mentally prepare for a challenging ride

How do you mentally prepare for a challenging ride?

When I first started doing long rides, my training and preparation were 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 12 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 with it.

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attitude of gratitude

Develop an attitude of gratitude and enjoy cycling even more

I’m a big fan of learning ways to improve your mental wellbeing and one idea that I really like is adopting an attitude of gratitude. You might wonder what an attitude of gratitude has to do with cycling but for me, I’m so very grateful that I found road cycling 12 years ago that the two things are inseparable. I try to be grateful for all the wonderful things I have in my life but I don’t always succeed so I thought it would be helpful for me and others to reflect on the benefits of developing an attitude of

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cycling mojo

Help…how do I get my cycling mojo back?

It seems it’s quite easy to lose your cycling mojo, but harder to get your cycling mojo back. The word mojo always makes me think of Austin Powers, a character who makes me laugh. Although his use of the term is as you would expect – comical, it really is a serious issue when you lose it. Interestingly the word mojo originally referred to witchcraft, but like many words, it has changed over time to mean a skill that seems to come from something magical or supernatural. There’s no one answer to how to get your cycling mojo back but

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easy gears on your bike

You need easy gears on your bike to climb hills

One thing that really bugs me about road cycling is there is often an emphasis on being tough, like riding with hard rather than easy gears on your bike, and being eager to ride up long or steep climbs. I’d like to put it on record that I choose to ride with easy gears on my road bike and I choose to avoid very long and very steep climbs. I do accept that as a Sydney-dwelling road cyclist I need to ride up hills but I don’t seek them out. I ride them because I have no choice. It also

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swooping Magpies attacking cyclists

Spring has sprung – Watch out for swooping Magpies attacking cyclists

Every Spring the cyclists of Sydney lament the arrival of the humble Aussie Magpie breeding season when you need to look out for swooping Magpies attacking cyclists. For the record I really love birds and think they play a key role in our urban environments. I particularly enjoy hearing the beautiful warble of the Magpies in the early morning but I’m not so keen when they dive bomb me while I’m riding by. Spring is an awesome time of the year to ride a bike, but it also means that there are a lot of angry birds swooping cyclists in

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R U OK? Day

It’s R U OK? Day but make sure you fit your own mask first

Today is R U OK? Day which is a fantastic initiative to encourage us to pause for a moment and ask the people around us – R U OK? This is a topic that I’ve written about before because I feel really strongly about playing a role in making mental health a priority for everyone including our healthcare workers and Government decision-makers. The reason I’m writing about this topic within my cycling blog is that I know that cycling, and exercise in general, have so many positive benefits for mental health conditions. I’ve written about it several times before today so I’m

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Australian female road cyclists

Meet Australian female road cyclist – the fabulous Lauren Kitchen

It’s been a while since I interviewed one of my favourite Australian female road cyclists so it’s about time I caught up and this time I’ve been speaking with Lauren Kitchen. I was lucky enough to see Lauren race in person at this year’s Tour Down Under in January, and was thrilled to meet her mum who was cheering her on. Lauren and I chatted via email because she’s in Europe at the moment. Before I share our conversation I’d like to highlight her great work on social media and namely Instagram. I picked up this great quote on a

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cycling as an anti-ageing strategy

Lazarus sees cycling as an anti-ageing strategy

My regular readers will know that I’m a huge fan of exercise, and specifically cycling as an anti-ageing strategy. So I was excited to read about the aptly named than Norman Lazarus, a King’s College Professor who has researched the huge benefits of exercise to slow down the ageing process. And he’s a keen cyclist. At the age of 50, he was unfit and overweight and decided he needed to change his life. He lost weight, started to exercise, and embraced life with new vigour. Now 84, he still works as a professor at King’s College London. He has no

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female cyclists should wear bib shorts

Come on female roadies – female cyclists should wear bib shorts

A topic that often comes up amongst female road cyclists is whether or not female cyclists should wear bib shorts, also known as knicks. I’ve been wearing them for years and wouldn’t consider anything else because they are just so comfortable. When I started riding nearly 12 years ago I did what most people do and headed for a bike shop and bought the cheapest plain black padded shorts I could find. These were relatively comfortable, affordable and served me well. As you would expect they weren’t bib shorts. At the time I probably wasn’t even aware that bib shorts

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Women Who Cycle

Happy Ninth Birthday Women Who Cycle

It’s nine years today since I wrote and published the first Women Who Cycle blog post and I’m proud of myself for sustaining my weekly posting for so long. When I started this blog I had no idea how long it would last. I came up with the idea and launched it within about two weeks which was quite unusual behaviour for me. I’m a cautious, organised and planning type of person and it’s rare for me to act so fast. I had no idea that nine years later I’d still be going with no end in sight. The longevity

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