Julie Cox from Portsmouth has been hitting the trails for over 25 years now. Ever since we’ve known her, she has cycled several times a week, every single week without fail. She has witnessed the mountain bike scene change from being totally male-dominated to, in more recent times, gradually seeing more women out on the trails. We spoke to her to find out what it is she loves about biking and got some tips for any women out thinking of taking it up.
How old were you when you took up cycling?
Why did you decide to take it up when you did?
I didn’t have a car so bought a cheap bike to get around at first.
Why do you love it?
How can you not love it!? In Spring, there are blue bell woods and lambs, in Summer dry dusty trails, in Autumn there are colour changes everywhere and in Winter hot baths after a cold ride.
What does it give you that other sports don’t?
A sense of freedom – I can push as hard as I like….or just amble along. Either way you cover a lot of ground!
What do you not like (if anything)?
What motivates you to go out?
Always the great feeling I get or simply to de-stress.
Have you ever been part of a cycling group?
When I first started out, some friends and I ran a female-only group for the South coast.
Why don’t we see more women out on bikes?
I think we do see more than we ever did however women and men together on bikes doesn’t always work as generally the guys tend to be stronger and it can be a bit demoralising. Also a lot of girls seem to prefer a spin class indoors for some reason.
What do you think stops women from taking up cycling?
I think it’s mainly confidence in riding on the road or off-road.
What advice would you give to women thinking about giving it a go?
If buying a bike, talk to someone who rides and in this case size matters…get it right and you are part way there. Do short rides to start with, oh and get some padded shorts!
What about the technical side – any tips on becoming more proficient so that women feel more confident going out on their own?
Get the local bike shop to show you how to change an inner tube then just go and ride!
What bike do you ride?
MTB Orange Pro 5
Why did you choose that one?
Brand, size and the geomentry of it. It’s perfect for me!
What is your dream bike?
A carbon electric in a few years time.
Where do you tend to buy your kit from?
Online, wherever the best prices are.
What advice would you give to cyclists on a budget?
Re the bike, go with a big brand as they tend to spec low-end bikes well to get you hooked. Re clothing, a budget brand like Endura is always a good shout.
What’s the best piece of cycling clothing that you’ve got?
My baggy shorts.
What tech do you use to track your rides?
Thanks Jules! Great chatting to you 🙂