I have to say I'm really ecstatic with how amazing the book looks. When I first pitched this book I had in mind a publication that looked beautiful but was full of practical content. The first criteria has certainly been met! RPS have done a gorgeous job.
This book has been a four-year labour of love for me. I first pitched the idea of a cycling book for women to the amazing woman who is now my agent back in 2009. Isabel 'got it' immediately and so did the editor who eventually commissioned the book in mid-2012. However, it took all three of us four years, some career moves and a fair bit of persistence to finally bring the book to market. I have to thank both Isabel at Creative Authors and Rebecca at RPS for never giving up on the project.
The vision we had was for a book that would inspire women and help them overcome barriers to cycling. I wanted to show that cycling is for everybody - and every woman. It doesn't matter how old you are, how fit, what kind of body shape you have, what your attitude to fitness and transport is, where you live, what you do for a living, whether you have children, what your personal style is. Very, very few women 'can't' cycle. I hope the book reflects this.
I adore the illustrations, all of which are bespoke to the book and based on photographs Noel and I supplied. So if the girl in the pictures looks a bit familiar, that's because, yep, she is me!
I'm hugely grateful to my brilliant contributors including fitness expert and all round superwoman Jane Wake, blogger and badass Muireann Carey-Campbell, better known to you all as Bangs and a Bun, Cyclodelic designer Amy Fleuriot, Team GB superstars Dani King, Lizzie Armitstead and Sarah Storey, and to the army of 'real women' who shared their cycling stories with me.
I'm also really glad I could use the book to big up some of my favourite British and international cycling brands - these are brands that I really feel 'get' women, understand what they want from their fitness and cycling gear, and don't patronise them or treat them like smaller, weaker versions of their male customers.
My only regret, if that's the right word, is that the deadline for copy for this book was too soon for me to include the new women's cycling publications that are taking the market by storm - Total Women's Cycling and Women's Cycling Magazine. Hopefully I can include them in the second edition!
So there you have it - The Girl's Guide to Life On Two Wheels. I hope you enjoy it and I'd love to know what you think of the book.