mass participation bike ride

Set yourself a cycling goal – sign up for a mass participation bike ride

One of my favourite mantras is that you only improve your cycling when you set a goal, and a mass participation bike ride is a great target to set for new cyclists, as well as seasoned ones. There are a number of them around Australia, most are in scenic locations. Here’s a selection of the ones I’ve done before. I’m sure there are plenty of others so please share your experiences. An added bonus of many of these rides is that they are involved with charity partners so participants have the opportunity to help fundraise at the same time. New South

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descending on a road bike

Every woman’s guide to descending on a road bike

When I first started riding a road bike, nearly eight years ago, I thought you just jumped on and away you went, but it didn’t take me long to realise that there was more skills involved than I had first thought, and for me one of the hardest to master has been descending on a road bike. And there’s definitely still room for improvement. So when putting these descending tips together I’m paying lots of attention, because everyone can do with a refresher every now and then. Familiarise To start, familiarise yourself with the condition of the road surface by

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Indoor bike trainer

Indoor bike trainer – a great way to beat cold and wet weather

Right now in my home town of Sydney it’s starting to get a little cold in the early mornings, and we’ve also had a fair bit of rain, but all you need is an indoor bike trainer to keep in shape. I also heard an interview with a weather expert a few weeks ago, who said we are probably heading for a La Nina weather pattern which means we’ll be getting plenty of rain in the near future. But I’ll be ready for it, with my indoor trainer. My preference is to ride outdoors and I’m lucky enough to live

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climbing hills on a road bike

A women’s guide to climbing hills on a road bike

When I started riding a road bike about seven and a half years ago, I had no idea there was a right way and a wrong way of climbing hills on a road bike. I just rode up them and put up with the pain in my legs and lungs. In some cases I even avoided the steeper ones by riding a different route. Over the years I’ve learned about the physical side of hill climbing but only recently have a focused more on the mental side of climbing. In doing this I’ve realised that my negative thoughts are the

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mass participation bike ride

Female cyclists – Don’t let MAMILs intimidate you

I must confess that this week I’m struggling a bit to write a blog post. I have a great list of potential topics I wrote last week (thanks to an online course I’m currently undertaking) but I’ve just read through it and nothing inspires me. So you’ll have to excuse this week’s rather short and not overly focused offering. One thing I’ve noticed about the many women I speak to about cycling in the bike shop where I work is that many of them feel a bit intimidated by other (particular male) cyclists. They often say ‘oh, I’m not a

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Road pedals, cleats & shoes

Every woman’s guide to riding with clip-in pedals

I work in a bike shop and I often get asked about clip-in pedals from both men and women. But it seems that the women are a little more nervous about the idea. They fear falling off and injurying themselves, or worse still embarrassing themselves. I’m really lucky that my partner coerced me into riding my road bike with clip-ins from day one and I never looked back. So to make it a bit easier here’s some background information about clip-in pedals and the different types and some tips to get started. I’ll focus mainly on road pedals and cleats

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Good news for female cyclists – Fitter legs = fitter brain

If you read this blog regularly you’ll know that I’m keen on stories about brain health and ageing and this story I came across at www.biospace.com resonated strongly with me. Here’s a slightly edited version of the report…… Researchers at King’s College London have found that muscle fitness as measured by power in the legs is strongly associated with an improved rate of ageing in the brain. The findings, published in a journal called Gerontology, suggest that simple interventions, such as increased levels of walking (and let’s assume cycling), targeted to improve leg power in the long term may have

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Tips for women preparing for a 100 km plus ride

I’ve signed up to do the Cadel Evan’s ride in late January next year, a mere eight or so weeks away so I really need to start focusing on my training. I’ve done a few long rides in the past including the JDRF Barossa ride which is 160 km, and Melbourne’s Around the Bay which is 210 km, so I know I can ride the 111 km I’ll be required to complete. But I know I’ll enjoy the ride a lot more if I undertake sufficient training. I also know that after the Cadel ride I’ve also got a few

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Great events happening for female road cyclists

Last year Cycling Australia undertook some research where they spoke to about 2,500 female cyclists who were either members of Cycling Australia, and therefore a cycling club, or keen leisure road cyclists. In this research the women who responded identified the majority of their riding is completed alone, but there was a clear desire for riding with other women of similar ability levels. I remember reading that at the time and feeling a little sad, and hoping that the sort of activities I get involved in like the Cycling NSW Women’s Commission will help over time. I’m really pleased to

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Every woman’s guide to descending on a road bike

I’m a huge fan of continuous improvement and lifelong learning and these principles apply to developing bike skills for both women and men. One skill which many female cyclists struggle with is descending. I think it’s because we are fairly risk averse and when we feel like our bikes are going too fast the temptation is to grab the brakes. I know I’ve still got a long way to go with my own descending skills so I’ve done a bit of research and borrowed from experts to bring these descending tips together. Familiarise To start, familiarise yourself with the condition

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