Improving your road bike skills

Improving your road bike skills – a few simple steps

If you take up road riding in your 30s or 40s as many of us do, one area you need to focus on if you want to advance, is improving your road bike skills. As children most of us rode a bike, but the majority of us were not formally taught, so we didn’t have the chance to learn any bike skills and this particularly applies to women. In my experience in meeting many female cyclists, women tend to approach cycling quite differently to men. Although many of us rode bikes as kids we usually did a few laps around

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climbing hills on a road bike

A women’s guide to climbing hills on a road bike

When I started riding a road bike about seven and a half years ago, I had no idea there was a right way and a wrong way of climbing hills on a road bike. I just rode up them and put up with the pain in my legs and lungs. In some cases I even avoided the steeper ones by riding a different route. Over the years I’ve learned about the physical side of hill climbing but only recently have a focused more on the mental side of climbing. In doing this I’ve realised that my negative thoughts are the

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Overcoming mental barriers

How to overcome mental barriers to become a better cyclist

When I first started riding a road bike about seven and a half years ago I had to overcome both physical and mental barriers to cycling. I hadn’t really ridden a bike since I got my drivers’ licence when I was 17 years old, so I wasn’t bike fit and I didn’t have any bike skills. But it didn’t take me too long to get my physical act in order. I soon learned that my real barriers were mental ones – Could I really ride that far? Did I look ok in lycra? Was I good enough? Is this an

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female pro cyclist

Female pro cyclist Kimberley Wells focused on a huge year in 2016

One of the many topics I love to cover in my posts is the world of the female pro cyclist. They receive so little coverage compared to their male counterparts that I feel it’s part of my responsibility to help. Plus I really love to interact with them. I first spoke to Kimberley Wells three years ago so thought it was about time we caught up with her. Kimberley and I exchanged a few emails for this interview…..   Q: What are you up to Kimberley? A: Racing up in Belgium at the moment. Ran 7th in the Dwars Door

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Every woman’s guide to riding with clip-in pedals

I work in a bike shop and I often get asked about clip-in pedals from both men and women. But it seems that the women are a little more nervous about the idea. They fear falling off and injurying themselves, or worse still embarrassing themselves. I’m really lucky that my partner coerced me into riding my road bike with clip-ins from day one and I never looked back. So to make it a bit easier here’s some background information about clip-in pedals and the different types and some tips to get started. I’ll focus mainly on road pedals and cleats

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US woman striving to be the world’s fastest female on a bicycle

A few weeks ago I was contacted by a woman from the US who is attempting to break a land speed record later this year. The story had me really intrigued so I read more and here’s some Q&A which I found on her website – Project Speed. In September 2016, Denise Mueller will be the first woman in cycling history to attempt a paced bicycle land speed record on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. What is the appeal of the Land Speed Record? It is uncharted territory. Something no woman has done before, yet men have been setting

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Tips for women preparing for a 100 km plus ride

I’ve signed up to do the Cadel Evan’s ride in late January next year, a mere eight or so weeks away so I really need to start focusing on my training. I’ve done a few long rides in the past including the JDRF Barossa ride which is 160 km, and Melbourne’s Around the Bay which is 210 km, so I know I can ride the 111 km I’ll be required to complete. But I know I’ll enjoy the ride a lot more if I undertake sufficient training. I also know that after the Cadel ride I’ve also got a few

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Great events happening for female road cyclists

Last year Cycling Australia undertook some research where they spoke to about 2,500 female cyclists who were either members of Cycling Australia, and therefore a cycling club, or keen leisure road cyclists. In this research the women who responded identified the majority of their riding is completed alone, but there was a clear desire for riding with other women of similar ability levels. I remember reading that at the time and feeling a little sad, and hoping that the sort of activities I get involved in like the Cycling NSW Women’s Commission will help over time. I’m really pleased to

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Every woman’s guide to descending on a road bike

I’m a huge fan of continuous improvement and lifelong learning and these principles apply to developing bike skills for both women and men. One skill which many female cyclists struggle with is descending. I think it’s because we are fairly risk averse and when we feel like our bikes are going too fast the temptation is to grab the brakes. I know I’ve still got a long way to go with my own descending skills so I’ve done a bit of research and borrowed from experts to bring these descending tips together. Familiarise To start, familiarise yourself with the condition

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Every woman’s guide to bunch riding

Earlier this year my cycling club LACC started a women’s only bunch ride which I was asked to lead. It started out as part of a pilot program for women’s bunch rides under the auspices of Cycling NSW, and when the pilot program concluded at the end of March, the regular participants voted to keep going with the weekly ride. I was very happy to continue with it and get real buzz out of encouraging other women to learn more about road cycling and riding in a group. It’s a straightforward ride, just four short laps around Sydney Olympic Park,

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