Why riding my bike makes me happy

Why riding my bike makes me happy?

Yesterday was International Day of Happiness, and of course I automatically thought about why riding my bike makes me happy. When I reflected, I came up with five reasons: Riding is fun The simple act of propelling a bike along, and experiencing the wind rushing by, is fun. It’s strange that a bicycle cannot stand up on its own, but it stays upright when you ride it. I find it fun to achieve that balance. It gives me a sense of freedom that I really don’t experience in any other way. Social connections For me, cycling has brought so many

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Great news…Cycling improves your immune system

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that I’m a great fan of new research that proves the many benefits of cycling, and the latest shows that cycling improves your immune system. Wouldn’t you like to have the immune system of a 20 year old, when you’re really over 55? In a recent study, published in a journal  called Aging Cell, researchers looked at 125 very active adult cyclists who were between ages 55 and 79. The researchers analysed their blood for markers of T-cells, which are known to help the immune system fight infections. The study authors

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International Women's Day

Celebrate International Women’s Day by reflecting on the plight of girls in developing nations

Happy International Women’s Day everyone. Today is a day that celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women. And while I’m walking around my comfortable house singing “I am woman, hear me roar”, I think it’s important to reflect on the lives of women and girls around the world, who have so many challenges for even their basic needs. Last week I met up with the fabulous Dagmar who is charged with the responsibility of starting the work of the amazing charity World Bicycle Relief in Australia. And this is where the International Women’s Day tie-in comes. World

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Gear Up Girl

Cycle your way to a healthy heart with Gear Up Girl

Gear Up Girl is an annual ride held in my hometown of Sydney, to encourage women of all ages and abilities to enjoy the freedom of riding. Its key supporter is The Heart Foundation which I think is a fantastic sponsorship arrangement because heart disease is such a big killer of women. But the best part of the relationship is that cycling is so good for heart health. Here’s why…. When you exercise, your heart needs to beat faster and more powerfully to pump more blood around your body in order to supply enough oxygen to your muscles so that

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amazing female endurance cyclists

I love sharing the stories of amazing female endurance cyclists like Alaina Beacall

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that I love sharing stories from amazing female endurance cyclists like Alaina Beacall from the UK. Alaina contacted me last year to ask me to help spread the word. She’s a 28 year old doctor from Merseyside. She started cycling in 2016 when a friend suggested she try the ride from Lands End to John O’Groats. She loved the combination of challenging herself physically whilst riding through wild and beautiful places. We’ve since traded a few emails and here’s some more of her story: Q: What got you started in

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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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Great movie scenes with women riding bikes

Great movie scenes with women riding bikes

I thought I’d go with something a little lighthearted this week, so here’s my pick for some great movie scenes with women riding bikes. I’m sure there are some other great ones, but here are my top choices: The Wizard of Oz This is one of my favourite movies. My sister and I have loved it since we were little girls and still enjoy watching every now and then. In the early part of the film there is a scene where the evil Miss Almira Gulch played by Margaret Hamilton rides her classic step-through roadster away from the farm with

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Women's Tour Down Under

Women gain equal prize money for Women’s Tour Down Under

Congratulations to the South Australian Government on its inspired decision to offer equal prize money for the Women’s Tour Down Under pro cycling race. As the men’s edition of the race was wrapping up on the weekend, the Sports Minister announced that his Government would add extra cash to the prize pool. I believe this is a first for women’s professional road cycling, where the women usually earn way less in prize money even for similar races. In last year’s Tour of Flanders race, the women’s prize money was reportedly 1,100 euros, compared to about 20,000 euros for the men.

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The Cyclists’ Alliance is a huge leap forward for women’s professional cycling

I almost missed the news that slipped out just before Christmas that a fantastic new initiative for women’s professional cycling, The Cyclists’ Alliance was here. Formed and backed by some of women’s cycling’s biggest names, the new international cycling union aims to be a resource and a cohesive voice for professional cyclists in order to promote and protect athlete safety and enhance professionalism within the sport. “We will work as a partner with the UCI and the UCI-registered women’s teams to help them form the first women’s teams association in global cycling,” says founder Iris Slappendel. “The Alliance is here to

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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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