Video: Ella Conolly and Bia Ferragi Write Letters to their Future Selves in 'Futurestate'

Mar 8, 2020
by Cannondale Bikes  

A bicycle is a gateway to a boundless world. A ticket to freedom, independence, and confidence; a bicycle can take a woman to towering heights, and guide her through the lows of life. A bicycle is a vehicle for change and a mode for empowerment.

In this spirit of progress, we asked that our riders, ambassadors and employees pen letters to their future selves, or future daughters. Together, they shared their hopes and aspirations for women in the sport of cycling. From a young girl’s first ride from their parent’s doorstep to racers turned mentors, and a shop in Florida on its second generation of female owners, these are their stories, this is our future. Together, we can build the Futurestate.

Read all the letters here.

 during the EWS Canazei Italy.

bigquotesDear Future Self,

Today I was asked what do we need to do to get more women riding bikes?

I dream of seeing more women discovering the absolute joy of two wheels in whatever form they choose. Growth of women’s mountain biking must be at an all-time high at the moment, I hope we can continue on the same path. The best way to do this has to be to inspire each other. Inspire and be inspired. It’s amazing to see the push for women’s specific events, rides and skills camps, making it so accessible. Let’s encourage girls to be out on bikes from a young age, help them discover the adventure and thrill bikes can provide. Show them role models, the endless amazing women already doing epic things and pushing boundaries. The more young riders we have, the brighter the future of the sport. I think we have a duty, as females already in the sport, to build upon the community of riders and make sure everyone feels welcome to join in the fun.

Cycling has shaped the person I am. Taught me to break everything down and think rationally, much like a section of trail. It’s given me a focus; a purpose; a career, the confidence to constantly push my ability, and an excuse to travel the world. See more, experience more. It feels like freedom. But the most valuable thing cycling has given me is undoubtedly the people. How many people can say their friends both empower and challenge them?

Racing mountain bikes is such a big part of my life and I hope more women have the opportunity to make this a viable career. It’s a tough path to follow and we need to see more support from the industry to help make it possible. We already have incredibly exciting, close racing among women across disciplines and the depth of the field is continuing to grow. I hope that will fuel more interest from brands and media, to give riders the support they deserve.

Ultimately, my vision for the sport is that one day there are so many girls and women on bikes this question doesn’t even need to be asked, we can all just ride. Because that’s the beauty of cycling – it doesn’t matter who you are once you’re riding.
Ella Conolly, Scotland

 during the EWS Canazei Italy.

bigquotesMy Beloved ME,

How could I ever imagine you would still be riding bikes after all these years? For that, I am truly proud!

During all my life, when people see me at events or family gatherings, they love to ask the ironic question:

“OMG, and you Bia, still riding bikes, eh?”

This behavior bothered me for ages. What is this question supposed to mean? That I'm still a child? That I'm a woman and therefore, I should be doing something else by a certain age, like being at home with babies, watching Netflix or cleaning the backyard?

I am sure that nowadays, you can confidently say that this is water under the bridge. First of all, because women on bikes are awesome, shredding is awesome. And if some people think anything other than that, they are the ones needing to change some concepts in their own life.

Riding bikes brought me to the most beautiful places on Earth, made me meet incredible people, great friends that I will carry inside my heart and remember for the rest of my life.

Biking is not only about fitness and concentration. It is about freedom. That first feeling you have when you're a small child, of riding your little bike away from your parents, hiding behind bushes, taking that first downhill adventure at your home street.

“Am I still riding bikes?” Oh yes for sure, still fostering that freedom feeling inside my soul, never sitting in a comfort zone, always seeking new challenges and new mountains.

If I had a wish for the future, it would be that more women could have this sensation in their life, despite any prejudicial opinion. It can do no harm, only a few scratches and a face full of smiles.
Bia Ferragi, Brazil


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 Note to self: write letter to future self.
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