We are thrilled to bring you the incredibly inspiring Belinda Heyward as our Sister Cyclist for July. Belinda is an adventure seeker from Australia who has circled the globe participating in cycling tours. On one of her tours, Belinda was introduced to riyoko by another participant, Suzanne. Read on as Belinda recounts her cycling journeys and find out more about the tale of the intercontinental Riding Blazer.
Belinda with a well-earned beer and her touring bike in Peru, South America- May 2011 (Suzanne is half hidden on the bench behind as well)
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
Some years ago I trained and worked as a psychologist and family therapist. However, since 2008 I have redirected my energies into travelling, hiking and cycling adventures! My re-entry to cycling began in 2007, and apart from cycling everywhere as a kid, I have done quite a bit: cycling solo around the Archipelago in Finland, around Corsica, in Provence and the Dordogne in France. I have done several supported rides in New Zealand and in Japan around Hokkaido, Kyushu, the Noto Peninsula and Honshu. In 2011, I took part in a supported tour through Peru. This was followed by an unsupported two month tour through Peru, Bolivia and Argentina with another to celebrate turning 70. Later in 2012, I did two more unsupported, unaccompanied tours: the Great Ocean Road, Victoria and up the East/Northeast coast of Tasmania, Australia.
2. What is the story of the intercontinental riyoko Riding Blazer?
When I first saw the riyoko Riding Blazer, it beckoned. Suzanne, another tour participant was wearing it and we were in Peru. Generally on cycle tours involving many kilometres, practical, non-chic gear is worn. So, to meet the very chic blazer worn by Suzanne on an extended cycle tour in Peru was quite unexpected! Immediately I had to know where she got it. At the end of the ride, she returned to England and I to Australia from where I ordered a blazer- it was a must have!
3. What do you like best about travelling in your city?
Currently I ride between 100-200k per week, and as it is winter here in Australia, it's often quite cold and rainy. I live in Melbourne, in the Southeast of Australia. It is a very accessible city with heaps of beautiful cycle paths. It is possible to ride 50k out of the city, into bush land or country in any direction and either ride back, or take the train. There are not that many hills, although you can find them, lots of wide boulevards, and mostly, reasonable weather. I love the freedom and speed which cycling brings. It invites you to be very present to the world around you and enables you to meet people easily.
4. What is your favorite riyoko piece?
I love the blazer unreservedly and it attracts compliments whenever I wear it, even from non-cyclists! When I go on extended rides overseas, I like to take a couple of riyoko Shirtbands. They make Lycra bike leggings and shorts "respectable," covering the chamois area!!! I bought several when Kristi said she could make them in my chosen colours- how good is that! I also like to wear them over fancy leggings and my Outlier Riding Pants (which I purchased here).
5. What do you never leave home without?
Money, id, credit card, helmet, sunnies and something chic! Usually a scarf, colourful wrap skirt, earrings, necklace an/or a variety of bracelets...
6. What is your philosophy?
To practice smiling as much as possible, to be open to discovery and new experiences, to ride or exercise every day, to greet someone I've never met before, to be compassionate and generous. Hopefully I up to some of these aspirations!