Trailblazing female bike racers of the 1880s

As well as being a keen cyclist, I am also a lover of social history and when I get to combine two things of interest I’m pretty content. I have a great book called Wheels of Change by Sue Macy in my home library and thought I would share a story I enjoyed. If you think that female cyclists in the past 20 or so years have been real trailblazers then think again, because the true trailblazers where the women that were racer bicycles way back in the late 1800s. An early American racer Elsa von Blumen of Rochester New

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Be brave girls – ride with clip-in pedals

A lot of women tell me that they are nervous about riding with clip-in pedals because they fear falling off and injury 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. My suggestion is that you view the step-up from a flat platform pedal to a clip-in system as an important one, an indication of growing confidence in your bike-handling ability. So to make it a bit easier here’s some background information about clip-in pedals and the different types and

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Female cycling team launches in Sydney’s inner west

I’m particularly happy this week to tell you about a new women’s race team and development squad being launched by my own cycling club –  Lidcombe-Auburn Cycle Club (LACC). The new squad is under the leadership of cycling coach and LACC member Donna Meehan and I’m lucky enough to be the Team Manager. Donna who has taken on the role of Directeur Sportif (or team director) describes it as a milestone event for the cycling club. To officially launch the team, an event was held at The Quad Café at Sydney Olympic Park last Friday night. Donna said of the

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Meet Olympic medalist Annette Edmondson

Late last year I was at an event staged by Australian Cycling Executives (ACE) and Annette (Nettie) Edmondson was a special guest. I was fortunate enough to have a chat with Nettie and asked her if I could interview her for Women Who Cycle. Here’s the result: Q: How old were you when you started riding? What got you started? I was 13 years old when I was selected for cycling by the Talent Identification Program at the South Australian Institute of Sport after they tested a range of students for their physical attributes and capabilities. I had never considered

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Set a training goal and stick to it

If you going to do any physical training then you need to have a goal because without one you’ll come up with lots of excuses and never really get anywhere. A great way to set a goal is to sign up for an event. It could be anything from a short fun cycling event like Sydney’s Spring Cycle (55 km) or Melbourne’s short version of Around the Bay (50 km option), right up to a serious level race. The key is to select an event that will challenge you but won’t break you. I actually took up cycling four and a half years ago

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Should I really buy those carbon wheels?

I confess that I know very little about wheels so when my friend and fellow bike rider Tegan Cox offered to write a guest blog post I coudn’t refuse. Over to you Tegan…….. Wheels. Bikes come with them so why do they need any further consideration? I know when I started riding a bike I didn’t have an opinion on what went on beneath me. Then I started in triathlon and the bike bling in transition was clear indication that wheels are not just for turning and keeping your face off the ground. Most entry-level bikes come with solid but

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Road bikes for short women

I’m a relatively short woman at 160 cm (5 foot 3 inches) but I’ve met quite a few female road cyclists who are shorter than me and one of them mentioned to me that she and other short stature women have trouble finding bikes to ‘fit’. A lot of people are dubious about the whole women’s specific bike concept and question whether it’s just marketing hype but I’m a real believer in the philosophy. Read my past posts on this subject and make up your own mind. From my perspective the women’s specific bike becomes more important the shorter you

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Road bike tips for women – how to climb hills

When I first started riding about four and a half years ago I just avoided hills as much as I could. Then one day it struck me that hills are just one part of cycling that should actually be embraced. After all, usually when you climb up a hill you get to whizz down the other side!!! And these days I often ride up a small rise that I once considered to be a hill, so there’s definitely been progress. I also thought that when I started riding a road bike there was no particular technique to riding up hills,

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Meet Jo Hogan – The Healthy Cyclist

One of the great benefits of writing a blog about women’s cycling is that I get to meet (at least by phone and email) some great female cyclists who are completely dedicated to the sport and reaching their potential. I was recently contacted by Australian female pro cyclist Joanne Hogan who has given up her nursing career to ride her bike as a professional. Jo didn’t actually contact me direct, it was her marketing manager (pro bono) Eliza who made contact on her behalf and she suggested I might like to talk to Jo about her new website http://www.thehealthycyclist.com.au/ The

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Young women tour America’s West Coast by bike

A couple of weeks ago, keen cyclist and occasional writer Andrew Stephen contacted me and offered to write a guest blog post for Women Who Cycle. I jumped at the opportunity to bring you another perspective on women’s cycling. Here’s Andrew’s thought provoking interview of some adventurous young female cyclists………..   A few years back two women quit their jobs, left Minnesota and their families, and took off on the bike tour of a lifetime from Portland, Oregon to San Francisco, CA (about 650 miles or 1,046 km). We spoke to them about struggling to shed the myths of female safety on

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