Name/location/discipline

Name: Kathrin ”Kat” Gutzeit
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Discipline: Fixed, Road, Gravel 

What does riding mean to you?

Riding my bike means freedom in the first place, easy access to places, transportation and consciousness about our environment. I live in the city of Stockholm where there are still too many cars and to ride by all the clogged places and intersections during rush hours makes me weirdly happy. I’m also interested in the mechanical part of biking so I fix them on my own, rebuild or build up new frames. 

What is your favourite set up?

I don’t have a specific favourite setup, I own five different bikes at the moment which I use for different occasions but if I need to choose one it would be my Oddcycles TGAC – it’s designed by my friend and it’s the most versatile bike I ever owned. 

Do you think the environment is male dominated?

The bikescene in Stockholm is pretty much male dominated when it comes to riding fixed gear bikes but when it comes to other disciplins there are a lot of rides and tours arranged for mixed groups or just female groups. 

Any riding plans for the future?

My future riding plans are to join some people for touring-weekends around the Stockholm area and this year I’m gonna ride the Gotland Gravel race – I love the island and have never been able to explore it by bike. 

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

Name: Milana Barbosa
Location: Seattle, Washington, USA
Discipline: Courier/Cyclist/Prince

What does riding mean to you?

Riding a bicycle has many different meanings and definitions to me, like it’s my only way to get around beside public transportation. I enjoy traveling and using city transit, but being able to move freely and having the autonomy to stop or go as fast as I like is really important to me. Touring across countries or even states has really given perspective on how amazing the human body is and how much power you truly have. In that sense riding is a strong key that should be utilized more and not underestimated.

I have never driven cars nor do I have any intention of driving in my life. I don’t judge people who have licenses, as I understand the practicality and efficiency of driving for work or various activities, but for my life I would rather use transit or cycling to get from point A to point B than moving around in a vehicle in which I think is too much power or responsibility for most people.

Riding is also a means of income. Working as a courier I rely on my physical abilities and bikes to provide for me, as I pay for rent, food (fuel costs), clothes, traveling, etc from being on the road. I couldn’t imagine what my life would be like without cycling. Riding means the world to me, and is my world.

What is your favorite set up?

Right now for work I am riding a simple steel road bike. The hills and rain in Seattle can be a lot sometimes so I try and find whatever set up is the most fun or comfortable for that season or time. As the winter approaches I switch to my single speed mountain bike and hop around the city. For touring I have been riding fixed. The ease of packing up my fixed gear bike to fly overseas with makes it very simple and ideal to travel with. Im not sure if I have a favorite set up as a whole but favorite set ups for different cycling activities.

Do you think the environment is male dominated?

I know the environment is male dominated. For every courier event, bike race, commuter group, etc, you can just open your eyes and see that. The community breeds a culture of male dominance and thus makes it unwelcoming for a lot of WTF to become messengers, race, or even ride a bike. Of the WTF I do know that ride I have nothing but the utmost respect and love for. I have worked on the road for only 4 years now and that many of the WTF that I see now have paved the way for me to feel included. Awaremess and Starbma are organisations that were created to fight abusive behaviour and open the doors to various groups that struggle within the community.

I think it’s my responsibility at this point to go to as many events or races as I possible to give presence for WTF and POC but also to look/prevent/stop inappropriate behaviour. I also believe that is the responsibility of all of my male friends to realize their privilege and use it to help promote POC/WTF attendance and recognition in the cycling world. The environment is male dominated but as long as we keep making strides in the right direction I believe we can change this.

Any riding plans for the future?

As I write this I am in a Frankfurt messenger office on vacation and riding around a familiar but still new city. Every year I go to at least one national/international event to see old friends, make new friends, and support the WTF/POC that also attend. For 2020 if money and holiday days permit me I plan on touring from Milan-Grenoble-Basel in the Summer to go to ECMC. For the autumn it’s NACCC in Boston and CMWC in Bogota. I have a lot of planning and money saving to do. I will also try and do smaller tours with my best friend around Seattle to nearby cities. As of right now my plan is to ride around Berlin this weekend and return to Seattle to work as a courier until I travel again.

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

Anny Vera, I’m from Santiago de Cali, Colombia. I’m urban cyclist, fixed gear racer, bike courier and pro bike activist. I breathe bicycle at all times of my life.

What does riding mean to you?

It is an indescribable freedom, it has changed my life completely.
Riding a bicycle gives me power, desire, joy, I feel that I have lost my fear of mobilizing alone over time, because it is not easy to be a cycling woman in a country like mine, but the bicycle took away my fears and put courage on my way.

What is your favourite set up?

Since I started in this dream I have been riding a mountain bike, a road bike, and finally a fixed gear, the latter became my favorite. I started using fixed about 3 years, and since then I have not stopped. I use it to compete, work, train, explore, have fun. With it I have experimented in the criteriums [fixed gear race on closed streets], I have won many alleycats [usually fixed gear race in the normal street traffic], and now I am starting to train tracklocross [usually fixed gear bikes set up to race in dirt].

Do you think the environment is male dominated?

Well, yes, like almost everything in the world. I think it is a matter of history in which women have been subject to certain rules, and where we have been banned from certain things. Women began to use the bicycle many years after men, and at first it was taken as a way of revolution and freedom, women was judged, pointed out, violated. It has been a process of years of incorporating ourselves into society making use of the bicycle, especially if it is used as a means of transport, the streets and people are aggressive and dangerous, and more for women, it takes time, falls and bad times to get used to mobilize alone and losing our fear.

Women go through different processes with the bicycle. I know stories of women who stop using the bike because they are tired of sexual harassment, or because they don’t feel safe, they prefer to stop than to expose themselves. And it is a reality that occurs in many countries of the world.
On the other hand, in the competitive field we also see fewer women than men, much less sport activities for women, and less economic support.
But it makes me very happy to see how everything is changing today, and there are more women who decide to get on the bike and change their lives. The bike is only one in general, but there are many possible paths to travel, you just have to take risks and decide which path you like best.

Any riding plans for the future?

Many, for now I plan to resume my bike training in January, continue competing in alleycats, urban races and messenger competitions that take place throughout Colombia.
As a big and important plan, I plan to travel to Basel, Switzerland in 2020, to attend the European Cycling Messengers Championships. And of course from September 21 to 26 the ride and parties are in Bogotá during the World Championship, CMWC. Great projects and plans are coming with the bicycle.

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

Justyna John (but everyone says Tina). I live in Warsaw, Poland. I’m an editor of the 43ride bike magazine. I love downhill but sometimes I also like endure and dirt jumping.

What does riding mean to you?

Mountainbiking is my whole life except for work in government administration.

It’s a way of spending free time, friends, testing bicycle components and, above all, great joy. I used to race in competitions, but because of an injury I had to end my career – then the whole world collapsed. I found a way to connect a “normal” life with my beloved bikes. Sometimes it requires advanced logistics, but I manage;)

What is your favourite set up?

It depends on the bike I ride in the season. I’m testing a lot of new bike parts, including frames and cushioning. At the moment I’m happy with the bike of the Polish brand NS Bikes, but I’m thinking about changing to a new model (for new standard – 29”). In general, Poles make very good cycling equipment – I’m proud of it.

Do you think the environment is male dominated?

Definitely downhill is the mens world. I have never been treated badly just because I’m a woman. But I have no problem with the fact that I have few mountainbiking girlfriends – I like to ride with boys. I have a more masculine character, so it suits me. Will this change? I don’t know, many women choose enduro because it’s easier. It does not require breaking the fear of jumping large obstacles, trails are easier. Downhill is a sport for tough guys;)

Any riding plans for the future?

I travel a lot with the bike – I love bikeparks in Austria, I loved Maribor in Slovenia. My dream is to spend a few weeks in Whistler, Canada. This is the Mecca of every gravity biker. I would also like to ride enduro in beautiful Scotland, where I feel at home.

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

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.


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.