Three Hackney locals have been named in 2019’s 100 Women in Cycling list for their “tireless” work in encouraging people to take up two wheels.
Inventor Emily Brooke, family cycling group founder Ruth-Anna MacQueen and award-winning campaigner Brenda Puech were all included on national charity Cycling UK’s annual roster, which recognises significant achievements in the promotion of women’s cycling.
They join Paralympian Dame Sarah Storey, TV presenter Angellica Bell and triple Olympic medallist Victoria Pendleton on the list.
The charity includes both well-known names in cycling and those promoting the activity at a grassroots level.
Brooke, an inventor, industrial designer and entrepreneur, is one of the few female CEOs in cycling, developing the Beryl (formerly Blaze) Laserlights that are used for Santander hire bikes in London.
MacQueen, an obstetrician, was recognised for supporting parents to cycle with their children, both in Hackney and the wider world through her ‘Family Cycling UK’ Facebook page.
She lives in Hackney with her partner and three children and documents her life on her popular @bikesandbabies Twitter feed.
Puech is a walking and cycling campaigner who champions community parklets. She was recently awarded the Charles Maher Award by leading charity Living Streets.
She has been listed by Cycling UK for her commitment to reducing road danger and supporting sustainable transport.
Helen Cook, the charity’s head of engagement, said: “Congratulations to Emily, Ruth-Anna and Brenda for making it onto our 100 Women in Cycling for 2019. It’s an incredible achievement and testimony to the tireless work they’ve done to raise the profile of women’s cycling.
“Every woman on our list is an incredible ambassador for women’s cycling, but sadly women remain underrepresented when it comes to everyday cycling.
“The gauntlet we’re throwing down is for every woman who already cycles regularly to find just one more woman they can help and inspire to get on their bike.”
The three Hackney residents join cycling royalty, Paralympian Dame Sarah Storey and Olympic gold medallists Victoria Pendleton, Dani Rowe and Joanna Rowsell Shand, on the list.
Other well-known names include TV stars Rebecca Charlton, Orla Chennaoui and Laura Winter, and 10-year-old YouTube sensation Ruby Isaac.
The 100 Women in Cycling awards were presented at a ceremony at Parliament in early July following an awareness-raising ride to the House of Commons by more than 150 women.
The ride was led by one of the 100 Women, broadcaster Angellica Bell, who only started riding as an adult after being inspired by her stepfather and being bitten by the cycling bug after riding a stage of the Tour de France as part of a TV challenge.
Bell said: “Wouldn’t it be amazing if every female cyclist in this country persuaded just one more woman to take up cycling? Imagine the difference that could make.
“Cycling is not only one of the most enjoyable ways of getting around, it’s great for your health, fitness and the environment.”
Cycling UK estimates that only a million women in the UK cycle regularly – just three per cent of the population – with many more bike journeys made by men than women.
The Women’s Festival of Cycling, which has been running throughout July, aims to address that imbalance by inspiring more women to get on the saddle.
A recent poll carried out by YouGov on behalf of Cycling UK that found that 36 per cent of women said they would be inspired to cycle more with the encouragement of friends and family.
The charity is now challenging every female cyclist in the UK to enlist at least one more woman to start cycling this month.
To make an online pledge to encourage another woman to cycle, visit cyclinguk.org/pledge
To find out more about the Women’s Festival of Cycling and to see the full 100 Women in Cycling list, head to cyclinguk.org/womens-festival-cycling