find friends to ride my bike with

Help… How do I find friends to ride my bike with?

One of the things I often get asked, and particularly from women, is “How do I find friends to ride my bike with?”. And you’ll be pleased to know that it’s not that hard to find like-minded riders, both women and men. When I first started riding a road bike about eight years ago, I did ride around on my own a fair bit, but over time I found like-minded riding companions who I now consider to be amongst my best friends. Over the years I’ve found lots of buddies, both women and men, some of whom have already come

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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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Muslim women cycling

Sydney group gets Muslim women cycling

Like many female cyclists I’ve read stories about the barriers women in middle eastern countries have overcome to ride a bike like this all women’s cycling team in Afghanistan. But I’ve never really thought about the barriers that confront Muslim women in Australia and other western nations, and prevent them from enjoying simple joys like cycling. A couple of months ago I met a young Muslim women called Assmaah through the shop where I work and have since seen her out on her bike. She told me about a group of primarily Muslim women cyclists called Sydney Cycling Sisters and

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Women's bike ride

How to organise your own regular women’s bike ride

I’ve been riding a road bike regularly for about seven and a half years, and I’m realistic enough to know that I’m definitely in the minority. I’d guess that only about 10 per cent of regular road bike riders in my own home city of Sydney are women. But that doesn’t hold me back. In fact it only encourages me to keep riding and attempting to get more women to join me on a women’s bike ride. It would also be unrealistic for me to think I could do all my riding in the company of women or that I’d

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mass participation bike ride

Female cyclists – Don’t let MAMILs intimidate you

I must confess that this week I’m struggling a bit to write a blog post. I have a great list of potential topics I wrote last week (thanks to an online course I’m currently undertaking) but I’ve just read through it and nothing inspires me. So you’ll have to excuse this week’s rather short and not overly focused offering. One thing I’ve noticed about the many women I speak to about cycling in the bike shop where I work is that many of them feel a bit intimidated by other (particular male) cyclists. They often say ‘oh, I’m not a

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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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Strongher – a movement to inspire more women to ride

I was really interested to read over the weekend about a new women’s international cycling initiative called Strongher. I must admit that when I first saw the name I thought it was some sort of weird European spelling for the word ‘Stronger’, but on my second attempt I realised it was the combination of ‘Strong’ and ‘Her’ which is quite clever. The founders of the movement, aiming to “give women a stage to show themselves”, are a large bunch of female professional cyclists. It was launched in London over the weekend by professional cyclists Marianne Vos, Hannah Barnes, Lauren Kitchen,

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It must be Spring. Magpies are attacking cyclists

A couple of weeks ago a good friend of mine sent me a distressed message via text to tell me she’d been attacked by a couple of magpies on her morning ride and come off the bike, injuring herself and damaging her stead. And since her story I’ve heard quite a few tales of woe about bird attacks so I thought I should tackle this topic again. Native birds such as Australian Magpies are highly protective of their eggs, nest and young and will often swoop at unsuspecting passers-by if they feel threatened. Other native Australian birds that are also

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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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Self-guided cycle tours around the world

I was contacted recently by a company called Pure Adventures that offers self-guided cycling tours around the world and when I looked into the detail I realised they are exactly the type of cycling tour I’d like to do myself. Self-guided touring offers almost all the conveniences of a guided trip with more flexibility and personalised style and the cost is closer to doing it yourself. In short, Pure Adventures organises the itinerary for you, books the hotels, arranges luggage transfers, hands over the maps and instructions and off you go. Sounds like an ideal to way to tour on

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