Zwift Women are Brave

Zwift Women are Brave

ON March 10, 2017 by Kate Veronneau

The women of Zwift never cease to amaze! Enjoy Part 2 of our series that delves into their motivations and aspirations, in their own words.

Leading up to the celebration of Zwift Women’s Week, we sent an email out asking all of our female riders to tell us in 140 characters or less, “What does Zwift mean to you?” The answers flooded in. They were heartfelt, funny, brave, surprising and powerful. This week, as part of the festivities, we’re sharing the stories and sentiments of the women of Zwift.

Be prepared to be inspired.

Police officer Kath Giles found that one thing has made her feel better in the wake of what was the worst stretch of her life: riding.

“That’s how I deal with pressures at work and the demons in my head,” says Giles, who at 52 years old has been a cop for half her life. “I blast it all out on the bike.”

Giles, a British citizen working on the Isle of Man (located in the Irish Sea, near Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales), had a terrible spring 2013: Her father-in-law died after having a stroke; her father died of pancreatic cancer; and when she responded to a call for assistance at the scene of a terrible motorcycle fatality, Kath arrived to find that it was a friend who had lost his life.

Soon she turned to bicycling, first by pedaling all over the 220-square-mile island, and then, when Kath’s neck began to bother her a couple years back, she discovered Zwift.

“Eric Min [Zwift’s CEO] himself told me what things to buy,” she says. “Best customer service I ever had.”

Kath, who has lost over 40 pounds since she began cycling, likes to spend about 1.5 hours per ride, and Zwifts at least three times weekly. She’s unsure whether her ailing neck—vibration from road cycling accentuates the pain—will get better. But Zwift always brings her tremendous happiness.

“Sometimes I have bad days,” she says. “Then I get on Zwift. I can’t say enough good things about it.”

Less than two months ago, an already remade Kathy Kleinert found Zwift, and after her first ride (8.3 miles) she was gasping, sweating, shaking—and hooked. “I. Loved. It.”, she recently wrote to us via email.

Kathy isn’t just joyful—she’s indomitable. In 2008 (and two months before her wedding), she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, and endured radiation therapy along with the removal of dozens of lymph nodes. Two years ago, Kathy faced her morbid obesity head on, modifying her diet by reining in her calorie intake. Ultimately she started exercising by walking, which led to jogging and then to cycling.

Now the 46-year-old product-safety specialist from east-central Michigan is officially in remission, as well as 100 pounds lighter. She quickly committed to Zwifting, at least three times weekly, inside what she calls her “Sparkle Cave.”

“I used to be a person that hated exercise,” she writes. “And now? I look forward to Zwifting, as it is an exercise that I WANT to do.”

Kathy takes in everything: The graphics, the events, the hills, the competition, and the blogs and social media. “Zwift helps me to maintain my weight, and I am truly stronger, faster and happier than I’ve ever been. Thank you for that!”