Keep safe while commuting by bike

Keep safe while commuting by bike: 5 useful tips for new bike commuters

It’s really important to keep safe while commuting by bike so when fellow rider/writer Amanda Wilks of Mountain Bike Reviewed contacted me and asked if she could contribute an article I was keen to publish it. Over to Amanda….. If you love to cycle and care about the environment, choosing to ride to work can help you both improve your fitness level and reduce harmful emissions. However, for the uninitiated, commuting to work can present some problems – maybe you aren’t sure how to make sure you’re seen by vehicles, or maybe you want to avoid showing up to work

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A guide to buying women’s clip-in cycling shoes

I meet a lot of women who are reluctant to try women’s clip-in cycling shoes on their bike. They are nervous about falling off their bike if they forget to unclip, or in some cases believe that clip-in shoes are just for super serious cyclists. But I think they are for anyone who plans to do some significant kilometres on their bike. And there are some good reasons why you might want to become more attached to your pedals. Clipping in can stop your foot slipping off when applying power, help align your foot to ensure maximum efficiency, and potentially

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feel safe on Sydney's roads

Is it safe to ride a bike on Sydney roads?

Lots of women tell me that the reason they don’t want to ride a bike is because they don’t feel safe on Sydney’s roads. Therefore they seek out opportunities to ride on bike paths so they can avoid interacting with cars. Interestingly the more experienced I become as a cyclist, the more I prefer riding on the road, rather than bike paths. I find that most Sydney bike paths (and there aren’t that many of them) are cluttered with pedestrians listening to loud music via small bud earphones, dog walkers, slower bike riders and small children on bikes. All of

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A catch up with women’s hour record holder Bridie O’Donnell

When I started this blog four and a half years ago my very first pro cyclist interview was with Australian Bridie O’Donnell. Bridie’s recently hit the headlines by breaking the hour record on the track in Adelaide so I thought it was timely to catch up with her.   Q: Firstly, huge congratulations on breaking the hour record on the track recently. Was it the hardest physical challenge you’ve ever taken on?  A: Thank you very much! The physical challenge of the Hour itself was not the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but the 6 months preparing for it was.

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Road safety for cyclists in Australia – a few steps forward

Every time I read a survey of female bike riders, they say that one of the greatest barriers for women to ride is road safety, and as a woman who’s been riding a road bike for seven years in Sydney I don’t really blame them. I was lucky enough to spend 10 weeks in Europe on holidays this year and spent some of that time riding my road bike on the country and city roads in Holland, France, Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. I can honestly say that I was not abused once by an impatient driver. Every one was

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Should I buy a flat bar road bike or road bike?

As regular readers of this blog probably know I work in a bike shop and one of the most regular questions I’m asked by both men and women is: Should I buy a flat bar road bike and a drop bar road bike. So I thought it would be useful to talk about the pros and cons of both types of road bike. Firstly I have to confess that I ride a drop bar road bike and love it, so I won’t be changing to a flat bar any time soon, but I can see some merit in them, and

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Why I should be able to ride on the roads – a female road cyclist’s perspective

There’s been a lot of media space devoted to the issue of bike riders using the roads of late, so I thought I’d put my ‘two bobs worth’ forward. You’ll note that I haven’t called this blog post ‘Cars v Bikes’ because I really don’t think that’s what it’s about. From my observation many drivers (and by no means all drivers) think that they are entitled to use the roads exclusively and that cyclists should vacate ‘their’ roads or at least pull over and let them pass. As a road cyclist I think I’m pretty considerate. I do most of

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Lights for road bikes – See and be seen

Like many road cyclists I ride early in the morning to avoid traffic and to get a 20 km plus ride in before I have to get to work. This means that at quite a few times during the year I leave home in the dark. One thing that constantly amazes me is that I see other cyclists riding around with inadequate or even no lights on their bikes. They are also often decked out in dark clothing on dark bikes. I’m not sure if they are trying to be really ‘cool’ or are just plain stupid. Many cyclists do

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A women’s guide to selecting the right bike

As a keen roadie I’m quite biased towards road bikes, but I’m also well aware as a person who sells bikes that a road bike is not every women’s perfect bike, so here’s my quick summary on a few options you could consider when buying your ideal bike. It’s by no means exhaustive. Road bike I had to start with my personal favourite! The road bike is a fast and light machine and as the name suggests it is best ridden on roads, or at least on bitumen or paved surfaces. It’s skinny tyres will not last long on other

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Bike commuting tips for women

I originally wrote a blog post about commuting by bike last year, and at the time I didn’t commute, and had no intention of commuting, not in the job I was in at the time. But of course circumstances change and I’ve now joined the army of people taking to the roads to get to and from work. Women tend to approach cycling differently to men (please excuse the stereotyping) and that includes bike commuting. A lot of men treat commuting like a race and constantly attempt to outdo their previous times and those of other riders. Women however, tend

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