don'ts for female cyclists

Don’t cultivate a ‘bicycle face’ – advice for women in 1895

As a history buff I can’t go past this fantastic list of don’ts for female cyclists published in a newspaper called New York World in 1895. My personal favourite is ‘Don’t cultivate a bicycle face’. I’m not sure what a ‘bicycle face’ might have been, but a found a suggestion from another writer who suggested that “women who biked too much would develop a chronic look of exhaustion and strain. This could include tight lips, a flushed face, harsh wrinkles, and bulging eyes with dark circles underneath.” This great cartoon illustrates ‘bicycle face’ and comes from Bikeyface. Don’t be a

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A guide to buying women’s clip-in cycling shoes

I meet a lot of women who are reluctant to try women’s clip-in cycling shoes on their bike. They are nervous about falling off their bike if they forget to unclip, or in some cases believe that clip-in shoes are just for super serious cyclists. But I think they are for anyone who plans to do some significant kilometres on their bike. And there are some good reasons why you might want to become more attached to your pedals. Clipping in can stop your foot slipping off when applying power, help align your foot to ensure maximum efficiency, and potentially

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Giro Rosa 2016

Cheer on the women in the Giro Rosa 2016

Every year I write about the women’s professional race the Giro Rosa 2016, and I always lament the fact that it’s held at the same time as the very high profile Tour de France. As a consequence it passes by almost unnoticed to any sports fans. A few years ago it was considered the biggest stage race on the women’s calendar, but I’d argue that the much newer stage races – the Women’s Tour of Britain and the Women’s Tour of California – have now got a higher profile. Nonetheless I’d like to play my part in promoting the race

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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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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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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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Local bike shop

Why you should support your local bike shop

Most bike shops in Australia are independent retailers operating as sole traders, and even the ones who are dealers for major brands like Specialized are still one-off local retail outlets. A few chains are starting to emerge like 99Bikes but the market in Australia remains fragmented and ‘local’. These small business operators are realistic enough to understand the online marketplace but there’s a number of reasons why you should continue to support them even if you do some of your purchasing online. Because it might not be there when you need help Put simply, if everyone did all their purchasing

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track cycling Gold in Rio

Nettie Edmondson – firmly focused on track cycling Gold in Rio

I recently touched base with Australian road & track cyclist Nettie Edmondson who is firmly focused on track cycling gold in Rio. I had the pleasure of meeting Nettie for the first time about four years ago and soon after wrote my first post about her. By coincidence one my friend’s daughters Keira, who is a keen track & road cyclist herself, is a huge fan of Nettie’s. So last year when we all visited Adelaide for the Tour Down Under I arranged for us to meet up with Nettie. Keira is pictured here with her hero. I was really

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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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woman who rode the Giro d’Italia

The woman who rode the Giro d’Italia

It seems appropriate that during the great race in Italy, we reflect on the only woman who rode the Giro d’Italia. She was a very plucky Italian cyclist named Alfonsina Strada who rode the 3,613 km Giro d’Italia way back in 1924. She’s the only woman who’s ever ridden one of the grand tours alongside the men. Here’s my abridged version of her story. Alfonsina was born in northern Italy in the late 1800s and won her first bike race at the age of 13, winning a live pig. When she was 24 she married Luigi Strada, who give her

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