Jana Trávníčková: Thanks to cycling, I can connect women who would otherwise not meet

Repete, women, bicycle, holkynakole

How can we feel more like a part of the place we live in, discover unknown corners, and still experience freedom of movement? These are the ideas that led Jana Trávničková to found the Girls on Bikes project. Jana works as a collaborator with the brand, Vitra, as curator of the Artisème Gallery and is also involved in social media marketing. She is focusing now on community gatherings of female cyclists, finding ways to move around the city safely, and break down both prejudices and fear of traffic.

What are your earliest memories of cycling?

My grandmother often tells me how my mother used to ride with me in the child seat on the front of her bicycle. “Bebe,” the stuffed bear, had to be placed on the handlebars, where I would lay and often sleep! My dad and I still use that bike interchangeably when I go home for visits.

What do you enjoy the most about cycling?

What I enjoy the most is probably the incredible freedom to pack up and go anywhere I can think of, to just go on my own little personal adventure. I also like the feeling of the speed that I can achieve with my body on my bike. Conquering a section that has taken a lot of work is an absolutely amazing experience for me.

You are a curator in the Artisème Gallery. What place does art have in your life?

Art has been a part of my life for some time and it runs, more or less, in the family. As a child, I started with ceramics and painting, and eventually graduated with a Masters degree in Free Art. I’m not making a living with my art at the moment, but it has a significant place in my life. Currently, I focus on new talent in the Czech design arena. I try to help and advise novice designers in their early beginnings to make their products competitive and marketable.

Repete, women, bicycle, holkynakole
Repete, women, bicycle, holkynakole

Describe your ideal day of rest.

I have always had a lot of energy, so I don’t need a lot of rest. An ideal day for me involves cleansing from the conventional way of living. I love traveling, especially to completely unfamiliar places. I enjoy being in the present moment, when my mind is free to take in my surroundings. It is refreshing to focus only on basic necessities for a change, for example, what I eat or where I will sleep that night. It’s both challenging and adventurous.

The popularity of women’s cycling seems to be skyrocketing. Do you sense this trend happening in our country as well?

Definitely, I’ve noticed it a lot in our country, and not only in Prague. I believe there’s a future in cycling, and many people are already realizing that the growing number of cars in city centers is unsustainable, and other modes of transport will become necessary for shorter distances.

You founded Holky na Kole (Girls on Bikes) in Prague. What are your expectations from the project?

I envision a strong community of women cyclists and a number of events centered around it, but also new friendships between girls who would otherwise not meet.

Repete, women, bicycle, holkynakole

“I believe that bikes can be used as your favorite means of transport, for example, commuting to work or school, and I, for one, look forward to it every day. You can simply go out, without the need for special clothes, and throw away all the clichés.”

Repete, women, bicycle, holkynakole
Repete, women, bicycle, holkynakole
Repete, women, bicycle, holkynakole

Who is the group for?

For all girls, regardless of age and experience, who want to ride a bike.

Starting this spring, Repete will coordinate purely women’s rides. How do you think riding only with other women is different?

It is different, for example, in that girls tend not to race constantly during rides together. We wait for each other when someone falls behind. We don’t mind stopping to take a nice picture to remember the day, even if it means recording a slower time on Strava. It’s mainly about a shared experience and a fun journey. Giving a performance or testing your limit is ideal for a committed pair or solo fitness ride.

What is your dream ride?

I fulfilled one of my dream rides last autumn in Mallorca, and I definitely want to return this year. For me, anywhere around the sea or immersed in a beautiful, interesting natural landscape is such a dream ride.

Repete, women, bicycle, holkynakole