December 7, 2011

Missing Teeth? Junior World Champion Georgia Baker Explains!

I'm in awe of 17-year-old Georgia Baker. Not because she's one of the few 2011 Junior World Champions on the track but because she went down in a criterium and knocked out five teeth. All this about six weeks before the World Championships. She then made it to the World Championships to win the Teams Pursuit and Silver in the Scratch.
Georgia's got strength and character that you don't see in many women let alone 17-year-old girls!

Georgia Baker bringing back the break!
Most of the 17-year-old girls that I know would have been horrified at the thought, I myself considered the prospect of that happening to me and took up training for triathlon almost immediately; Georgia Baker is the completed opposite. When asked about loosing her teeth, her answer showed the commitment of a true athlete, she was more concerned with the time at the dentist eating into her training schedule. Georgia was able to keep two of those teeth that were knocked out and now has a plate for the other three, she doesn't seem to consider it any great loss.

Tasmania is where Georgia comes from, she rides for Pure Tasmania-Deloitte TIS Cycling and if you haven't been then you really should, it's a small place with many good people and there seems to be something in the air that requires Tasmanian's to 'make-it'. They all have this need to prove that they can do it on a bigger stage than anyone ever imagines, Georgia is clear that she is following in Amy Cure's footsteps and that Amy is a strong and positive role model for her to look up to.

When it comes to balancing school, training and friends its important to have a good support network, Georgia attends a local college that is supportive and works with her to achieve what she needs to achieve  to get through the school year, especially when it means making up a month of missed classes. Training well and racing well are priorities, but so is her education and this young women is very aware of her future.

I wanted to know where Georgia stood on women's grades in Tasmania, there are currently none and she'd welcome it if there where enough to make a good race of it. Georgia is also very aware that the training and racing with the boys is a big part of the reason on why she's stronger and doing so well.

Georgia was a vital player and team-mate in Belinda Goss's first place at the Launceston Criterium on Saturday 26th November this past weekend, Georgia spent two pain staking laps on the front of the chase group to bring back the break-a-way. The result was an all Tasmanian podium with Belinda Goss taking first and Juniors Lauren Perry and Macey Stewart 2nd and 3rd respectively!

Georgia is heading for a busy season, she will be competing in the 2011 National Omnium Championships in Melbourne this summer, the track National Championships and many carnivals where she is bound to do well.

Picture's from Craig Blowfield

hannmaid by Hannah Cross

I bumped into Hannah Cross at the South Melbourne Market a few weeks ago on an after work adventure with friends Melanie and Emma to score some seriously cool accessories before Christmas. Hannah makes and design beautiful little badges with bicycles on them, not just badges but necklaces* and cufflinks as well.


I immediately asked for an interview, because when you're bike obsessed, you're bike obsessed. You tend to be automatically drawn to things with bikes on them and I thought I'd share Hannah's products with you, its sweet and inexpensive in a time when watching purse strings is important.

Below are the questions that I asked Hannah, I wanted to know where she fitted in, in the bike scene and why she incorporated bikes so heavily into her business.

What can you tell us about yourself?

Since I was young I have enjoyed craft and spending weekends at my Nana’s creating individual textiles, quilts, wall hangers, toys and cushions. I am passionate about all things related to textile design. Growing up in the country,  my siblings and I would often spend our free time entertaining ourselves outdoors amongst the elements. As a little kid, embraced being involved in every sport possible and also creating quirky handmade products with girlfriends at weekends. I'll never forget riding around the town centre with my friends in hot pink fur leg warmers thinking that we were the coolest kids in town.

How did the brand hannmaid come about?



Alongside my studies in Textile Design I wanted to create a unique line of products that reflect my passion and desire to keep handmade skills and products alive in a world that now relies heavily on mass production. My other interests are in travel & the outdoors and a lot of my inspiration comes from what I have experienced whilst traveling Europe, Asia and South America. It is also important to me to combine my passions for colour and textiles with my love of bike riding, camping, the Australian bush and the sporting culture that stands out here in Australia.

What made you decide to incorporate bicycles into the theme?

I’m surrounded by cycling obsessed people who have influenced my love of riding. I wanted to reinvent an existing product and showcase the bicycle influence in my life and textiles as a main centerpiece.

 

What is your favourite product with a bicycle included in the design?

I love writing snail mail and think the Write to Me girls from Melbourne create gorgeous cycling cards that are a perfect addition to a pair of hannmaid bike cufflinks as a pressie for someone close!

Is cycling a part of your life? What sort of cyclist are you?

Since I was young I rode a bike to school, then to work and now to school again (Tafe) so I guess I am a commuter. I also don’t mind a spin on my road bike with friends on a weekend, but I'm definitely a fair weather rider and the less cars the better; I’m a little bit accident prone.



You're involved with a charity called Carpets for Communities, who are they and who do they support?

In a nutshell, it is a 100% volunteer-run, not-for-profit organisation that helps break the cycle of poverty in Poipet, Cambodia. This is achieved by training/hiring mothers to hand-hook gorgeous rugs from post-production t-shirt offcuts. This has very successfully been helping them earn an above-average wage-keeping their kids in school and off the streets, where they are prone to trafficking and prostitution.

Why are you supporting them? How can we support them?

When Carpets for Communities approached me last month about sponsorship I thought it was very fitting to be part of their event this month called 'Spinning Dreams in Cambodia'. On the evening of Saturday December 10 from 7 pm  until 10 pm at the Flemington Community Centre they will show an inspiring and moving documentary on the 400km cycling journey that 9 young cyclists undertook across Indo-China to raise awareness for sustainable livelihood's and development. This is a 7-city, international event occurring on the same day around the world, and we are doing the Melbourne portion.

How can we buy your product this Christmas?

hannmaid cycling cufflinks are available for purchase online at www.hannmaid.com in my online shop and selected stockists throughout Australia which are also listed on my website.
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Hannah is currently working on making pendants for the ladies who love bikes but do not wear cufflinks, which will be available in early

You can purchase Hannah's products at www.hannmaid.com and you can also click here to go straight to the stockists page, SheRides Cycling would like to thank Hannah for her time and we wish her the best of luck we look forward to hearing more about any other creations that she comes up with.

National Junior Champion, Lauren Perry, 2nd at Launceston Criterium!

I spoke to Lauren Perry on the Sunday following the Stan Siejka Classic where she had taken 2nd place with a field of elite women which included first place winner Belinda Goss, South Australian Tiffany Cromwell and Melbourne local Bridie O'Donnell.

Junior National Champion Lauren Perry
If you ask Lauren what its like to come 2nd at the Stan Siejka Classic, you'll find that its a lot like coming first!
I caught Lauren in between races at the Launceston Track Carnival, her result in the Stan Siejka Classic was fantastic and she was obviously ecstatic at the placing amongst the elite women and I could still hear the smile in her voice.
Lauren is only 15 years old and when it came around to lining up for the elite women's race in Launceston her goal had been to hold on, she had never expected this result and to be on top with a podium full of Tassie girls is an incredibly proud moment. Lauren is putting the experience of this race down as her current all time favourite, riding with the elite women, women that she's looked up to since she started racing. To be able to stay on Belinda Goss's wheel and as Lauren said,
"coming into the finishing straight I was on Belinda Goss's wheel and because she is so experienced she new how to sprint and sort of made it hard for me. I had to go round through the wind, but the gap just got smaller and smaller and for her to beat me by only half a bike in the end, I was so happy with it."
Lauren has signed on to Pure Tasmania-Deloitte TIS Cycling for 2012 and she's very excited about what her future holds, Lauren is looking forward to Nationals and finishing with a medal or top five in August 2012.
Her parents are vital to her success, her dad's coaching her and her mum is her biggest fan. Her advice to junior athletes is too,
"if they're ever finding it hard or struggling just keep pushing through because their is always light at the end of the tunnel, all the work eventually pays off."
SheRides Cycling looks forward to watching Lauren progress with her new team Pure Tasmania-Deloitte TIS Cycling over the 2012 season and we wish her many safe days on the bike! We'll be keeping up to date with what Lauren is up to throughout the season and watching the women and girls from Pure Tasmania-Deloitte TIS Cycling with interest and anticipation for strong results!
Pictures from Pure Tasmania-Deloitte TIS Cycling

lululemon inspired by elite women

Whilst advertisers and sponsors are still trying to find their place in women’s professional cycling, lululemon athletica have jumped and are willing supporters of the female peloton, specifically the women’s professional cycling Team Specialized lululemon. 

With so many negatives being reported in women’s cycling I really wanted to find out why a company as big as lululemon comes on board to support a women’s cycling team, they have shareholders to answer to and four years ago if you has asked me about women’s cycling I would have said, ‘women’s what?’ The negatives are big issues amongst women all over the world, it's not just sport and it's not just cycling; this isn’t just a cycling problem.

It’s well advertised that women’s sport is under paid and under valued, women primarily get paid very little to race and with no minimum wage it’s difficult to set the standards. It’s a theme that is depicted in industry and services all over the world. Eric Peterson the Director of Brand Innovation in New Markets at lululemon athletica was more than willing to answer my questions about how women’s professional cycling and lululemon athletica belong together as one. 

Initially with my first reading of the replies I had received from Eric I had wanted more, what I hadn’t realise straight up was that he had been upfront in answering my questions from the get go. It took a while for me to realise that he answered all my questions with the vision of the lululemon manifesto at the forefront of his mind. 

Almost every question that I asked had a negative spin on it, my view had been to find out how a company could turn the negatives on women’s cycling around into a positive, lululemon has the foundation and the faith that these elite athletes can make changes to the world.

SheRides: There are a lot of negatives in women's cycling about sponsorship, lululemon athletica is a very positive and upbeat company with a manifesto that is unlike most companies, how do you plan on combating these negatives to turn them into a positive for your company and women's cycling?
EP: We're here to create components to help people live long, healthy and fun lives. By doing this, we hope to elevate women's cycling to greatness.
SheRides: What sort of considerations did lululemon athletica take into account when deciding to come on board as a title sponsor with Specialized?
EP: lululemon has always supported athletes at all levels, including many elite athletes. We choose partners who are the best in the world at what they do, and in this case, the women who comprise Team Specialized lululemon are the best in the world in cycling. Additionally, we love the people at Specialized and appreciate the technical product they make for athletes. lululemon is constantly innovating, and working with the best cyclists in the world will enable us to continue to evolve and elevate our technical product.
SheRides: Are you concerned by the amount of women's professional cycling teams that are lost each year and how does this effect the decisions that you make as a team sponsor?
EP: We believe in the sport of women’s cycling and see this as a great opportunity to help elevate these women and their careers.
SheRides: lululemon athletica states in its manifesto that, “friends are more important than money,” is this an approach that lululemon plans on using in relation to women’s cycling? Can you describe to me what this statement means to your business and the sponsorship of Team Specialized lululemon?
EP: Our manifesto is our "truth check" and lists a series of statements that we believe embody our company's vision, culture and values.  We integrate the manifesto in all aspects of our work.  This is especially apparent with the partnership we have with Specialized and the team.
SheRides: The CEO of lululemon athletica, Christine Day, stated in a press release by Specialized that, “feedback from the athletes is what drives us and these amazing athletes further to enhance our focus on technical product” should we be expecting to see a cycling kit in the future?"
EP: lululemon offers technical apparel for yoga and run, and features special "capsules" from time to time for other athletic pursuits. Throughout 2011, we’ve featured a few different cycling capsules in our stores. Our partnership with Team Specialized lululemon will allow us to continue to explore and innovate in the cycling arena.
SheRides: As a sponsor what is it that you want to see from a team and the other partnerships involved to keep coming back for more?
EP: We want to elevate women's cycling.  Winning, partnering with Specialized and supporting these elite athletes will help us achieve this goal.
SheRides: lululemon athletica is passionate about education through your stores that encourage participation with free classes and running groups are you looking for members of the Team Specialized lululemon to give back in the same way that your company has built its foundation and how will you expect these athletes to give back?
EP: Team Specialized lululemon are elite leaders in the sports and fitness community; they are best in the world at what they do and are members of our lululemon family. Through sharing their vision and goals, and inspiring others around them to achieve their goals and participate in cycling, yoga or any other type of sport or physical activity, they will help to elevate the world to greatness.

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My feeling on lululemon athletica is that they’re a group of really motivated people who are motivated to meet the one goal. I'm inspired by their beliefs and their energy. Their motivation is what women’s cycling needs, it needs that positive energy that lululemon has captured so brilliantly in their manifesto. With many of the elite women from the previous powerhouse of HTC Columbia agreeing to ride for this new partnership, they without a doubt head towards a positive season. Staying on for the season is Ina-Yoko Teutenberg, Chloe Hoskins, Charlotte Becker, Evelyn Stevens, Amber Neben, Ellen Van Dijk, Emilia Fahlin, Ally Statcher and Katie Colclough.* 

*I would like to thank Eric Peterson for his comments that clearly reflect lululemon athletica, if you haven't heard of them then browse the website, www.lululemon.com, and if you're not sure about the product I highly suggest the socks that say Run (on the left foot), Fast (on the right foot). They're a company that has blogs, ambassadors, yoga classes, running groups and team members who are highly motivated and happy, it's even worthwhile to go in on your lunch break for the positive energy.