The QueenBees are entering two 4-person teams in Revolve 24 2022. Who are the QueenBees and where do they come from?
"It’s funny how one small decision can change your life, and how that one decision can resonate with thousands of other women and form a unique bond that borders cannot break.
In October 2019, Naomi Feder created a spin off virtual group of Cycling Mums Australia (CMA) called CMA Zwift Ladies Social, that first Zwift ride had nine participants and was instantlychatty, kept to the advertised pace and was inclusive of all fitness abilities. As the months progressed and the membership began to grow, CMA Ambassadors Hayley, Bella and Letti joined her as ride leaders, and two more rides were added to the weekly schedule, and a Facebook page was created for the fun and social banter, as well as imparting relevant information."
Ironically, Covid created the perfect storm for CMA Zwift Ladies Social to perfect their philosophy of supporting women, empowering them to try something new be it social riding, racing, duathlon, running, all in the comfort of your own home. But, it became more than that, It soon become clear that the group was attracting women from all over the world due to not only their rides, but for friendship, companionship, space to air concerns, support through pandemic isolation – it became a safe haven for women no matter what stage of life they are in to be their true selves and not be judged, try something new, forge bonds and friendships all while keeping fit, and without geographical boarders.
Fast forward to present, and their Zwift group membership has exceeded a thousand worldwide, with no signs of slowing, and in fact, only getting stronger. They have recruited another five ride leaders to help out with not only the weekly social rides, but for all the racing leagues they compete in, also for small group informal rides and workouts.
Through the friendships which have been forged and also in the celebration of borders reopening, the executive leaders decided the time was right to spread their wings and to create a new adventure supporting women to take on endurance events in the live world. Enter QueenBees…."
The QueenBees are entering two 4-person teams into the 24hr Challenge at Revolve24.
“Making up the eight riders”, Letti says, “is a collection of women, with a ‘complete mixed bag of inspiration’ which we hope will give women the confidence to get on a bike or to enter a new sport or challenge”.
The QueenBees come from a rich background of experienced road and mountain bike cyclists captained by Naomi Feder who is an Ultra Marathoner, Ironman triathlete, road cyclist and first ever Zwift Academy Berlin Marathon team participant, and fellow captain Letti Melbz who is a coach, road cyclist, and professional Soigneur who is hanging up the musette for the day in favour of competing herself.
They are joined by Carla Mills and Michelle Roberson who are both cancer survivors. Carla says “Cycling saved my life and exercise is medicine”. Michelle has adopted a mantra of ‘be active every day and to also never be a victim. Cancer robbed me of my working self, my culinary self, my motherly self, my social self, my intimate self with my husband, but cycling was one thing I could control, and I was keen to get back on the bike as soon as I could.”
Also joining is Megan Downs who is coming back from a very serious collision with a vehicle while riding in the Adelaide Hills. This will be her first major endurance event since sustaining serious injuries. She says “Life gives us all lessons and if we can’t use the negative of our stories for a positive influence in someone else’s lives, how can we help others?”
Katie Collis began cycling two and half years ago when she was diagnosed with a tear in a neck artery. Thankfully cycling was allowed over other exercise and she began her cycling journey via Zwift. She also rides for the purpose of maintaining a positive mental wellbeing to combat the daily stresses of life.
Hayley Lambourn comes from a mountain bike background, but also likes to dabble on the roadie. Revolve will be her first event back after sustaining a hiking injury early in 2021, now recovered she wanted to challenge herself in this event and to do it with an amazing bunch of women.
Bella Dutton started cycling three years ago, having turned over a new healthier leaf, gave up smoking and embarked on a successful journey to become a life coach. She says “I was a fat kid who never played team sports, living an unhealthy lifestyle. I wanted to change all of that, so I became fit, I studied, and graduated as a life coach with a mission to help women discover their true passions on their terms”
QueenBees is a new venture started by Naomi, Letti, Bella and Hayley with the philosophy being about empowering women, creating a safe place to explore new horizons no matter where you are on your life journey, There is no failure in trying, only in not trying at all!
The QueenBees go on to say, “the Bee presented as the perfect emblem for us; Bees work together to bridge gaps to build a strong community, they look out for each other and make sure each member of the hive is ok. Bees communicate and share their knowledge with the rest of their community. We are all about these things, and more”
The QueenBees will surely fly round that track in March 2022.