Little interview: Penny Rowson
As part of a new and regular feature here on Little Wheels we will be interviewing some epic females. Including everyone from our little friends at the track, to the pro's and any epicness in between.
For the first instalment we are lucky enough to have Penny Rowson. Not only is she a Northern girl like us, but she's also a valuable part of the women's pro team On The Drops - Matrix Vulpine.
How long have you been cycling for-
Since I was 4 years old
Trek road bike, but I do love my off road bikes too!
In Yorkshire along most of the TDF route, it's challenging but scenic. Outside of the UK has to be the Roncola climb in Italy near Milan, Bergamo. I'd just go up and down it everyday.
Love antipasto e.g; rocket, Parma ham/prosciutto, mozzarella, pesto, balsamic, olive oil etc.
What made you start cycling?
My older brother started to learn how to ride a bike and it became a race as to who could take the stabilisers off first. I just loved it and have never stopped.
What is your weekly training plan like?
At the moment it's general endurance training, getting the base miles in. Not too structured. Some core and gym added in as well to strengthen the whole body.
What do you struggle with when training?
Probably just getting out on the bike because it's quite a repetitive process everyday but once I'm out I give 100% to training.
Who and what inspires and motivates you?
Lizzie Armitstead inspires me, I've seen how far she's come, she's from Yorkshire so easy to relate to, it's been nice to believe in and watch her achieve so much. My team have a big role in motivation just because I don't want to let them down everyone plays an important part when one person wins we all win. Because they're really positive and encouraging that drives me on. As well as from within I always want to better myself in whatever I do whether that is learning new things or physically challenging myself. I like to see progression, being competitive and setting goals helps me move forward.
What advice can you give to riders who want to start racing?
Little and often. It's all about taking it a step at a time, and enjoying the journey it's a social sport so make friends and join teams. You'll make mistakes but you'll learn from them so stay positive and always give it a go. Why not?!
How can cycling change in order to gain equality for women?
I think a big step that's being discussed at the moment is a minimum wage, we're racing at the highest level, mimicking the same performances as men putting on a show for the fans and yet don't have a salary that is liveable, it's quite degrading. But that's on a personal level. On a social level we need more coverage in the media, which means more people can watch and follow the sport, which generates more sponsorship and money etc it's all about viewing figures and that can only be achieved if women's cycling as a whole; the race and what goes on around it is made easily accessible to viewers.
(Image by Bart Hazen)