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,

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more

Practice mindfulness while you are cycling

I really love the concept of mindfulness but I often struggle to do it. Mindfulness to me is about focusing on the present moment, instead of dwelling on the past or fixating on future events. It’s about being present, even if it’s not something that brings you pleasure. Mindfulness and cycling go hand-in-hand and here’s why you should practice it while riding: It will keep you safe Being mindful while you’re riding a bike ensures that you are aware of potential hazards along the way. Depending on where you ride the hazards could be potholes, rubbish/glass on the road or

Read more

Australia’s first women’s bicycle race took place in Ashfield

I know that some of you are probably not into learning about history, but it was my favourite subject at school so you’ll have to indulge me. Recently my boss John (Ashfield Cycles) mentioned to me that the first ever women’s bike race in Australia actually took place in Ashfield (in Sydney’s inner west). I must admit that I was a bit dubious at the time so I decided to delve into it a bit more and headed to the Ashfield Library where I found a local publication with a whole chapter dedicated to it. So I won’t bore you

Read more

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,

Read more

Help – How do I get my cycling mojo back?

I love words and mojo is amongst my favourites. Apparently it is of African derivation meaning magic, but over time like many words its meaning has changed and it’s now associated with self-confidence. My own interpretation of cycling mojo is when you lose interest, or fall out of love with the wonderful activity of cycling. My own interest has waned at times but I’ve always managed to get it back. Recently one of my favourite cycling buddies lost her cycling mojo and I’d like to help her get it back. Here’s a few tips for any women (or men) out

Read more

A woman’s guide to improving road bike skills

If you take up riding in your 30s or 40s as many of us do, one area you need to focus on if you want to advance, is to learn some 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 the

Read more

Sign up for The Women’s Ride on 12 April around Victoria

A couple of weeks ago Melanie from Cycling Victoria made contact with me and asked if I’d like to write about an event she’s organising called The Women’s Ride. I was intrigued to know more about it so I happily agreed to publish a post about this great event. The Women’s Ride is a single day celebration of women’s riding. It’s Victoria’s first mass participation riding event designed especially for women, where individuals, organisations, clubs, social riding groups, bike shops or groups of friends are invited to submit a ride or event taking place on Sunday, 12 April 2015. I was

Read more