Ride Like Them – Sebastien

Name: Sebastien Sutherland (they/them)

Location: Amsterdam

Discipline: I ride road, gravel & cyclocross and also run an LGBTQIA+ cycling club called Queer Wheels

What does riding mean to you?

Riding to me is freedom. Freedom to be myself. It’s not just a sport to me, it’s a way of life. I’ve found myself through cycling because it forces you to confront yourself through challenges and long hours with just your thoughts. It’s liberation in many senses: from just being able to go get your groceries, to moving your body, to a small way of climate action.

What is your favourite set up?

My favourite route set up right now is my road bike. I ride a second-hand Canyon Ultimate SLX CF 9.0 frame which I’ve custom painted. It has a Shimano 105 12 speed di2 groupset, and PRO bike saddle, bars, and seatpost with PRO accessories too!

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

Working in the cycling industry, I can visibly see without looking at statistics that it’s cis-male dominated. While we all understand that’s the way society was set up by people in power, I don’t feel good about it. The reason is that a lot of people are not willing to share their space, and have a specific view of cycling , the hierarchy within it and who is allowed in.

This means that often marginalised genders and groups of people in the industry are overlooked and have no voice. It’s a big missed potential for cycling. I do feel that it’s changing, but incredibly slowly with lots of set backs and misinformation about specific groups.

Any riding plans for the future?

I am proud to run one of the first LGBTQIA+ cycling groups in the Netherlands and volunteer as the director for cycling for Pride and Sports. I plan to keep pushing for change and better awareness of the boundaries marginalised people have into the sport. I want to create a more diverse and welcoming cycling community and empower more people to be serious cyclists.

Personally I also do plan to race locally at the Amsterdam Cyclocross competition this winter, even if I have to fight for it. I would also like to summit more big climbs next summer and re visit my home country of Scotland for some gravel bike packing.

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