless it’s highly ridiculous that in 2019, we still have to talk about it that women deserve the same opportunities as men in sports. Because of that, it made me very happy to see Fiona Kolbinger win the Transcontinental Race and the Internationelles completed all 21 stages of the Tour de France one day ahead of the men, to name only two examples. The discourse is changing, the way is still long, but I’m very proud of the female cycling scene making all this happen and that I’m a part of this journey in some way.

Any riding plans for the future?

I definitely want to explore India and Europe more on the bike and in general get more into long-distance rides, bike packing and maybe road bike racing. There is so much in my head and my legs, I don’t even know where to start.

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

Zuza/ Szczecin –> Kraków (Poland) / commuter with a hint of a messenger, freedom rider, abandoning my infant son to ride a bike as often as possible

What does riding mean to you?

The more I think about it, the more I realise at some point riding a bicycle became a huge part of my identity. I quit cycling around the 5th month of my pregnancy, partly because it became difficult to get on my bike, mostly because I got scared of getting hurt in the traffic. And I missed it SO MUCH.

My first post-pregnancy ride, after 3 long months of baby blues, almost got me in tears. It felt like coming back, reconnecting to the world, remembering who I am aside of being a mum. I felt like Zuza again.

It’s not an original thought but riding really IS freedom. It’s being in touch with my body. It’s a symbiosis with a machine. Together we’re this perfect, well-oiled mechanism. Even if in reality we’re both far from perfect.

I love riding through the well known streets of my city, speeding up and slowing down in all the right places. I love riding through the woods. I love how riding gets me places in the most efficient way. But I also love the mere act of joyful riding, how I feel every muscle doing the exact moves necessary, the wind in my hair, the deep breaths. It’s who I am, I’m a girl, who rides.

What is your favourite set up?

The current one, a road bike put together by my brother on a vintage steel frame, claiming to be a Nishiki (which it probably isn’t). It’s possibly a little too big for me, it got hit by a car and may break at any point, it’s nothing fancy, but for me it’s just perfect. It’s beautiful in its imperfection and if anything happened to it, I’d be obsessively looking for a frame with the same geometry.

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

Even if the numbers are equal, the male voice is louder and that is still a universal truth. I worked as a dispatcher in a bike messenger company for 9 years and it was/is a boys’ club. I have huge respect for every girl who came to at least try working with us. Not only is it a hard, demanding job – by the clients and her coworkers a girl messenger is often considered either a wonder of nature or a mascot.

If you’re a girl doing a stereotypically male activity, people get surprised, ask silly questions, treat you like a circus freak, patronise you – it’s no different when you’re riding your bike for a living or for fun. I kind of wish it stopped already.

Luckily, my local cycling gang in Szczecin, although male-dominated, is very inclusive and supportive. I learned a lot from them, had heaps of fun, and was never made feel bad for being weaker/less in shape. It’s important that we treat each other simply like humans, equal but different. And that is another universal truth.

Any riding plans for the future?

I’m slowly getting back on track, which isn’t too easy with an infant on board. We’re moving to Kraków in autumn, I’m hoping to tame the new city by finding my cycling routes around it. And hopefully in the spring I’ll be ready to take my son for a ride – I’m really looking forward to infecting his little heart with the bicycle disease.

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

Gloria / Italian Heart, Berlin-based / Fixed-gear, Road *NEW*

What does riding mean to you?

When I moved to Berlin almost 3 years ago, I didn’t have so many friends, and it was really hard to start a new life: I left everything in between Como and Milan, my parents and my friends, smiles and tears. But not my bike. It was the first thing that I asked my parents to send me.

At that time I was riding a turquoise and heavy Create Bikes; it was the first bike I’d bought, and I was treating it like a jewel. I started riding it with the free-wheel gear, and then I turned the wheel to the fixie side.

After a few months of riding it in Berlin, I decided to upgrade my skills in riding fixed-gear, and I found a second-hand 8Bar. Best choice ever! I was going everywhere with it. The memory is still fresh in my mind of the day when I did 100k with an Italian friend of mine: it was really tough to ride non-stop but we made it!

Recently I bought a Canyon Endurace WMN AL Disc 7.0, finally. For me, there was always a limit with my fixie bike: long distances. I don’t have that problem anymore with my new and shiny road bike.

I feel so connected with my bikes that I also gave them names: the Create was called Camilla, the 8Bar is called Fritz, the Canyon is called Bella. Am I crazy? Maybe… yes.

What is your favourite set up?

I ride my 8bar bike every day: from going to work at Blinkist or to the supermarket. The road bike is only for long rides or for those beautiful weekends where I meet new cyclists or some bike friends are training me to be less lazy 😛

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

SHE36 is running a petition to get rid of the tradition of podium girls at Tour De France 2019. You should have a look at it, and sign it! https://www.change.org/p/tourdefrance-get-rid-of-podium-girls-amaurysport-letour-chprudhomme-2

Any riding plans for the future?

I still have it on my list to ride from Berlin to Copenhagen: I’d be super excited to do it, but the problem is to find people that would love to join me on this trip, as it requires taking some days off from work and to ride at least 150k a day (it’s not a super-beginner-ride).

I might ride around Lago di Como in October with my Italian friends. I’ll go back to Italy to see the Giro di Lombardia, and it’s a perfect occasion for renting a bike (it’s too expensive to bring mine with me) and riding around my beautiful lake. 

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
Joanna / Poznań (Poland) / fixed gear

What does riding mean to you?

It’s hard to describe it in few sentences… Riding means freedom. Riding means independence. Riding saves time – you don’t stand in traffic jams or wait for late public transport. In a city you can get to anywhere, usually faster than by car. So even you’re late – you’re not. I ride all year round and I can’t understand why people give up in winter – you can warm up on a bike instead of freezing!

Thanks to cycling I’ve met a lot of wonderful and inspiring people and I’ve been in places where I couldn’t get in a different way than by bike. Riding gave me a sense of self-confidence and now I can’t imagine my life without riding. It’s just a part of me.

What is your favourite set up?

Fixed gear, my one and only set up. FG has been my first bike in adult life (since 2014) and till today I can’t convince myself to freewheel.

In my view, fixed gear seems to be the most universal set up. I use it for everyday commuting and long distance trips (over 250 km) as well. 

I ride it on tracks and I even finished a duathlon race in Poznań as one of the fastest woman.

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

I’d love to say no but there is still a lot to do. Many girls ride and do it very well but we are not taken seriously, methinks. Every cycling event I was at, there were just a few girls among a lot of guys. I’m lucky that most male riders from my surroundings are super cool and treat me fair but I heard many stories about unequal treatment of women in cycling – worse prizes for instance.

I think we – female riders – should keep together and show that WE ARE, we ride, we ride well and want to be taken seriously.

Any riding plans for the future?

This week I’m starting my holidays and I’m going to spend almost two weeks on my bike, all days long! I’m going on a trip around Poland and I’m considering taking a part in WroWelo Crit.

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

Erica Harumi Folli, 25 years-old. From São Paulo, Brasil, to Barcelona, Spain. Started with a fixed gear bike three years ago and then I officially changed to road bikes recently.

What does riding mean to you?

Riding gave me a sense of life. I mean, by riding I started to feel connected with life in a completely new way that I had never felt before. Riding for me means freedom, moving through neighborhoods, cities, countries or even continents. It makes me feel capable and also gives me the possibility to get better and better by the amount of effort I put on. It fulfilled me as well with a deep love, for the outside life, for the sunset and the sunrise, for the wind and the nature, making me truly appreciate the simple things in life. Also have been putting me in contact with so many amazing people around the world. Riding is a lifestyle.

What is your favourite set up?

I am really enjoying try it out the road bike and getting connected with the roads but fixed gear bikes will always be my true love as long as I started from there.Specifically, nowadays I find vintage stem really sexy. But I am not that kind of nerd-bike that have a favourite set up, I think.

Do you think the environment is male dominated?

Yes, of course. At all levels, from the streets to the biggest professionals. And it is sad to think that just because someone was born men that person will have more possibilities to get involved with this. Even though, I see some differences from the places I’ve been riding currently. For example, in São Paulo it was quite difficult to go training alone by the dangerous situation we live in the country as a whole. It happens to get even worse by the fact I am a women. I heard so many stories of friends that suffered from different kinds of harassment from other cyclists or even drivers at the roads that made quite difficult to maintain a healthy cycling life there. In another direction, when I moved to Barcelona this was one of the greatest surprises I had. As long as the cycling culture here is more evident, I don’t feel that insecurity I was used to feel and then I started to go training alone, go discover roads alone, minding my own business – just me and my bike. That kind of stuff made me feel a little bit more hopeful about the environment itself. In general it is a fact we have much more to conquer, but some little things like this makes me feel that is possible!

Any riding plans for the future?

I would love to plan some bike trip for the summer and also to join in some fixed gears criteriums, both really fun! Can’t wait for them!!

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

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.