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

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.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

47 comments

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Colin Peyresourde [1723 posts] 2 years ago
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As long as it's tastefully done and in a good cause, of course!

I think I would be too shy to show my Madone off. It's only got Ultegra on it!

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WolfieSmith [1323 posts] 2 years ago
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If the staff of Road.CC want to do the same I'm happy to photograph them riding in lingerie for charidee? Dave's back might benefit from a little basque support in the saddle..

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nwcyclist [11 posts] 2 years ago
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Different take - we wish them well at Meccanica Cycles - we have got a few friends on LEJOG day 11 via B roads for Prostate Cancer charity. Unfortunately the boys at @9pumpsandasquirt have had the same idea - it's amazing what a pair of cycle gloves can cover up!

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aslongasicycle [383 posts] 2 years ago
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Oh FFS. Might as well just sack off sponsoring a women's team and start running around like Benny Hill, pinching arses and chuckling at jugs.

LOOK! I saw a bit of a lady's booby!! Exciting!!

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bashthebox [751 posts] 2 years ago
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I don't think a calendar negates womens' racing, does it Nick?

Do firemen posing in calendars mean they're no good at putting out fires/rescuing kittens?

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Dave Ody [20 posts] 2 years ago
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I take it from that you won't be bringing out a cycling lingerie line?!

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aslongasicycle [383 posts] 2 years ago
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Lingerie is awesome. So are breasts. And naked women. And sex. And all manner of lovely sexy things.

But not in the context of the female only members of a mixed cycling club. If the chaps were in their too, then smashing, not my bag, but I can slink off to feel indignant about other everyday sexism.

But they're not in there. Glaringly not in there. And that's the issue: Girlies are sexy and weak. Men have sex with girlies. That is the law.

Look! He's looking at her chesticles! Tee he! Can't stop giggling.

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bashthebox [751 posts] 2 years ago
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Hmm, I do understand what you're saying, of course, but this is a charity fundraiser - they've made the decision that they're raise more money and awareness this way. Possibly they're right.

I'm not sure the sexy and weak bit comes into it - they all look pretty strong to me...

My biggest problem with it is that it just looks a bit mediocre, actually. Not a great deal of humour in it, the lingerie looks daft on the bikes or off them.
But sets back the cause for equality in racing? Not so much.

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Tony Farrelly [2868 posts] 2 years ago
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So the women in the calendar are guilty of 'every day sexism' by volunteering to be in it or are simply the weak pawns of men, or are traitors to their sex?

Says a man  39

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hatchet harry [15 posts] 2 years ago
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Presumably there will be a new colour choice in the next Vulpine range: Whiter Than White.

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KiwiMike [1199 posts] 2 years ago
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Ah Nick, you fell into the classic trap of disagreeing with a Thing where the people doing the Thing don't have a problem with it, and it's For A Good Cause.

Therefore NO-ONE can 'win', and all any argument does is re-enforce opinions founded in utterly different and frequently much more relevant fields.

...ps when's the inaugural Helmet-RLJ-HiViz-themed Vulpine dinner party again?  3

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aslongasicycle [383 posts] 2 years ago
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I'm not after equality in racing Bash, rather equality in cycling.

I grew up with women in cycling pretty much entirely depicted in this way. That's great when you're 14 and get aroused by jelly cubes. But the bigger picture...This is being seen all over the world. Just look at your social media feeds. Lots of smut is and will continue to be said about these women and about women in cycling. That makes me sad.

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farrell [1950 posts] 2 years ago
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I'm just surprised that they have got a lingerie company who supply smalls to the Queen, a Bafta winning film maker and a leading fashion photographer on board for a very tired project.

It seems a little like taking a gun to a knife fight but fair fucks to them, I hope they do well for a good cause.

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bashthebox [751 posts] 2 years ago
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Yeah, whilst I commend your dedication to fighting the good fight against sexism, I just don't think this is the right battle.
If dressing up in lingerie was sexist then I'm not sure sales of lingerie would be particularly high.
It's not really titillating, in fact I'm not sure what it is really. It's some riders wearing lingerie, in the great tradition of slightly crap calendars we seem to enjoy having.

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BillyElNino [11 posts] 2 years ago
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This pitches itself in the Full Monty / Calendar Girls vein but shoots and misses IMO as it's just scantily clad women. There's no story or irony or, God forbid, a 'statement' behind it.

Also: Photographic composition is awful.

Misguided enthusiasm for me. You used to be able to get in a bath of beans when you were 9 and be done with charity for ever.

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Some Fella [890 posts] 2 years ago
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If these women were lithe and nubile young women (and pro cyclists) then i could perhaps see where Nick is coming from but in a society obsessed with 'perfect' body image (see the Jo Rowsell article) its nice to see normal women not afraid to get their jelly cubes out.
There are loads of these type of calendars about - men and women - so i suppose there is some kind of equality and this is as far from pro cycling as one can get so Nick's anxiety about setting back women's pro cycling by such activities is hardly valid.
In my opinion.

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TheHound [117 posts] 2 years ago
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If, whilst out and about cycling a guy recognises one of the women from the calendar, and wolf whistles at her, what would be the reaction?

Will she laugh it off? Or post about it on Every Day Sexism lamenting the grossly offensive fellow that tried to belittle her?

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bashthebox [751 posts] 2 years ago
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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.

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TheHound [117 posts] 2 years ago
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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?

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Him Up North [235 posts] 2 years ago
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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.

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Tony Farrelly [2868 posts] 2 years ago
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Surely the big question here is: Who buys a calendar in June?

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Ordinary Cyclin... [29 posts] 2 years ago
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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.

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Argos74 [392 posts] 2 years ago
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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!

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Sarah Cave [1 post] 2 years ago
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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.

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colinth [191 posts] 2 years ago
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Well said Sarah, I'm amazed at some of the comments

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Northernbike [229 posts] 2 years ago
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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.

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koko56 [330 posts] 2 years ago
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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.

 29

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.

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Fixie Girl [125 posts] 2 years ago
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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..

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peted76 [275 posts] 2 years ago
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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'

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aslongasicycle [383 posts] 2 years ago
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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.

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