Entrepreneur: Queen of the Mountains
For kick-arse performance kit with a killer back story, look no further than Alicia Bamford's crowdfunded women’s range
“As a serious female cyclist, I’d always found it really difficult to find performance kit that looked good and worked,” says Alicia Bamford, founder of Queen of the Mountains.
Alicia decided to do something about it and created her own performance apparel range after showcasing it on a Kickstarter crowdfunding project. The demand was staggering, with Alicia meeting her £10,000 target within just 10 days of the launch.
To make it all happen, Alicia quit her job, took a risk and went part-time. So, what’s the ethos behind Queen of the Mountains? She says that it’s about inspiring women to ride, to challenge themselves and to feel confident. “My vision is to see as close to 50/50 men and women cycling on our roads over the coming 10 years,” she tells us.
As part of her research into barriers preventing women from cycling, she identified limited access to the right gear and women not having people to ride with as the two main issues. She set out to address both, “firstly by designing clothing specifically for women, then creating a community of women cyclists who could get together and ride”.
Her cycle clothing features tons of thoughtful details that have come about through Alicia spending hours personally testing it. Take the Queen of the Mountains bib shorts: these feature Power Lycra to reduce muscle vibrations, a wide yoga band to avoid digging in at the waist and a medium length to help avoid cycling leg tan. All small features that make a big difference.
When it comes to creating that community, Alicia intends to grow the sport at a grassroots level, so she’s set up regular rides designed to give women of all abilities confidence to get out there and cycle.
Word by Suze Clemitson | @festinagirl
Photography by Richard Lewisohn