riding from Sydney to Melbourne

let’s commemorate the first woman to ride from Sydney to Melbourne

When Sarah Maddock searched the Internet for her name back in the early 2000s, she had no idea that nearly 20 years later she’d be commemorating a ride from Sydney to Melbourne by her namesake Sarah Maddock 125 years earlier. A woman named Sarah Maddock was a trailblazer of women’s cycling and rode with her husband from Sydney to Melbourne in 1894, the first woman to complete such a feat. The ride was planned as a cure for her husband’s ill health and Sarah who apparently was quite shy about her achievement, was surprised when many people along the way

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Cyclocross in Australia

FEMALE ROADIES – YOU SHOULD TRY CYCLOCROSS IN AUSTRALIA

The sport of Cyclocross in Australia is relatively new to the local cycling scene. I first wrote about it in 2014 and have my interest reinvigorated by my friend Niki (who I met on a cycling tour in Japan last year) because she’s very enthusiastic about cyclocross and its potential to grow in Sydney and Australia. So what is cyclocross, I hear you ask. 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

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Women’s Tour Down Under

The final word on the women’s tour down under – an interview with race director Kimberley Conte

If you’ve read my last few blog posts you’ll know how enthusiastically I embraced the Women’s Tour Down Under earlier this month and you’ll also know that I’ve been trying to catch up with the Race Director Kimberley Conte. The good news is that I spoke with her late last week and got some insights into the future of the race and the exciting plans ahead. By speaking with Kimberley I could tell how passionate she is about the race and women’s cycle racing in general. She revealed that lots and lots of planning went into the race. She and

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Gong ride

You should ride the annual Gong ride

I completed my eighth Gong Ride on Sunday after a three year absence, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The first time I rode it was only about a month after I’d started riding, and I thought it was really, really hard even though I did the 50 km course. Well I’m pleased to report that it gets easier and after ten constant years of road riding I was pleasantly surprised at how much easier the hills felt. For those who aren’t Sydney riders, the Gong ride is an annual mass participation ride held on the first Sunday in November. It

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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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Women can find fulfilling jobs in the cycling industry

Women can find fulfilling jobs in the cycling industry

Women can find fulfilling jobs in the cycling industry and Laura Wilson, Business Development Manager with US bike company Specialized is proof of that. I’ve been lucky enough to know and work with Laura in her various roles at Specialized in Australia, over a number of years. She’s always impressed me with her professionalism, her warmth, and her willingness to help. I caught up with her via email recently. Q: How do you come to be working in such a male dominated industry like cycling?  What industries did you previously work in? My career path has followed quite an interesting

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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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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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