Women In Cycling – Lee Muir

Introduce yourself (and your bikes…)

Hi, I’m Lee Muir. I’d describe myself as an academic, a cyclist and a mom. I’m a PhD researcher based at Glasgow Caledonian University and my research area is Cycling Development. I’m also a Senior Project Officer at Sustrans Scotland. You can tweet with me here.
I enjoy refurbishing vintage bikes so I usually have a few of them on the go but my main bike is an Italian steel track bike – it’s tiny but a perfect fit.

What is your connection to the world of cycling?

I worked as a sustainable product designer and my focus was bicycles and bicycle products. I transitioned from that into Cycling Development where I worked as a Cycling Officer for Cycling Scotland. I’ve always been an advocate of active travel – specifically bicycles for transport as the multi-dimensional benefits of this align with my worldview. My PhD also focuses on this and looks at the complex landscape of stakeholder influence on infrastructural outcomes. I’m a member of several bicycle campaign organisations and a committee member of  Women’s Cycle Forum Scotland, where with a bunch of formidable female cycle enthusiasts, we advocate for a more gender balanced representation in cycling. You can meet me in 1 minute here: https://vimeo.com/176375192

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

I cycled competitively as a child and carried that through to early adulthood where it dropped off and I’ve since cycled for commuting and leisure. I had a short break for around a year when I had a child and substituted cycling with walking everywhere and I’ve since picked pedalling back up.

What would you say was your most significant achievement (so far!)?
Coming back to academia at PhD-level after a decade in industry and weathering it!

What’s your biggest frustration?

That cycling development is so misunderstood. It’s a complex multidisciplinary theme which often takes a multidisciplinary group of people to contribute to deliverable outcomes, with each person working within quite confined parameters to address the challenging needs of a range of cyclist (and other user) types. However attitudes towards this, both positive and negative can often be extreme and misinformed, and this can impact progress significantly.
If you could wave a magic wand, what’s the one (cycling-related) thing you’d wish for?
Safe segregated cycling routes of a Dutch standard.

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

My typical week of cycling can include a daily split cycle/train commute to a different city or chaperoning my child as he balance-bike commutes to nursery. Weekends are often spent having a putter on the bike. My dream rides involve a slow pace, scenery, a tailwind and sunshine.

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?

I’m comfortable presenting on the topic and I’ve created a documentary about enabling women to cycle, which captures a range of women’s experiences addressing barriers to cycling. I’d be happy to present and share that film or those perspectives with anyone that may be interested. Equally I’m also happy to speak on my research in Cycling Development.

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

These change a lot, but right now it’s; Rachael Halifax, Janette Sadik-Khan, Rachel Atherton and Sally Hinchcliffe. All for their own specialisations and what they contribute to them.