23 August 2015

London Bike Kitchen: WAGFEST 2015...

So, we know that London Bike Kitchen are pretty bad-ass, and on Saturday Jenni Gwiazdowski and the gang further proved it with their first ever LBKWAGFEST!


Earlier this year, Monika Zamojska came up with the idea of holding a WAG (Women and Gender variant) bike festival. The idea of celebrating all things bike blossomed into an amazing event, held at Oakley in Residence. The setting was perfect - sunshine, cycling and positive people and a day filled with inspirational talks, lively discussion and some fly cycling gear on sale to boot…
I was honoured to be a panelist discussing Urban Riding/Commuting and how to get more under-represented groups cycling. Chaired by Monika and talking alongside Chris Garrison of Trek Bikes, and Lois May-Miller of Morvelo & Velocity, it was an insightful and brilliant experience, with some enlightening audience participation - also #EducatingDicks needs to be come a thing!
Further panel discussions on the agenda included Racing and Competitive Cycling. This one was chaired by the ace Juliet Elliot, with Jess Duffy, Celeste Morton and Sophie Edmonson talking about there experiences of competitive racing, and how to get involved / what to expect. Plenty of women came away from that talk with the desire to get into racing…
Bikes and Activism was the last panel of the day, headed up by long time LDN Bike Kitchen member Hannah McQuarrie, with LBK BOSS Jenni and Amy Aeron-Thomas… again, some very inspiring and motivational words on community bike projects, cycling training and widening participation.

A lot of people (myself included) were very excited to see special guest Emily Chappell give a talk on her long distance cycling adventures. Having VERY recently come back from doing Transcontinental 2015, Emily captured the WAGFEST audience talking about the real highs and the lows of such endurance riding… and the highs definitely outweighed them. Gotta say I’m very surprised at some of the thoughts whirling around my head after having a wonderful chat with her… and what I’m thinking of for 2016…

The reaction from everyone who attended the festival has been amazing, and I'm still feeling really hyped about the whole event. Inspirational, motivational and encouraging vibes were the order of the day, and there is already talk of WAGFEST returning at Christmas with even more going on! This feels like the beginning of something massive - so huge thanks to Jenni, Monika and all at London Bike Kitchen for putting on such a brilliant day... roll on the next WAGFEST!
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