One of the things you will have learned if you’ve read other parts of this blog is that I’m a member of a great cycle club called Lidcombe Auburn Cycle Club known as LACC.
A new innovation for the club is its focus on junior riders or more specifically its junior female riders under the stewardship of the very enthusiastic Gay Chandler and her trusty husband and sidekick Ian Watson. I caught up with Gay recently and asked her a few questions about the team she’s nurturing known as the Pixies.
Q: When did the Pixies team start?
A: The LACC Pixies are now a year old and this winter will be the second year of road racing.
Q: Whose idea was the team?
A: It came from what I could see was a need to have something to attract more young girls and women into cycling as their sport.
Q: Why are concentrating only on girls?
A: The club had a handful of boys riding and racing but only three girls training and they were reluctant to race. I also noted that when a boy wanted to race the Dads went out and got a bike and got them into it. However their daughters never got the same input or encouragement and so the idea of having bikes for the girls to give them a go and get them into the sport emerged as part of the team purpose. This meant that the LACC Pixies would be seen as a development team.
Team owner Kristy Scrymgeour
I had the pleasure of meeting the owner of the new Specialized lululemon women’s cycling team yesterday. We enjoyed a cafe visit overlooking the lovely Bronte beach in Sydney’s east. Kristy Scrymgeour was previously the Marketing and Communication Director at the high profile HTC Highroad team that folded last year.
Kristy is quite humble about how she started the new team almost overnight late last year. The timing was quite good for her because she was ready to move on to other things and the team’s demise gave her that push. Interestingly it was the female team members who didn’t want to be separated and approached Kristy for help. They all agreed that it would have to happen quickly so that the women wouldn’t miss out on opportunities with other teams if it didn’t work, so they gave themselves an ambitious deadline of only two weeks.
Kristy approached bike company Specialized because she had an existing relationship with them through HTC Highroad. They agreed almost immediately and suggested she also approach activewear company lululemon. lululemon also agreed really quickly and the base was set. She’s also managed to attract a group of other minor sponsors to the team. Plus some of the support staff from HTC Highroad have also joined the team.
'How to pee' for women from Marijn de Vries
When I first started riding a little over three years ago, many of my non cycling girlfriends would say to me “You must get such a sore backside after riding so far on that little seat”. But the truth is that it wasn’t my bum that was sore but my more vulnerable ‘girl bits’ that really suffered when I first started riding. After three years I’m pleased to say that I rarely get any soreness or pain down there so I assume I’ve just ‘hardened up’ so to speak.
I also noticed that not many women spoke about this problem that plagues so many of us particularly when we start riding, so I thought I’d write a blog about what I’ve learned. There is one exception and that’s a cycling girlfriend of mine who said to me not long after we’d met “Does your fanny hurt from riding?” and of course my answer was a resounding yes or at least sometimes.
In her book Every Woman’s Guide to Cycling: Everything you need to know, Selene Yeager explains that the tender tissue of the vagina (let’s call a spade a spade here) is sitting precariously close to our outsides so can suffer easily from tenderness and once aggravated it will “pipe up pretty loudly”. She recommends high quality, women-specific bike knicks that have a moulded one piece chamois and you don’t wear undies underneath them. She also suggests a women’s specific saddle which is wider to support a women’s pelvis and usually has cut-outs to relieve pressure where it counts.
If you live in Sydney and you love road cycling like me then you’re probably a little frustrated at the moment. That’s because it’s the height of summer and we’ve had heaps of rain the past month which really impinges on getting out regularly on the bike.
So I thought it timely to talk about indoor trainers and whether it’s worth the investment or not. Rain aside indoor trainers are great for cold weather or when you’re short of time. I’m lucky enough to live in a place where the weather is conducive to cycling all year round. The coldest temperature I’ve ever recorded on my Garmin 500 in Sydney is 3°C (37.4°F) and that was freezing cold for Sydney standards.
I’ve also read that indoor trainers are time efficient – one hour spent on a trainer is the equivalent of two hours on the road because there’s no coasting so you’re constantly putting in the effort.
But rather than repeat what you can read in reviews on the Internet I thought I’d give you a brief rundown of my indoor trainer setup. If you want to read more about indoor trainers then I’d suggest you start with a great article in the May/June 2009 edition of Bicycling Australia magazine which I’ve scanned and you can read here – Wind trainer reviews.