get out of your comfort zone

Get out of your comfort zone using your magic bicycle

I believe you should regularly get out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself. I’m not always great at practising what I preach, but I’m happy to report that I completed my first road cycling team time trial over the weekend. For a lot of riders that would have been well within their comfort zone but for me it was a stretch. Not a huge one, but still a stretch. Apparently there’s some science behind the concept. The ‘comfort zone’ is described as the behavioural space where your activities and behaviours fit a routine and pattern that minimises stress and

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research into women’s cycling participation

Read the latest research into women’s cycling participation from Cycling Victoria

I’m always interested in research into women’s cycling participation so I was intrigued to see a piece of research from Cycling Victoria last month. I’m a member of the Women’s Commission of Cycling NSW (the neighbouring state and key rival for those who aren’t Australian), and within my role I often look to Cycling Victoria for their leadership on the topic of women’s participation. This piece of research conducted by a University collaboration for Cycling Victoria has some interesting conclusions. I was particularly interested in their methodology in which they used desk research, interviews of only 11 people and observation.

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Wollongong Women's Cycling Club

Wollongong Women’s Cycling Club getting more women on bikes

I love hearing about female cyclists encouraging other women to join them, and Wollongong Women’s Cycling Club is a great example of just that. I first heard about them from some of my colleagues on the Cycling NSW Women’s Commission and made contact with them via fellow Commission member Kym who is the secretary of the club. Here’s the result of our email chat: Q: Why did you start Wollongong Women’s Cycling Club as a subgroup of an existing Club? Who are the women behind it? Jules Verheyen founded the club in late 2015 after running She Rides cycle coaching

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Come 'n' Try racing

Give Club Cycle racing a go with Women’s Come ‘n’ Try racing

If I think back to my pre-cycling me, I would have been amazed at my devotion to cycling, and I would have thought it was extraordinary that I’d given racing a go through the Come ‘n ‘ Try racing program. I’ve spent my whole life being the ‘non-sporty’ type. I remember being reasonably involved in little athletics and other sport when I was at primary school but once I reached high school I tried my hardest to get out of any sporting endeavour, particularly any competitive one!!! At my school the sporty girls were encouraged to be involved but if

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Road bike disc brakes

Road bike disc brakes are here, and all women are going to want them

Cycling Australia made an interesting announcement last week, allowing the use of road bike disc brakes for most road bike racing within Australia, effective immediately. It was interesting because the international body, the UCI is still dragging the chain on the same issue, despite some of the big name riders like Marcel Kittel in the recent Tour de France winning several stages on a disc brake-equipped bike. Apparently disc brakes have been allowed in the US club scene since 2015. So I suspect that from January 2018 the UCI will allow them too, but we’ll have to wait and see.

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Upcoming 2016 events for female cyclists in NSW

I’m a member of Cycling NSW’s Women’s Commission which I joined earlier this year. By way of background, the Women’s Commission (like a committee) works “across the sport of cycling in NSW to ensure the development of policies and initiatives which promote participation amongst women and girls of all ages into the sport and recreation of cycling”. I must admit that I wasn’t sure if volunteering for this role would be a complete waste of time and we’d just sit around ‘shooting the breeze’, but I’m pleased to report that the focus is on action and getting events happening. Here’s

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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

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Tips for finding a female friendly cycling club

Joining a cycling club is a great way to meet other cyclists and to step up from being a ‘Sunday’ recreational cyclist to that next level. Traditionally they have been primarily focused on racing rather than just riding but they are beginning to reinvent themselves as the popularity of cycling grows to accommodate riders who don’t necessarily want to race, and to welcome women who have not always been attracted to clubs. When you join a cycling club in Australia you are actually signing up as a member of Cycling Australia which gives you a number of other benefits including

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Brisbane cycling club attracting women riders in droves

A couple of weeks ago I was doing some research for an article I’m writing about cycling clubs that support women for Bicycling Australia magazine, and I came across a Brisbane cycling club that’s attracting lots of women to its ranks, and working hard to support them. Kangaroo Point Cycling Club (KPCC) which might sound like it has a semi-rural bush setting is in fact based in Brisbane’s inner suburbs and has been around since 1905. It currently has over 200 members and about a quarter of them are women. I had a chat via email with Club Co-Captain Alix

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What’s all the fuss about Cyclocross

Cyclocross is a relatively new event on the Australian cycling calendar but it’s actually been around in other countries for many years. Some describe it as a combination of mountain biking, road cycling and criterium racing into one challenging event. Most races last for 30 minutes to an hour on a closed, twisty circuit of 2.5 to 3.5 km. The course surfaces consist of pavement, grass, dirt and sand peppered with obstacles, such as steps and barriers. Participants must conquer these by rapidly dismounting and carrying their bikes while running, then remounting on the fly. Aerobic endurance, bike handling skills

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