The much anticipated second issue of women's cycling magazine, Casquette, will be landing on readers' doorsteps as of this week. A beautiful, intelligent and witty asset to the cycling world, Casquette is packed with cycling stories from the women who are out there doing it, kit ideas, bike and tech reviews, ride guides and everything else that is to be expected from a stylish women's cycling mag.
Earlier this month we caught up with Editor Danielle Welton for a coffee and a behind the scenes insight into the new top cat in women's cycling publications.
1. What can we expect in the new issue?
It’s a brilliant mash-up of inspirational stories, beautiful kit and incredible words of wisdom. Inside, we have Lorna North testing out quick-release bib shorts; Emily Chappell investigating the truth about saddlesore (that piece is brilliant!); plus we speak to cycling bad-asses to uncover the one piece of wisdom they were given that changed their lives. There’s some powerful stuff in there from the likes of pro cyclist Marjin de Vries; crit racer Juliet Elliott, team manager Rochelle Gilmore and the whistle blower in the Lance Armstrong drugs-cheat revelations, Emma O’Reilly. It’s packed!
2. What’s the knack to making Casquette just so darn stylish?
Me and my co-founder have a background in magazine publishing and we really get off on beautiful design and magazine craft. The skilful use of images and typography; the little page furniture details; that amazing smell when it comes back from the printers - there’s nothing like it.
We are also really strict about the stories, kit and images we use because we have a clear idea of what we want Casquette to be and how it should reflect women’s cycling. There’s also a lot of passion and love that goes into it - and I hope that shows.
3. Who’s your dream interviewee for Casquette?
I’d love to chat to Jenni Murray, Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour presenter. She apparently cycles. Lizzie Deignan would be great. And I’d like to have dinner with Nicole Cooke and pick her brains. We featured her in issue 1, but my awesome features writer, Suze Clemitson, did the interview, so I’d love to have some time with Nicole myself.
4. What’s the most fun thing about creating Casquette?
The inspirational people you meet on the way, many of whom have become good friends. To namecheck a few, Jenni from London Bike Kitchen; Alex from Look Mum No Hands; Adventure Syndicate co-founder Emily Chappell; My No Spend Year writer Michelle McGagh. Casquette has opened me up to brilliant experiences and people. And that’s priceless.
5. And the toughest?
It’s A LOT of hard work and gives me many sleepless nights. I’m a real ideas person, but those brainiac ideas seems to come to me at 4am. I only wish I could make an appointment for them to come at a more reasonable hour.
6. What were your first impressions of the fab world of female cycling?
I created Casquette because I was really into cycling, then really, really into kit. But I couldn’t find anywhere that told the beautiful stories of the amazing women who were out there doing it – the emotion and adversity, the struggle and triumph.
I guess you could say that my first impressions were that women in cycling weren’t adequately represented, so I launched Casquette to redress the balance.
At a grass roots level, I think there’s a huge enthusiasm for women’s cycling and loads of us getting together and getting out on our bikes. It’s brilliant. But at a pro level, there’s crazy inequality that I would like to see addressed. When I started the magazine, I wasn’t aware of the true extent of this. Now I am, I want to help make change by telling more people about it. To quote four-time Ironman World Champion Chrissie Wellington: “How can it be right for the champion of the most prestigious multi- stage female cycling race, the 10-day Giro Rosa, to be awarded €525 when the winner of the Tour de France pockets €450,000?”
7. Talk us through your cycling – are you hooked like us?
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE cycling and only wish I could do more. I commute by bike; I try and do long rides at the weekends and I often take part in sportives around the country. I also do a couple of cycling holidays a year. Last year I rode from Niagra Falls to Lake Placid and all over Sri Lanka. This year I have Girona and Myanmar booked.
8. What would you say to someone hesitating about getting on their bike?
If you want to enjoy the outdoors more, if you want a brilliant way to meet new people, if you want a digital detox and you want an excuse to eat loads of cake, get on your bike.
You don’t need to go from zero to hero. Take it steady and go at your own pace, then build up from there. Once you take the plunge, it’s a slippery slope and you’ll almost certainly end up wanting to do more and more.
9. Close your eyes and imagine the best place in the world to be riding your bike. Where are you?
Sri Lanka. I had my best day of riding EVER while going up into the hill country and tea plantations. The 7 miles of downhill after all that climbing was truly EPIC!
10. What’s your favourite piece of cycling kit?
My Café du Cycliste Heidi jacket.
11. Espresso or flat white?
12. What are the trends you’re seeing in women’s cycling?
I would like to start a trend. A trend where people look beyond the popular mainstream brands for their cycle kit and choose independent, unique, surprising players for their cycle kit. When it comes to how we dress off the bike, we don’t all shop at one place and wear one brand. I’d like to see people looking further afield for their cycle wear so that they express their individuality - in the same way that they do with their everyday clothes. That’s why we curate kit from all sorts of brands from all sorts of places. We want to give you more choice.
13. Favourite cake?
14. Who would you most like to go for a ride with?
15. Best current track to inspire you up a steep climb?
I don’t know why, but Whitney Houston’s ‘One Moment In Time’ always pops into my head when the going gets tough on a climb.
16. What can we look forward from Casquette during 2017 – and beyond?
As well as making change happen, we want to keep delivering more incredible stories and give you even more access to the people we feature, their knowledge, those shiny, gorgeous bikes and kit. So we’ll be running Casquette rides and events. Mainly, it’s about listening to what our readers want and giving them more of that.
To signup to receive the latest issue of Casquette, visit their website, here.
As seen in Casquette...
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