We set up Steezy Collective to champion inclusive cycling and break down barriers within the sport, so when our good friends Toby (Cold Dark North) and Chris Hall (Zero Lemon) reached out wanting help to make their event more inclusive, we couldn’t say no. We were asked to join them riding The Way of The Roses, fundraising for Movember and Women’s Aid. We wanted to help create a space where women, non-binary and trans riders could come along and feel comfortable. We definitely achieved this and were able to ride with some amazing humans who joined us in taking on this challenging route over two days in October.
The camaraderie began months before in the group chat with wealth’s of experiences being shared from seasoned tourers and ultra-distance racers to century firsts. We discussed everything from mudguard installation and bikepacking pack choice to the best snacks (if there even is one).
We all met on Morecambe promenade for the first time on Friday morning ready to Steeze our way 174km across the Yorkshire Dales to York. It was dark, raining and very windy but the vibe definitely didn’t reflect this. The promenade was littered with every different type of bike from skinny tyred road bikes to nobly adventure bikes, each one with a different storage carrying set up from traditional panniers to impressive lightweight racing packs.
We set off, cow bells ringing and soon found our rhythm. The light hum of chatter followed us along the cycling path out of Lancaster as we skirted the Forest of Bowland and began climbing through the Yorkshire Dales. Day one was our biggest, and challenging at times, but together we overcame it and shared experiences along the way. Admiring the views, sharing endless snacks, and cheering each other on up the steepest of climbs. The support and camaraderie from old and new friends was very much apparent as we rolled into Ripon for beers and burgers at 6pm on Friday night. With 50km left to go to the hostel we switched on our lights, formed a Steezy train and cruised along the Yorkshire lanes arriving in York by 10pm.
Day two began with coffee, laughter, and smiles. We rolled out from the YHA as a big group, excited by what the day would bring. A few km in and we got wind that a Steezy banner was in the next town along. As we passed through, we were welcomed by cheers, clapping and an array of Tunnocks caramel wafers and teacakes all from our friend Matty Waudby, the artist behind the wonderful Dogg Bags Presto Rolls from Wizard Works. Shortly after our much-appreciated cheer squad encounter, heavy downpours and punctures found us huddled in a wood sharing the Tunnocks goodies. The Steeze came together in solidarity, fixed the punctures and before we knew it, we were back doing what we do best, pedaling! The next thing we knew we were rolling along the cliffs towards the coast. The sun setting below an ocean horizon of red, oranges, and pink. We were welcomed by cheers, fist-bumps, and cowbells as we descended onto the coast of Bridlington.
Overall, we had the best time. The route was amazing and made even more so by the season. The landscape exuded colours of yellow, brown, and orange the whole way. We raised £5000 for Women’s Aid whilst achieving so much as a collective along the way. From first group rides to first centuries, first bikepacking trips to first night rides. Each and every single Steezy adventure is inspiring and this one was no different.