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60 SecondsWomen's Cycling

Interview with the Vamper: 60 Seconds with Specialized Cycling Ambassador Ruby Isaac

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I suspect many of us wish we had found cycling a little earlier in life. The same can’t be said for the subject of our latest 60 Second Interview.

Ruby Isaac is 9 year old cyclist from Kettering whose YouTube channel and Instagram hashtag #racereporterruby have seen her garner the attention of Specialized for whom she is now an ambassador and race reporter.

Ruby has built up a loyal following on social media and is often seen rubbing shoulders with the great and the good of the cycling world.

See what Ruby had to say in our Interview with the Vamper: 60 Second chat.

Ruby, who or what inspired you to ride? How did you get into cycling?

It was definitely as a result of watching Laura Kenny riding at the Olympics. I then had the chance to meet her which was cool, she actually did my hair for me so I can say I have raced with Laura Kenny hair!

You are now an ambassador as well as a race reporter for Specialized  – could you tell us how that came about ?

I made a few videos and they went on Twitter and YouTube and started doing very well. Specialized saw them and contacted me and said they were really cool. I then had the chance to go to the Tour Of California to interview some riders for Specialized as well as spending some time with Boels-Dolmans. It was at the Specialized HQ where they asked me to be a Specialized Ambassador.

Ruby Issac Specialized

How does the relationship with Specialized work – what sort of interesting things have they done with you?

Specialized are really supportive, they really just want me to have fun on my bike, which is great.  It’s amazing for me to be able to show people how cool riding a bike can be. I have done some really cools things recently.  A short time ago I raced at the Junior European Tour in Assen. Specialized came with me and we did some filming together.  It was really cool, riding behind a car as someone filmed me on roller skates – I even had a drone flying over me which was  awesome.

Would you like to be a professional rider in the future?

I really want to be a professional rider one day – I love racing on the road but also the velodrome. Recently I passed my stage 2 at Derby Velodrome which was great fun.

You have now met a lot of famous faces in the cycling world. Who has made a big impression?

Everyone I have met has been amazing. Peter Sagan was awesome, and it was brilliant fun filming with him. Helen Wyman has been brilliant, she is really supportive and I even managed to have some coaching time with her. Christine Majerus is such great fun, whenever I am with Christine I just seem to be laughing all the time. Laura Kenny was amazing when I met her and all the Boels-Dolmans riders have been so nice to me.

Are there any cyclists in particular that you look up to?

Laura Kenny is a massive inspiration, watching her was the reason I wanted to ride a bike in the first place. Christine Majerus is such a strong rider and works so hard for the team and is awesome fun. There is also a rider called Skylar Schneider from America, she has been really supportive and given me loads of great advice. She is only 19 and has been so helpful. And Peter Sagan has been great, watching him doing tricks on a bike before filming was just amazing. I also think Tao Geoghegan Hart is brilliant rider – when I met him in America he was so nice to me and often likes things I put on Twitter.

Ruby Issac trackside

What is your favourite piece of cycling kit and why?

Well I love my bike, Specialized custom-made it for me. It has my name on it as well as Gummy Bears and full DI2. Christine Majerus gave me one of her Boels Dolmans jerseys, that is definitely my favourite top to go road racing in. In the velodrome I wear the Matrix kit that Helen Wyman gave me. It’s so cool to wear the same kit that I have seen Laura Kenny wearing!

Tell us about your current favourite place to ride: where do you like to go?

I love riding in the velodrome, it’s just such fun riding a bike with no brakes on the track. The road race in Assen was amazing, we raced on the roads with a convoy and motorcycle outriders – that was so cool!

What is next for Ruby?

I have something amazing coming up at the end of October which is just unbelievable but I’m not allowed to talk about it just yet – you will just have to keep your eyes peeled, but I can’t wait! Next year I will be going back to the Junior Tour of Assen again which was so much fun. Most of all, just carrying on having fun on my bike.

And finally, what are your three favourite music tracks to ride to?

I love SIA – Greatest, I listen to this before I race. I also like Katy Perry – Roar, and Can’t Stop The Feeling. I always listen to those tracks before I get on the bike.

I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me – of course, Specialized, but also all the people who have give me support on Twitter and all the professional riders who have been amazing.

Ruby Issac Matrix

Cycle ClothingWomen's Cycling

The quest continues: Victoria shares her pick of cool women’s cycling kits

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Women’s cycling is going from strength to strength and it’s heartening to see more apparel designers launching expanded collections for female cyclists. I’m sure I’m not alone, though, in feeling that women’s cycling clothing is all too often still a bit of an afterthought. If you’re struggling to find kit as cool as you are, read on, because I’ve made it my mission to share all the cool women’s cycling kits I can find. You’ll find more good stuff here and here.

And don’t forget that the coolest kit of 2016, the Vamper.cc kit, is available in both men’s and women’s sizes. Register your interest here!

 

Hors catégorie socks – This is Cambridge

cool women's cycling kits

These glorious socks from This is Cambridge are just fah-bu-lous. I ordered a pair to coordinate with my pink Bont shoes… The socks feature Meryl Skinlife® which is a high performance yarn containing antibacterial properties which maintain the natural balance of the skin, reducing odours. What’s more, they look incredibly cool with a 15cm cuff, making them ideal for cyclists seeking a performance sock with top notch style. They’re £13.50.

 

Vision Cycling Jersey – Polaris Bikewear

cool women's cycling kits

We’ll be publishing a review of this soon, but in the meantime, I can tell you that it’s great. The Vision Jersey is a women’s specific performance jersey made from a fast wicking fabric to keep you dry. Polaris has a co-ordinating pair of waist shorts (as regular readers know, not usually my preferred choice – but so far, I’m liking them…) so the half zip on the jersey is no problem. There is plenty of storage, too, with three rear pockets including a zipped security pocket. If this aqua blue shade ain’t your bag, it also comes in fuchsia pink and regal purple. I really, really like this jersey. It’s available for £64.99.

 

Women’s Wind Cheater/Core Gilet in WaterCOLOUR – The Pedla

cool women's cycling kits

Ok, ok. Y’all know I’m a sucker for a bold floral print. What can I say – I must be the Mary Berry of the cycling world… But this women’s specific wind cheater gilet from The Pedla is gorgeous and utilises an advanced Italian WINDTEX windproof membrane for performance. It is designed with front shield-style paneling to insulate and protect you from wind and light rain while the rear panelling uses quick-drying microfibre material which is soft, breathable and moisture wicking. It’s a beautiful way to add a dash of summertime to your cycling wardrobe. It’s priced at AUD $196.

 

Women’s Bodyline SS Slipstream Jersey – Stolen Goat

cool women's cycling kits

It doesn’t always have to be floral for me to like it. This Slipstream jersey from Stolen Goat makes it into my list of cool women’s cycling kits because it’s super chic and the colours rock. I like it a lot. You can order it for £60.

 

Aloha Jersey – Babicicool women's cycling kits

We’re back to florals! But this time, tropical ones. The Aloha jersey features a beautifully designed Hawaiian tropical pattern. Illustrated with amazing detail and constructed from high performance textiles, Babici expects this to be its most popular jersey of 2016. I’m sorely tempted. It’s priced at AUD $190.

 

Body Geometry Gel Women’s Glove – Specialized

cool women's cycling kits

I know what you’re thinking. Why is this in the list of cool women’s cycling kits? It isn’t a very exciting piece of kit. Where’s the bold design? What’s so cool about it? Fine, I admit it: they’re not going to set your world on fire. But take it from a women’s cycling glove afficionado: these are excellent summer cycling mitts. The padding is second to none and the fuchsia detailing is bolder than it looks in pictures. I bought a pair in Sigma Sport a couple of weeks ago, and I’m really pleased with them. Very good gloves indeed. You can buy them for £25.00.

 

Polka Dot Blue Women’s Cycling Gloves – Stolen Goat
cool women's cycling kits

You need a bolder glove? You want more than performance – you want pizzazz? Well, these mitts from Stolen Goat have got it. Super duper polka dots (bang on trend, if you care) and aero styling so that nothing can hold you back from that Queen of the Mountain. CUTE. And yours for £29.50.

 

Women Summer Jersey Checked Yellow – La Passione

cool women's cycling kits

“Every peloton has a leader, but not every peloton has a stylish leader.” Too true, La Passione! I was torn over which colourway to show you from the new La Passione range. I finally decided that yellow jerseys for women are few and far between, and this shade is so deliciously sunny and summery that it deserves a place in the list. I also like this description from the brand: the jersey “is not only perfectly suited for any female Tour de France winner, but equally for anyone with style and a winning attitude in cycling.” Sold, to the lady in Lycra. £53.00.

 

Boels Dolmans SL Pro Women’s Short Sleeve Jersey – Specialized 

cool women's cycling kits

I saw a cyclist wearing this kit in Richmond Park last weekend and it looked cool AF. The colours are amazing and I love how unapologetically bold it is. Super modern and super cool. The VaporRize knit fabric construction is ultra-soft and breathable and, combined with Coldblack fabric, it’s a great jersey for hot days out on the road. Yours for £90 from Sigma Sport.

 

Empire Women’s Road Shoe – Giro (at Sigma Sport)

Coolest women's cycling kit

Finally – we all know how important the right shoes are, and no list of cool women’s cycling kits would be complete without some good footwear. These are not cheap. But they are pretty. Glossy black with that petrol-hued logo and vibrant turquoise laces, the carbon-soled Empire Women’s Road Shoe by Giro is hot to trot. Love them. They are priced at £229.95