changing gears on your road bike

Skills: you need to master changing gears on your road bike

For me a really fundamental part of riding is to master changing gears on your road bike. It took me a few years to really feel comfortable with all those gears on my bike, but over time I learnt about them and it really transformed my riding. And I, like so many other new riders used to ride in a ‘big’ gear when I first started riding a road bike. It seems that when we start out we expect it to be hard to turn over the pedals so we tend to use a gear that challenges our legs. What

Read more
running as a complementary exercise to cycling

Consider running as a complementary exercise to cycling

A lot of cyclists are a bit sceptical about running as a complementary exercise to cycling, but I think they work well together. I actually took up running about 12 years ago as a time efficient form of exercise, and when I took up cycling ten years ago, I continued to run. When I say run my ‘jogging’ is fairly slow but it is aerobically intense enough for me. Here’s why it works for me: Time Efficient Running is an incredibly time efficient way of squeezing a cardiovascular workout into a busy weekday and it doesn’t require too much kit

Read more
Gong ride

You should ride the annual Gong ride

I completed my eighth Gong Ride on Sunday after a three year absence, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The first time I rode it was only about a month after I’d started riding, and I thought it was really, really hard even though I did the 50 km course. Well I’m pleased to report that it gets easier and after ten constant years of road riding I was pleasantly surprised at how much easier the hills felt. For those who aren’t Sydney riders, the Gong ride is an annual mass participation ride held on the first Sunday in November. It

Read more
riding the Shimanami Kaido

I loved riding the Shimanami Kaido

I’ve just finished riding in the most amazing cycling mecca – riding the Shimanami Kaido with a fabulous group of women led by my friend Tina McCarthy from Wheel Women in Melbourne. Tina is a self-confessed Japanophile with a love affair with all things Nippon spanning 30 years. The tour I’m on is Tina’s third or fourth tour to Japan and she’s got it down to a fine art. What a wonderful time I’ve had, and I’m sure all the others on the tour have had equal enjoyment. Japan is such a wonderful melting pot of old and new. Ancient

Read more
how cycling affects the brain

The endlessly fascinating topic of how cycling affects the brain

If you’re a regular reader of this blog you’ll know that I have a fascination for brain science, so was intrigued to read an article recently about how cycling affects the brain. I’m not sure what fascinates me so much but I always enjoy reading about the connection between the brain and cycling. I found the article on a site called Duvine which runs cycling tours so I asked permission to republish the article written by Lindsey Hunt. How does bike riding impact our mental and emotional health on a scientific level? The Evolutionary Basis Anthropologists and psychologists suggest that

Read more
packing your bike for air travel

Tips for packing your bike for air travel

I’m off to Japan later this week and need to get my bike ready, so I thought I should share some tips on packing your bike for air travel. If you’re not really confident about packing your own bike then make a quick call to your local bike shop and ask them to assist. They’ll probably charge you a modest fee so check that when you make the call to them, and make sure you allow plenty of time before your trip. If you want to give it a go yourself then keep reading. My partner and I have been

Read more

Come with me on the Wheel Women Japanese Cycling tour

I am super excited about heading off next week for the Wheel Women Japanese Cycling tour which will see me riding in southern Japan. Our fabulous tour leader Tina McCarthy describes the tour as a full immersion in another world, with the boundaries of the old and the new criss-crossing at every turn. “From sublime temples to the dazzling orchestra of neon signs in the cities, our Wheel Women Japan Tour takes you on a journey across the sea, over bridges and among friends,” Tina says. Wheel Women’s Tina McCarthy, who has been travelling to Japan since 1986 when her

Read more
cycling holiday in the south of France

Been looking for the ideal cycling holiday in the south of France?

Women’s cycling enthusiast Diane Best contacted me recently to tell me about her cycling tour company DBest Cycling that specialises in a cycling holiday in the south of France. I wondered how a Scottish native ends up running her own cycling tour company in France, especially when she got there via the long way – a stint in the TV industry in New York. So I asked Diane to share her story with us. Q: How did you get into cycling? I had been an avid squash player but about 10 years ago, after a series of injuries, I got

Read more
magpie attack while riding your bike

How to avoid magpie attack while riding your bike

I was rudely reminded on Sunday morning that at this time of year you need to avoid magpie attack while riding your bike, when an angry bird swooped me, clipping the back of my helmet. While he did me no harm, I could have overreacted and crashed my bike!! You see it’s Spring in my home town of Sydney, and while it’s an awesome time of the year to ride a bike, it also means that there are a lot of angry birds swooping cyclists in the next couple of months. Magpies seem to get most of the mentions, but

Read more
shoulder tension while riding a bike

Just relax – How to minimise shoulder tension while riding a bike

I’m really bad at taking my own advice, so these tips on how to minimise shoulder tension while riding a bike are for me, just as much as anybody else. I hold tension in my shoulders in other activities as well, like sitting at my desk at work and driving my car so it just builds up. In fact my shoulder muscles are hurting while I write this post, so I’ll skip to the last tip right after I finish. Let it go – Consciously let go of the tension in your arms and shoulders by focusing on that part of

Read more