They may be based in Australia, but the QueenBee Ladies welcome women from all around the world into their hive.
Co-founders Naomi Feder, Bella Dutton, Letti Melbz, and Hayley Lambourn first started the group as Cycling Mums Australia. It was an extension of their real-life cycling club into the world of Zwift. Eventually, this became an independent Zwift community called QueenBee Ladies.
“We are more than just a cycling team,” says Naomi. “We are team of strong women who help one another to rise above… Our three Zwift events are group social rides and the main aim of these rides is to have fun! We have many new riders, returned riders and ‘veterans.’ There is something for every woman on our rides!”
Naomi is a runner, cyclist, and triathlete from South Australia. She’s also the mother of twin daughters. She has been running and cycling on Zwift since 2018, and she was selected to be part of the 2020 Zwift Academy Run team that ran the Berlin Marathon. She calls it “a once in a lifetime opportunity I will never forget!”
Some of the QueenBees have met up in person after meeting on Zwift. Eight of them have planned to meet in person to participate in a 24-hour team relay event called Revolve at the Bend in South Australia!
“Our team of incredible women are riding for each other,” Naomi says. “Two of our riders are cancer survivors, one suffered a near-fatal bike accident 12 months ago, one had a life-threatening medical episode two years ago, one broke her leg just last year, one is a soigneur for a pro race team, and another has used cycling to turn their life around in the quest for better health and wellbeing.”
Read on to learn more about the supportive and inspiring QueenBees!
Get all the buzz on this women’s community at the Zwift CMA QueenBee Ladies Facebook group!
Z: When did this group or club form and who started it?
N: We started QueenBee Ladies (previously CMA) in October 2019 after a group of us who used Zwift saw the need for more female-friendly groups. We wanted to create a community where women felt encouraged and inspired to try something new, whether it be social riding, racing, duathlon, running and others. Our community quickly became more than that. It soon become clear that our group was attracting women from all over the world due to not only their rides, but for friendship, companionship, and for our women’s only safe space. It’s a haven for women no matter what stage of life they are in to be their true selves and not be judged, forge bonds and friendships all while keeping fit, and without geographical borders.
Z: What would you say the group’s core purpose and goals are? Why do you believe your group is important to the Zwift community?
N: The QueenBees are a group of women who share a love of cycling. Just as a hive works together to bring out the best in every member of the community, so do we. We strive to support, empower and encourage women to live their best lives, no matter where they are on their life, cycling or fitness journey. We celebrate all disciplines and styles of cycling and running.
Z: Who are the group’s leaders on Zwift?
N: Group leaders are Naomi, Bella, Letti, Hayley, Alicia, Narelle, Lisa, and Stephanie.
Z: Is your group affiliated with a Zwift racing team?
N: We have a race team called the QueenBees and we participate in both Zwift cycling and running team events. Cycling we race in the WTRL weekly TTT and the Zwift Racing League, the Fearless Women’s Team event, the Iceni series, Warrior Games events and many others. Running we race the WRTL Run League and the Duathlon League. There are lots of opportunities to race in a friendly and supportive environment. All ages and abilities are welcome to the team.
Z: How do you think participating in cycling can empower and benefit women and girls?
N: We think the world needs more healthy, happy, confident women and girls riding bikes and we’re proud to help empower more of them! The bike is a metaphor for life, you need to keep pedalling to keep going. We empower women by helping them break the physical, social and emotional barriers that women often encounter not only in cycling but also in their daily lives.
Z: What are the benefits of being involved in a community of women who ride?
N: We are connected to one another both on and off the bike. Being there for one another gives us all a sense of belonging. Being in a community of women who ride takes you to great places, some of those great places often involve exploring new horizons and other places involve talking about or eating snacks! I don’t think we have not had a social ride where the topic of snacks hasn’t been discussed!
Z: Are there any special memories or experiences with this group that you’d like to share?
N: The number one highlight was Anna Meares joining us as a special guest for our 1st Birthday Celebrations. She had not long given birth to her first born and she was kind enough to donate her time to us for which we are grateful. Anna embodies the QueenBee spirit, she is strong, fierce and resilient! For our second birthday we hosted a Zwift “World Tour” by holding a group ride event in a different Zwift world every 2 hours for 24 hours. Our 3rd birthday plans will be even bigger that is for sure!
QueenBee Ladies Wednesday Social
QueenBee Ladies Thursday Social
QueenBee Ladies Sunday Roast Social