Women in Cycling – Joanne Boyle

Introduce yourself (and your bikes…)

Joanne Boyle 4

My name is Joanne Boyle at work and Joanne Thin at home!  I am lucky enough to have a nice newish commute/touring/cross bike (Genesis Croix de Fer) which I treated myself to in the autumn due to having a longer commute. I also have a 2nd hand mountain bike (and can’t keep up downhill with others on their fancy double suspensions, that’s nothing to do with some of them being a lot younger than me of course), a 10 year old Giant racer (might need an upgrade on that too!), plus we still have a family Orbit tandem though our daughters have outgrown the rear seat now!

What is your connection to the world of cycling?

I have been a keen cyclist for a long time a mixture of commuting, family and leisure cycling with the odd bit of semi- competitive cycling via sportives and a couple of duathlons. I am now just starting a new job in Sustainable and Active travel in Transport Scotland which I am excited about!

What got you into cycling? (or back into it?)

I used to cycle as a student when it was the cheapest and most enjoyable way to get around. I took up cycling with my kids 18 years ago as a way to get out and get some fresh air as it seemed preferable to going walking when it would take all day to walk a mile with small kids ..We had bike seats, a bike trailer, a tag-a-long and then 2 Orbit tandems which were great. We have had fantastic fun over the years out on family trips with the Tandem Club both day trips,  weekends and weeks away both in Scotland, France and once Holland. Our daughters now 16 and 18 prefer to ride solo than tandem though! More recently I’ve enjoyed some sportives and outings with pals both on the roads and on the hills. Cycling for me has also been a terrific way for me to get exercise and enjoyment at times when due to injuries I have been unable to go running or even hillwalking. Mountaineering and hillwalking were my first sporting loves.

What would you say was your most significant achievement (so far!)?

Getting all the family out cycling!  I had a proud parent moment recently when I was having a chat with my 18 year old daughter about the car and bikes and she said she would far rather have a bike than a car!!

What’s your biggest frustration?

Traffic especially during the Edinburgh festival when pedestrians seem to wander into the road in a dream without looking! Another is bike theft. We have had too many garage break ins to mention…

If you could wave a magic wand, what’s the one (cycling-related) thing you’d wish for?

Segregated cycle paths everywhere, especially for my daughters who we can’t help worrying about and indeed for everyone else’s daughters and sons too…

What’s your typical day/week on cycling? And what are the rides you dream about?

Joanne Boyle 3

Commuting to work 4 days a week (I have Friday off). Occasional spring and summer evenings mountain bike outings in the Pentlands with Hervelo mudhoneys.  Weekend outings with the Tandem club, Hervelo, my husband or friends, that is if I am not hillwalking, canoeing, on holiday or having a chill out!

One of the rides I used to dream about was the Western Isles from Barra to the Butt of Lewis and I did this with my daughters and their French exchange friend (who had previously done very little cycling) a few years ago. It was awesome and I dream of doing it again perhaps with more sun! I dream now of doing some nice summer bike tours in Europe with my husband, with plenty of French wine and cheese added in. I’d also like to try some Scottish Backpacking and explore more good off road trips. Finally Mizen to Malin head in Ireland is on my list!

One of the purposes of the Women’s Cycle Forum is to promote women who are in cycling and make them more visible – and particularly to see the end of the dreaded all-male panel. Would you be interested in speaking more on panels or at conferences and if so what about?

Yes I would be happy to if you thought it would be helpful. I am a pretty ordinary everyday cyclist. I haven’t won races, or completed any major challenges so it depends what you are looking for?! Perhaps I could speak about cycling being an integral part of an ordinary non super hero life…?!

Who are the women in cycling you’d like to hear from next and why?

My friend’s daughter Isla Short is an amazing inspirational mountainbiker. We knew her when she was a ‘bairn’ in the Tandem club!