Meet the Wheeler: Julia Schulz
Julia has been riding with us since 2017 and like many of our members found her way into the sport through commuting by bike to work. After discovering the social side of club cycling she was hooked, and when not practicing her circus acrobatics is often found on the Sunday club run.
Tell us about your journey into cycling
I got into road cycling about 5 years ago. After years of attempting to run (and 5 half marathons later) I came to the realisation that I really, really don’t like running! I started commuting into work on a bike, and it was the best decision I’d made (I only wish I’d discovered it sooner). Less stress, more exercise and watching views of London go by… From there I progressed through long weekend rides out on my own and lots of sportives to realising a cycling club might be for me. Asking around, KW had a reputation for being female-friendly and welcoming – which turned out to be very true.
What do you like about riding with a club?
It’s great to have no excuse but to get out of bed early on a Sunday for a ride! I’ve discovered so many great routes and coffee stops. And it’s so lovely to ride with others.
How can the cycling community encourage more female participation?
That’s a tough one, as we’re not one homogeneous group by any means! I think there might be something in getting spin-class riders out on the roads (it’s odd that spin classes are female dominated, but then club cycling is more male dominated). I also think there’s a big hurdle in the amount of (and understanding of) kit required; I remember that feeling pretty daunting and like a big commitment.
What advice would you give to riders new to the sport?
Someone told me when I was getting a road bike to give it at least a week; you’ll feel like Bambi at first if you’re used to a stable hybrid. It was so true – 1 week on from feeling a bit unstable on the bike and wondering why I’d bought it, I was loving the responsiveness and feeling of acceleration.
Why would you recommend Kingston Wheelers?
It’s such a friendly, welcoming club. I’ve ducked in and out of regular club rides due to other sports and injuries, but I’ve always been made to still feel part of the club when I make it out.