Nara Ishikawa aka Bicyclingaround

She is Nara Ishikawa aka Bicyclingaround. She loves cycling caps, her dogs, riding in sunny days and drawing. Most of her drawings are tattoos. Let’s chat with her and you take inspiration! 

Why cycling? 

When I came to Cornwall from London I didn’t have a car, like most Londoners.  I had a bike that I commuted in once in a while.  Being without a car here was very difficult and soon I saw myself riding more and more.  I was also inspired by other women in social media! Soon I was hooked!  I find it interesting that the fact that my husband worked in a mtb magazine and cycling was very much part of who he was it was other women who I didn’t even know that got me into it.

When & how often do you ride your bike? 

I try to get out at least every other day if I’m somehow not able to be on it everyday!

How do you feel when riding your bike?

Free! Its not only the breeze and the many solitary rides.  Its the fact that a bike brings independence.  Ok, an expensive bike can be a pain in the ass when you need to go get something in a shop with nowhere to keep it safe…

What’s the purpose of cycling?

I enjoy getting to know landscapes.  Its very very different from seeing a place through a car or even a motorcycle.  You are much more in touch with the environment around you- fast enough to feel free and slow enough to appreciate where you are.

Do you prefer soloride or with company?

I love both! I wouldn’t want to choose one over the other ever! On solo rides I feel like I am meditating, breathing space into my cluttered mind.  On a ride with company I learn about other people and how they like riding and their needs, I love sharing fun and painful moments!!  The social side of cycling is amazing and I’ve met the most incredible people through it.

How did cycling change your life?

In the beginning it was very physical.  It changed my body (it still does but not as much).  I remember feeling my legs burn at night, just emanate heat! Now its more that it takes up all most of my spare moments and that all the travelling I do I try to gear towards or at least include cycling.

Who is the greatest cyclist ever? 

That’s a really hard question to answer, but I’d like to say Beryl Burton was a very inspiring woman.  She held the men’s 12 hour record in the 60s and the idea that women can be better than men in cycling, at least in longer distances is very interesting.


Who influenced your way of cycling?

Right in the beginning when a 70miler was death for me my husband, his brother and a friend went on to do LeJog.  They told me about the Transcontinental Race and I was mesmerized.  I asked for an application form having no clue what the race was really like and when the form arrived it dawned on me how out of my depth I was.  From then on I try to aim for long distance so I guess my husband planted the seed.

Which are 3 climb of your life?

Unfortunately I have not ridden in France or Italy yet! But I have really enjoyed the climbing in Rio and Campos do Jordão in Brazil and earlier this year we climbed beautiful roads in Japan!

With whom would you die to cycle?

I’d die to cycle in France and Italy.  I know they are not “whoms” but that’s where I am at at the moment!!

Espresso or cappuccino? Latte! I like milky drinks.

Tell us about your drawing and your passion for art

I’ve always enjoyed spending quiet time alone (even my choice of sport reflects that).  Drawing was a kind of escape and refuge.  Somewhere I could go and bring my thoughts and emotions to paper.  I just love how it is a way for expression without needing language, which I guess is how we come to this world.