Yorkshire cyclists swap Lycra for lingerie for charity calendar

Women from Harrogate’s Capuccino Cycling Club are looking to raise money for air ambulance

by Simon_MacMichael   June 10, 2014  

Members of a women’s cycling club in North Yorkshire have swapped bibshorts for stockings and suspenders in a photo shoot for a calendar to raise money for the area’s air ambulance.

Six women from Harrogate’s Cappuccino Cycling Club took part in the project, which saw them don lingerie from Rigby & Peller, the London-based business that supplies the Queen with her underwear.

Published ahead of the Grand Départ of the Tour de France next month, the calendar features locations along the route of the race and was shot by BAFTA winning film maker Paul Berriff and leading fashion photographer Michael Dunne.

One of the cyclists who volunteered to take part, Sue, said: “We are all keen cyclists and used to a challenge but this was something new.

“Swapping Lycra for lace left us feeling exposed even before the cameras arrived! Like cycling the experience has had its ups and downs but we supported each other with humour and encouragement, like we do on our rides.

“We have welcomed the opportunity to raise money for the air ambulance, a charity we rely on to be there at any time. It has been a once in a lifetime experience and a very different way to celebrate the Tour de France coming to Yorkshire.”

Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire which won the bid to host this year’s Grand Départ, said: “It’s great to see people raising money for such an important charity, combining celebrating the arrival of the Grand Depart with showcasing some of the county’s fabulous locations along the route.”

Berriff recalled his initial approach to the club to see if they would be interested in participating in the project.

“I telephoned Liz Annetts of the Cappuccino club and asked if they were willing to strip off and wear underwear in front of a camera, there was silence for around twenty seconds before she realised what I had just asked her,” he said.

“Within an hour she came back to me with six volunteers and before long we had fourteen ladies offering to be photographed. I couldn’t believe how quickly they responded.

“We were on location in some very cold weather but the ladies in their underwear were not at all concerned.

They have all been very brave and the calendar looks really stunning, it’s a great credit to them and such a fantastic way to raise money for a great cause and bring more interest to Yorkshire and the Tour de France race,” he added.

The calendar costs £12 and can be ordered here: www.cappuccinocyclingcalendar.com

North Yorkshire is also home to the Rylstone Women’s Institute, whose members famously stripped off in 1999 for a calendar that helped raise £3 million for the charity Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, with their exploits forming the subject of the 2003 film, Calendar Girls.

47 user comments

Latest 30 commentsNewest firstBest ratedAll

If you have to ask THAT question, then perhaps you ought to stay indoors from now on.

Dressing up (or down) for a calendar does not mean anyone has a right to wolf-whistle at you.

posted by bashthebox [647 posts]
10th June 2014 - 15:39

15 Likes

I think it's a perfectly pertinent question.

A lot of people that see a women walking around in underwear are going to comment in some way don't you think?

Violence is not the answer, but it will do until we find out what is.

posted by TheHound [64 posts]
10th June 2014 - 15:45

8 Likes

These ladies were featured on the "100 Great Things About Yorkshire" episode of Countryfile a few weeks ago, and I just thought it was toe-curlingly naff. Even if it takes their personal feelings of empowerment to new highs and they raise billions into the bargain, it's still naff.

Him Up North's picture

posted by Him Up North [235 posts]
10th June 2014 - 16:25

24 Likes

Surely the big question here is: Who buys a calendar in June?

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4152 posts]
10th June 2014 - 16:47

33 Likes

All power to them for raising money for charity, but I'm not sure they've added any value to the image of women's cycling. I get really narked when I see half naked women being used in advertising to sell bikes. Why does it always have to come down to sex. This is doing nothing to rid the industry of that kind of image.

Ordinary Cycling Girl @OrdCyclingGirl
http://www.ordinarycyclinggirl.co.uk
A women's cycling blog from an ordinary girl discovering and loving life on two wheels

Ordinary Cycling Girl's picture

posted by Ordinary Cyclin... [24 posts]
10th June 2014 - 16:48

15 Likes

We need more men in lingerie. On bikes. Just to even things up, of course, also I don't see why the ladies should have all the fun here. Just off to figleaves.com to do some research.

[...some time later]

Only blooming swimming trunks and briefs in the men's sports bit. This is obviously a gap in the market, Rapha, get your act together, we need luxury padded pants! In pink merino wool!

posted by Argos74 [301 posts]
10th June 2014 - 17:20

23 Likes

As one of the ladies who did this calendar I'd like to thank those of you who made positive comments. Some of you may think it mediocre, or that it damages women's cycling in some way which I think is sad. We all love cycling and are advocates of women's cycling getting a fair hearing. We are all also professional women with jobs, and families and we fit our cycling in around these other commitments. We were asked to do it by the photographer- it's not something we went and sought out but given an opportunity to raise money for the charity of our choice we said yes. It was a really hard thing to do, none of us like the way we look but we believe it was better to show real women who cycle and are fit than skinny models who have never ridden a bike. At the end of the day the only people who have the right to criticise are us- and believe me we did criticise a lot. And to the man who asked what we would do if he wolf whistled at us when he saw us out cycling- we would laugh and say thanks- we might even return the compliment.

posted by Sarah Cave [1 posts]
10th June 2014 - 18:36

54 Likes

Well said Sarah, I'm amazed at some of the comments

Scott Spark 910 - Boardman Team Carbon - Planet X XLS

posted by colinth [188 posts]
10th June 2014 - 18:48

14 Likes

I wonder if men disaproving of women not conforming to their own standards of behaviour which they have for the opposite sex can see the irony in their claims to be standing up against sexism.

Seems to me this is a good humoured fundraiser for a very good cause, which some folks in more urban and better resourced southern areas might not realise how much is relied upon in Yorkshire and the North East and is also very much in the spirit of celebration of all things cycling and northern in the run up to the Grand Depart.

Lighten up people, and well done to the folks behind the calender.

Northernbike's picture

posted by Northernbike [168 posts]
10th June 2014 - 19:26

17 Likes

It absolutely appalls me, the number of white people who are white and the number of men who are men. Racism and sexism is everywhere.

Oh yeah, all straight people are homophobes.

Rolling Eyes

In Britain this "tolerance" is way, way, waaay out of proportion, especially in the media. In my eyes it's just as bad as racism or any other "hot-topic-non-pc" discrimination.

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/ValentinKokorin

London2Paris24: 450km, 24 hours, 5th-6th July 2014

I will miss TdF in Yorskhire!!! Please donate! Big Grin

koko56's picture

posted by koko56 [334 posts]
10th June 2014 - 20:15

9 Likes

hatchet harry wrote:
Presumably there will be a new colour choice in the next Vulpine range: Whiter Than White.

I understand that Nick is in the process of taking his foot of mouth first and then shooting it..

Fixie Girl's picture

posted by Fixie Girl [124 posts]
10th June 2014 - 20:48

16 Likes

I'll buy it!

..and for balance, genuinely, if anyone would pay money to charity to see me in some posh pants and vest, I'll happily bring my bike along.

A famous someone once said 'you're entitled to your opinion, but it's wrong'

posted by peted76 [19 posts]
10th June 2014 - 21:10

5 Likes

Fixie Girl wrote:
hatchet harry wrote:
Presumably there will be a new colour choice in the next Vulpine range: Whiter Than White.

I understand that Nick is in the process of taking his foot of mouth first and then shooting it..


Very happy to stand by my opinions. And to put my name to them. You know who and where I am.

Nobody is whiter than white. Least of all me. Just strongly held convictions. Shades of grey and a good discussion. I hope.

Its good Sarah replied. But I don't mind disagreeing. I'm sure she's not my biggest fan. But that's ok. That's what debate is all about. I hope.

Fire at will on twitter. I'm ( nearly always) there. Going on. And on.

www.vulpine.cc
@aslongasicycle
@vulpinecc

aslongasicycle's picture

posted by aslongasicycle [325 posts]
10th June 2014 - 21:41

9 Likes

Nick - I thought the debate was about this calendar not you and/or your opinions..?

You'll be plugging 15 Thoughts on Value next Wink

FG

Fixie Girl's picture

posted by Fixie Girl [124 posts]
10th June 2014 - 21:48

7 Likes

Fixie Girl wrote:
Nick - I thought the debate was about this calendar not you and/or your opinions..?

You'll be plugging 15 Thoughts on Value next Wink

FG


I would never be so crass as to talk about this link Fixie. THIS LINK:
http://road.cc/content/blog/79326-vulpine-fifteen-thoughts-value

www.vulpine.cc
@aslongasicycle
@vulpinecc

aslongasicycle's picture

posted by aslongasicycle [325 posts]
10th June 2014 - 21:56

7 Likes

Shit, I was looking at the bikes.

posted by J90 [161 posts]
10th June 2014 - 21:58

18 Likes

Argos74 wrote:
Only blooming swimming trunks and briefs in the men's sports bit. This is obviously a gap in the market, Rapha, get your act together, we need luxury padded pants! In pink merino wool!

I think Vulpine actually do produce merino padded underpants.

posted by farrell [1557 posts]
11th June 2014 - 8:51

13 Likes

What I find the most uncomfortable about this calendar is that after all the work that has been done to gain recognition for women in sports, someone still thinks that the best they can do, is approach women to pose in lingerie.

I would be much more comfortable if this was they're own initiative, but it does not seem like it was.
I wish the photos were celebrating their strength and fitness instead of repeating glossy magazines cliches.

Everyone is perfectly entitled to pose in lingerie, and it's everyone's choice. Naked photos of women, if done well, don't have to be detrimental to women's cycling. Sadly this is not the case here.

posted by Monmon_zet [1 posts]
11th June 2014 - 8:59

9 Likes

Monmon_zet wrote:
...I wish the photos were celebrating their strength and fitness instead of repeating glossy magazines cliches.

Everyone is perfectly entitled to pose in lingerie, and it's everyone's choice. Naked photos of women, if done well, don't have to be detrimental to women's cycling. Sadly this is not the case here.

+1.

...thinking a bit further on this and the various comments along the lines of 'was this really the best these creative /brand types could come up with?': why - in a sport where skin-tight nothing-left-to-the-imagination kit is standard, is the little bit of extra skin visible when in lingere even considered a 'bonus'?

Personally I prefer something left to the imagination. Maybe that's just me.

I was told there would be Cake. Luckily there's http://TestValleyCC.org.uk

KiwiMike's picture

posted by KiwiMike [588 posts]
11th June 2014 - 9:25

6 Likes

Monmon_zet wrote:
What I find the most uncomfortable about this calendar is that after all the work that has been done to gain recognition for women in sports, someone still thinks that the best they can do, is approach women to pose in lingerie.

I couldn't agree more.

Ordinary Cycling Girl @OrdCyclingGirl
http://www.ordinarycyclinggirl.co.uk
A women's cycling blog from an ordinary girl discovering and loving life on two wheels

Ordinary Cycling Girl's picture

posted by Ordinary Cyclin... [24 posts]
11th June 2014 - 9:38

11 Likes

all woman cyclists should dress like this. woman. know your limits. and remember dont try and look decorative and think it just wont work. stay healthy

Stanley's picture

posted by Stanley [44 posts]
11th June 2014 - 10:07

12 Likes

I think it's fair enough, loads of groups do naked calendars - it's a tradition and I don't think there's a problem with that.

What I don't think needs to be done is banding 'womens cycling' together with 'charity calendars' - these are just ladies who bike (a social group, just like the WI who do the same) - doing a shoot in underwear (though the tog sounds a bit on the oioi side). I don't think it should be seen as representative of women's cycling, especially, as others have said, since so much has been done to try and balance out the sport.

I'd quite happily gawk at a calendar of Fabian Cancellara pics all day.... that doesn't make me sexist, it makes me human, if I met him in person I wouldn't slap his arse and tell him to show us some skin, I'd ask him about his bike riding....and maybe politely compliment him because I think he's a bit of alright while also being my hero at the same time.

If people want to buy this to gawk then fine, if people want to buy it for charity then fine, personally I'd rather just send some money in to the charity regardless - or reward something like a big athletic challenge or something like that. I don't think boobs need to be got out to raise cash.... there are better ways, but don't give the ladies shit for doing it - if it were a load of 70+ WI birds no one would bat an eyelid, in fact they'd probably be all for it because "awww isn't that nice"

It's just unfortunate that so many people would and will display unsavoury opinions around it, i.e. there's a difference between being politely attracted to an image and being disgustingly misogynistic about it - THATS what the problem is.

Merlin Cycles women's race team ~ http://www.merlincycles.com
Manx nerd peddler ~ http://mooleur.blogspot.com

mooleur's picture

posted by mooleur [542 posts]
11th June 2014 - 10:41

11 Likes

I think Mouleur's hit the nail on the head... don't live in denial of your basic programming... you are put on earth to pro-create and you are hard wired to do this.

Part of that process for men is to find women visually attractive, and women's bodies have developed to be just that...

Appreciating, celebrating, whatever, the human form and sexuality is fine... whats not fine is acting like a sexist dick.

Or put it another way... I'm sure most of us will at least once a week want to smack someone in the mouth... we don't though do we?

posted by Jimmy Ray Will [324 posts]
11th June 2014 - 11:06

15 Likes

Ordinary Cycling Girl wrote:
I get really narked when I see half naked women being used in advertising to sell bikes. Why does it always have to come down to sex?
Agreed. I'm as "red-blooded" as the next man but why does an email "offers" web-site have to use a very scantily clad young lady to offer teeth whitening?

K Stand Ken

posted by K Stand Ken [43 posts]
11th June 2014 - 11:20

7 Likes

Jimmy Ray Will wrote:

Appreciating, celebrating, whatever, the human form and sexuality is fine... whats not fine is acting like a sexist dick.

Exactly mate that's got it down to a T!

Merlin Cycles women's race team ~ http://www.merlincycles.com
Manx nerd peddler ~ http://mooleur.blogspot.com

mooleur's picture

posted by mooleur [542 posts]
11th June 2014 - 11:54

11 Likes

Sarah Cave wrote:
As one of the ladies who did this calendar I'd like to thank those of you who made positive comments. Some of you may think it mediocre, or that it damages women's cycling in some way which I think is sad. We all love cycling and are advocates of women's cycling getting a fair hearing. We are all also professional women with jobs, and families and we fit our cycling in around these other commitments. We were asked to do it by the photographer- it's not something we went and sought out but given an opportunity to raise money for the charity of our choice we said yes. It was a really hard thing to do, none of us like the way we look but we believe it was better to show real women who cycle and are fit than skinny models who have never ridden a bike. At the end of the day the only people who have the right to criticise are us- and believe me we did criticise a lot. And to the man who asked what we would do if he wolf whistled at us when he saw us out cycling- we would laugh and say thanks- we might even return the compliment.

Says it all really. Real people who do real things making real points about real issues. More power to their elbows. And they've more borls than most of the guys on here imo....

Really, though?

posted by workhard [389 posts]
11th June 2014 - 13:03

4 Likes

But its not high-viz lingerie so they're invisible anyway.

Drivers are going to wonder why you've produced a calendar full of unremarkable pictures of empty bits of Yorkshire scenery.

posted by FluffyKittenofT... [733 posts]
11th June 2014 - 13:04

8 Likes

I wonder if we could do a similar thing on alpe d'huez ?

Cycled up Alpe d'Huez at least once each month since July 2008

http://www.morethan21bends.com
http://www.prompt.cc

gbzpto's picture

posted by gbzpto [80 posts]
11th June 2014 - 15:47

5 Likes

Of course Nick doesn't like it, he makes cycle clothing!

People cycling in pants will force him to close up shop. Cool

All Campag

posted by Flying Scot [650 posts]
12th June 2014 - 17:57

4 Likes

Why exactly are these people only wearing underwear? That Helen Mirren film was years ago.

I disagree with the woman involved in the calendar who argues here that she's the only one that can criticize it. That's an oddly self-absorbed line to take, sorry. It's not about you.

Her calendar affects other people - and the way women are asked to participate in society "but in your underwear please, yes" is a wider, more pressing issue than whether she feels flattered by her photos and is untroubled by sexism in her own (by her own description) privileged position in society.

I think female skimpy calendar shoots will be terrific once all uk workplace sexism has been fixed, women are no longer routinely paid less for the same work in the UK, and women are equally represented in politics. Probably some other things too but that's a start. Some way to go.

How's the male-female balance in road.cc readership? Would you have run this story if you only had the wall photo, without the 3 or 4 pictures of women in pants?

posted by vbvb [282 posts]
13th June 2014 - 2:39

3 Likes