For years, Judith has been a brilliant, loyal contributor and supporter on our Facebook Group. And modest - when we invited her to become one of our special group Ambassadors, her first reaction was: 'Really (really!) didn't expect this'.
We think she should have done - and here are some pretty persuasive reasons why...
What (or who!) inspired you to start cycling?
I needed to change something in my life that would support my mental health as I was slipping quite severely and not doing all too well.
I knew I could cycle; it’s in my blood, I didn't want other people around me (at the time), and I didn't want to do "sport"... I just wanted to get out of my front door on my own to be in nature and switch my ever whirling brain off.
It worked as I totally caught the cycling bug.
The flames of further cycling loopiness were further fuelled by the Transcontinental Race winner Fiona Kolbinger... which helped me think, "yeah, I can do this, why not" - though I was trying to get out of my valley (not crossing continents - though it really felt like it those first few months!).
It’s one of the best self-care things I have ever gotten into; it’s made me feel so much stronger.
Happiest cycling memory?
Sitting on the bike stem with melting ice cream in the soft late-summer rain being cycled around the polders by my dad - I was, I think, around 5.
It felt absolutely magical, and it's a very precious memory.
Judith modelling her VeloVixen Cheetah II Jersey
One thing you've learnt since getting into cycling?
It's sport - scary, fun but true - I have learned to accept I like sport!! Plus, it's something I "need" to keep mentally steady.
I also learned that in cycling, we need more "encouragers", be it for women, those who are other abled or those from different backgrounds. It needs to be made more accessible, and people need to be given the support to try it. [ed. Judith's being modest here - she does tireless work herself supporting all kinds of cyclists].
Any areas of cycling you feel particularly happy to share knowledge or experience of?
Road cycling for beginners, volunteering, motivation issues; anything as long as it's nothing to do with bolts, cogs, bits, bats and baking flapjacks or some protein snack!
Best route you've ever cycled?
I am lucky where I live, so my regular circular (as I work from home) commute is gorgeous!
But recently, I did a route that took in parts of the Colne Valley and Wessenden Head, which due to its barren landscape really opens up the sky, and you feel on the edge of the earth with just very noisy moorhens and if you're lucky perhaps even a barn owl.
Route you'd love to cross off the bucket-list?
Ronde of Calderdale - please let it be done! I don't really have a route I more have ideas of where I'd like to go on my bucket list like Scotland, Dolomites, Iceland - wild dream stuff. But you need to dream to get anywhere so let's hope!
Favourite cycling brand (aside from VeloVixen!)?
Components of the ultimate cycling outfit?
I am still not sold entirely on bibs, more of a shorts/tights kinda girl with a tiny bladder!
My ultimate combos
(click on link for our collections)
- Base Layer
- Long Sleeve Jersey
- Waterproof Jacket
- Skullcap / Balaclava
- Neck bandana
- Merino socks
- Gilet (such an underrated item!)
- Merino summer socks
- I want to say hats but don't seem to get on with them, which is weird as I wear hats often outside of cycling!
And to pack a long sleeve jersey or little scrunchy jacket, as I always feel the cold when I stop.
Ideal café stop order (tea/ coffee? cake? …flapjack?!)?
Mint tea with either a toasted tea cake with four mini packs of butter; why they always only give you 1 or 2 is beyond me!
Or Mint tea with chips; I always carry my sachets of mayo ... must be my Dutch heritage. I can't do coffee as I start wittering even more and get a little "pumped"!
The best thing about being part of the VeloVixen community?
It's given me many cyber cycling buddies and always encourages me plus it’s fun! It is the place to see that women need these communities, and I think Velo Vixen gives a voice to women also outside of it - it's extremely important to me to feel we are forging ahead with sharing our passion for cycling.