By Khem Suthiwan
International Women’s Day wouldn’t be complete without recognizing a few of the leading ladies in cycling, both past and present. So many to choose from, but only so much space on the interwebs, so here are the ones who are definitely worth mentioning and sharing!
Annie “Londonderry” Cohen Kopchovsky (1870-1947)
Back when people believed that riding bikes would sexually arouse women (why is that a “bad thing”? Lol.), give them “bicycle face“, or cause us to become bow-legged from all the pedaling, Annie definitely pushed the envelope and ran it off the cliff by being the first woman to ride her bicycle around the world! In doing so, she left behind her husband and three young children to complete this feat which started as a bet between two rich Boston businessmen. Wicked awesome Annie. Wicked awesome!
As if riding your bike around the world is NBD, Jenny Graham did it, and faster than any woman to date. Fully self-supported, she rode around the world in just under 125 days in 2018. Averaging 180 miles a day, 16 hours of saddle time, and consuming over 660,000 calories, I’m pretty sure there aren’t enough lifetime Weight Watchers points to cover all that! Well done Jenny!!
She has the need, the need for speed…and a lot of it! To date, Denise is the fastest human being on a bicycle. At a blistering speed of 183.9 mph, she broke her women’s speed record of 147.74 mph (set in 2016) AND shattering the world record that had stood since 1995. Badassery runs in the Mueller family with a ultra-distance cyclist for a father and her mother raced midget demolition-derby cars. Talk about awesome genetics!!!
There’s a reason why they call her KFC, and it’s not because she likes chicken. Katie F@&king Compton takes no prisoners, will eat your children as an appetizer, and spit you out before dessert is served. Okay, not really, but still…she’s a fierce competitor and means business when she’s racing yet is freaking awesome, nice to us “normal” folk, and lives right in our backyard (Colorado Springs). KFC is the most successful US cyclocross athlete overall. Her notable accomplishments include being the first American woman to podium in the Cyclocross World Championships (winning silver) in 2007, the first non-European to win the DVV Trofee overall, and has won 15 consecutive USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships. Keep on kicking ass KFC!!!