do you suffer from FONKU

Female cyclists: do you suffer from FONKU?

I hope I’ve got your attention with that provocative question; do you suffer from FONKU? In case you’re interested enough to read to on, FONKU is an acronym for ‘Fear Of Not Keeping Up’. I believe that there’s plenty of female bike riders that suffer from FONKU and it’s holding us back. I actually include myself in that cohort. So I made up my own term for it. I sometimes go out for group rides and decide that I won’t be able to keep up even before I leave home, and I often hear similar laments from other female riders.

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mentally prepare for a challenging bike ride

How to mentally prepare for a challenging bike ride

When I first started doing long rides, my training and preparation was almost entirely based on my physical readiness and not on the need to mentally prepare for a challenging bike ride. I’ve always understood the big role that mental preparation plays for elite athletes, but I never thought I had anything in common with them. After more than nine years of cycling, I’ve done quite a few charity rides and a small amount of racing and I always get very nervous beforehand. But I’ve never known how to overcome it except to just accept that it happens and live

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magic powers of the bicycle

The magic powers of the bicycle

It seems fitting that in the week leading up to Christmas we talk about the concept of magic, and there’s no greater magic for me than the magic powers of the bicycle. I know it’s a big call, and I’m sure any non cyclist reading this will think I’m a little strange, but those of you who have been mesmerised by bike riding, will be able to relate. For me, taking up road cycling nine years ago was life changing so I’ll declare it has magical powers. Here’s a few reasons why: Turns introverts into social butterflies A fellow female

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take up road cycling

12 reasons why every woman should take up road cycling

I know that’s a bit of a bold headline, but I believe that every woman should take up road cycling, and to prove it I’ve come up with 12 reasons. I’ve borrowed these from an article I found in Bike Radar that listed 30 reasons. Here are my favourites in no particular order: Look younger Scientists at Stanford University have found that cycling regularly can protect your skin against the harmful effects of UV radiation and reduce the signs of ageing. Dermatologist Dr Christopher Rowland Payne explains: “Increased circulation through exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients to skin cells more effectively,

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get back to riding after an accident

How to get back to riding after an accident

I had an accident on my bike earlier this year and it really threw me off, in more ways than one, so I thought it would be helpful to share my thoughts to get back to riding after an accident. My accident was not my fault and involved me rolling over the bonnet of a car where the driver had taken my right of way, because ‘she didn’t see me’. My physical injuries were gone within about a month or so, but my psychological scars remain nine months later.  But I won’t let anxiety stop me because I’m determined to

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Women's Health Week

Focus on yourself, it’s Women’s Health Week

Over the past few weeks I’ve been reading about a great initiative of Jean Hailes for Women’s Health called Women’s Health Week. So this week there are plenty of activities including cycling related events, to encourage women to focus on their health, both physical and mental. Most women are not good at focusing on themselves and making their health a priority, so put a few hours aside this week to do just that. And there’s no better way to undertake physical activity than cycling. And note that I used the term physical health rather than sport. Sport always makes us

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