8 SOLO FEMALE CYCLISTS WHO ROCK
This beautiful drawing was sent to me one night at 5AM by Argentinian Enrique Demarchi (who I’ve never met) as a recognition for my solo female cycling. “Not everyone would get on a bicycle and pedal through South America, especially as a woman”, he said and added that it’s something remarkable. As I know I’m not the only one, I want to dedicate this drawing on to all solo female cyclists, especially those eight who have inspired and keep on inspiring me along my way. Here’s who they are!
Loretta is the first woman we know of to have cycled solo around the world. She is the editor of the Women On Wheels book about 100 solo female cyclists and is also the woman behind solofemalecyclist.com, featuring not only her own stories on five continents but also the WOW Wall — a database on solo cycling women.
I found Astrid Fischer through the above mentioned WOW Wall, which was then still on the webpage skalatitude.com. I wrote to her asking about her experiences cycling around the world and her words were very clear: just go. Her hint to me was not to worry too much and just hit the road. I’m still grateful for these words.
Iria is my closest female cycling contact and the joyous, always smiling woman behind Una Vida Nómada. Not only is her Facebook page a wonderful inspiration and resource for other cycling women, but so is her group SOY CICLOVIAJERA, where Spanish speaking women share their questions and stories.
Helinä Rautavaara is a Finnish woman who cycled across the Americas in the 1960s. On her journeys she did radio and tv shows on local cultures and also wrote about them for various magazines and newspaper. In 1991 Helinä Rautavaara opened an ethnographic museum in Finland which is still my all-time favorite museum!
Flor Caminante and Mari Lauchita
These women don’t actually travel alone. However, I cannot not Dos Sobre Ruedas when speaking about women who inspire me. I met these ladies at a cross-roads in Uruguay in February 2016, and suddenly found them again through social media a year later. Their Fanzine “Juntas no estamos solas” is a great compilation on female cycling.
My countrywoman, Lotta Eriksson, is a cheerful and courageous woman who cycled alone through Europe and Asia. I met her for the first time in Mozambique, yet the fact that we both ended up solo cycling thereafter is pure coincidence. Now, we share experiences often. Here’s about Lotta’s journey from Finland to the unknown.
Juliana or Juli is a biologist, an ecologist and an expert in vegetation conservation. She has been cycling around the world since 2016, visiting natural parks and nature reserves along the way. Juli does extensive videos on these visits on YouTube. You can also find her stories on Facebook and Instagram (in Portuguese).