My best moment on a bike was when I realised I could cycle all day and only stop to eat and pee. It took a while to get to that point (I’d had to stop quite frequently before) and I did need to stop eventually to buy some decent shorts (eesh). If only I’d been able to go to a saddlesore workshop and find out why that happens and try and prevent it…

Funny I say that – because that’s exactly what we’ve got at this year’s Women & Bicycles festival! Oxford’s own DIY bicycle co-op, The Broken Spoke, is partnering up with women’s cycling powerhouse The Adventure Syndicate to bring us a two-day festival. This will be the largest event of its kind the UK has ever seen and the full programme of workshops, panels, speakers and rides has just been released. It will inspire, enable and showcase women in cycling.

Building on the success of 2016’s one-day event, this year guests will be able to do even more: listen to speakers, attend practical workshops, learn to fix their own bikes, Q&A sessions, explore the local area on guided rides, take a feminist history cycle tour - and meet a whole host of new friends, allies and riding buddies. The event is about promoting women’s cycling but it is open to all genders, ages, abilities, shapes and sizes, keen cyclists, aspiring cyclists and bike-curious alike.

We’re focusing on cycling as a family, because children and cycling don’t have to be incompatible! We’ve got kids bike and sustainable cycling revolutionary Isla Rowntree as well as the award-winning cycle trainer Maryam Amatullah whose work includes encouraging women from ethnic minorities into cycling.

We’re also making space for women working in the cycling world to share their challenges and achievements with a panel featuring women working in the media, in cycling clothing and fashion, and cycling clubs. We’ve got folks who go on crazy adventures and hope to inspire you to challenge what you think you’re capable of - if the names Rickie Cotter, Lee Craigie, and Josie Dew ring a bell you’ll be as excited as we are already.

There’ll be a focus on helping bikes and bodies work better together, with yoga sessions from Polly Clark and Becci Curtis, and Isla Rowntree’s much-anticipated workshop on ‘The Science of Saddlesore’ – part of her lifetime quest “to improve the usability, fit and comfort of bikes, particularly for those other than medium-sized fit adult men.”

In short, tickets to this festival are the best alternative Valentine’s gift you could get yourself or someone else. After all, falling in love is a lot like falling off a bicycle. Every now and then you lose all trace of dignity and end up crying in a ditch full of nettles. But somehow us feckless humans can't help but hop back on the bike. And so here we are, I reflect, miles away from anywhere up a massive mountain ready to do it all again…

Tickets are selling fast, early birds are already sold out and people are attending from as far away as Edinburgh and Mid Wales. Don't miss out, ticket and programme info at: