tour de francesca

Each year, some little time before the Tour de France, the various teams announce who amongst their amazing stable of riders will be riding the big one. The best known and most prestigious of all the grand tours. The Tour. The one even the people at the water cooler will know. And if you are in Australia post-Cadel, they will know even more so now. There is fan fare, commiserations and anticipation. It’s a big freaking deal. If you liked lycra and riding, you might in fact care. What this looks like is a nice little list, plus some inspiring comments from the Tour Director about how wonderful all the riders are, how difficult it was to select them, how great it is that they have [insert: battlehorse/superdomestique/guy from little known country who seems mysterious and mean/likeable lead out guy/princey prancey sprint dude/hero/other guy in lycra] and they are sure that this will be an amazing Tour for the [insert brand] team.

Although I very much enjoy the Tour de France, in a kind of twisted, sleep-deprived way, I have a terrible memory for teams and riders and stage results and pretty much get into it in the same way that I have a lot of novelty hobbies: I’m not sure why I like it, I just do.

Like the ukulele. I heart the ukulele.

This is a similarly big deal*, at least for me.

Because I would like to introduce to you the first of the Helmets are Hot guest bloggers: Zoe.

You have met Zoe before, probably, because she is a friend, who lends me bikes, and sponsors teams, and is a general all-round amazing person to me. She also rides a bike. She works with some bike related accessories and has a penchant for organising the odd womens ride/alley cat/event/stormtrooper dance off.

This is Zoe.

I am not sure what she will write about, or how often she will do it. I have not asked any specific questions or given her terribly many directions, but I am interested in hearing what she has to say.

Because that is, pretty much, the hobby I am most interested in, understanding other people, meeting them, getting to know them, sharing stories and having a good time. It’s International Women’s Day so it seems only fitting to start the stories off right, with a warm introduction, a collegial spirit, a request for open ears and open minds, a discursive/relationship-based focus and a bit of female visibility.

And some token purple font.

Zoe is a woman who rides a bike. Because she said yes, she can be the first rider in the Indicator Species team. Sponsored by no one, but open to bribes and offers of vegan chocolate. Please make her feel welcome.

*Big as the ukulele, not the Tour de France.

By Eleanor Jackson

Eleanor Jackson is a Filipino Australian poet, performer, arts producer, cyclist, writer, gal about town, feminist, freewheeler, and friend.

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