Cycling Australia – covering all levels of cycling

I don’t know about you but I’ve always thought of Cycling Australia as being in existence to support elite level cyclists. So it was a pleasant surprise to meet two great women who work there, and to hear about the plans to provide a greater reach. Emma Rickards is the National Coaching & Development Coordinator and Alexandra Bright, the National Participation Coordinator. I spent an hour and a half with them yesterday to hear about a fundamental change happening not only in their organisation but in others as well. Alex explained to me that Cycling Australia has adopted the slogan

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NSW Criterium racing for women cyclists

It’s great to see the state of NSW getting behind women’s only grades at club level crit racing. For those who don’t already know a criterium, or crit, is a bike race held on a short course often held on closed streets. The course is short, usually less than 5 km, and is a closed circuit, where riders complete multiple laps. Riders typically race for a given length of time, then complete a specified number of laps. Last week I had a chat with Donna Meehan of Domestique who is the driving force behind the initiative. Donna is working with

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How do I get my wife/partner to ride with me?

Me on my first Gong ride in 2008. I was really nervous but really loved it. I’ve been asked this question by quite a few of the men who I ride with. They, like me, love cycling so much that they want to share its many benefits with those closest to them. So here’s a few tips that might help. Please excuse the stereotyping and generalising. Be patient and understanding Women generally approach activities like cycling differently than men. It starts early in life and patterns are set. If you cast your mind back to your childhood you’ll recall that

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SKCC women – poster girls for women’s participation in club cycling

Since I started writing this blog last year I’ve had no less than four women that I’ve interviewed or spoken with who have mentioned St Kilda Cycling Club (SKCC) as the club to join in Melbourne if you’re a women. So I thought I should find out a little more for myself by speaking to one of the key people behind SKCC women’s program, Gaelene Snelling. When I spoke to Gaelene a couple of weeks ago she proudly reported that of the current 600 SKCC members, 165 of these are women who are signed up on a mixture of racing

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Junior development at Lidcombe Auburn Cycle Club

One of the things you will have learned if you’ve read other parts of this blog is that I’m a member of a great cycle club called Lidcombe Auburn Cycle Club known as LACC. A new innovation for the club is its focus on junior riders or more specifically its junior female riders under the stewardship of the very enthusiastic Gay Chandler and her trusty husband and sidekick Ian Watson. I caught up with Gay recently and asked her a few questions about the team she’s nurturing known as the Pixies. Q: When did the Pixies team start? A: The

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Bird Strike on the LACC Sunday ride

The most bizarre thing happened on my ride this past Sunday and I’ve got a great video to go with the story thanks to my friend Howard Brown. I was doing what I do most Sundays and enjoying a bunch ride on Sunday morning around Homebush with the guys from my bike club LACC. For those who know the area we had come along Hill Road and turned left into Pondage Link and I was on the front. The next thing I heard and felt this soft thud which I later realised was a low flying black bird with really

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Kate Bates – the next phase begins

One thing I’m beginning to learn as I dabble in the world of professional sport which is something I haven’t really done before is that things can change quickly. A sponsor pulls out unexpectedly, an injury occurs or in Kate Bate’s case an injury reoccurs. I originally spoke to Kate a couple of weeks ago and she told me all about how her focus was on the London Olympics. So I wrote my blog post and as I sometimes do I sent it to Kate to fact check to make sure I’d got all the details right. I got a

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Rebecca Domange – making a contribution to women’s cycling

I recently met (at least by phone) yet another women who is passionate about cycling – Rebecca Domange. Bec has been racing for just a few years and now wants to pass on what she’s learnt by mentoring other women and even starting her own team in the future. Melbourne-based Bec Domange took up cycling about five years ago after injuries from running and basketball forced her to find a new sport and form of exercise and in her own words soon became addicted. She joined her local club – Caulfield-Carnegie and started racing E grade against the 10 and

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Women cyclists should give track a go

I had an opportunity to do a great two-day bike skills workshop earlier this year. The first day was on the Dunc Grey Velodrome at Bass Hill and while I hadn’t previously considered track, I thought it would be a great opportunity to improve my bike skills. My partner Phillip started riding track last year, firstly to compete in the winter track series called RAW at the velodrome and then the summer series at Lidcombe run by our bike club LACC. So I’ve watched him plenty of times but never really considered giving it a go myself. The bike skills

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Bike skills training for women

So you’ve got the shiny new bike. You sort of know how to ride it, because you rode a bike when you were a kid, and you seem to instinctively know how to keep your balance. However, you really feel a bit nervous and can’t imagine you’ll ever feel confident alongside all the other riders who appear to exude confidence. Sound familiar? It’s exactly how most women feel when they take up cycling in their adult years. You’ll be pleased to know that there are some passionate individuals out there who are helping to teach bike skills, and as a

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