How to ride with someone who is faster or slower

It is very rare to find a group of recreational riders who ride at the same pace all the time. They’ll be riders who are having a good day, those who are having a bad day and just those (like me a lot of the time) who are just slower than many of their friends. For me, this is because many of them are men, and in general male riders are stronger than women. But I don’t let that spoil my enjoyment of riding with friends and my pals are always very kind to me, and wait for me, and

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Bike commuting tips for women

I originally wrote a blog post about commuting by bike last year, and at the time I didn’t commute, and had no intention of commuting, not in the job I was in at the time. But of course circumstances change and I’ve now joined the army of people taking to the roads to get to and from work. Women tend to approach cycling differently to men (please excuse the stereotyping) and that includes bike commuting. A lot of men treat commuting like a race and constantly attempt to outdo their previous times and those of other riders. Women however, tend

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How to survive the swooping bird season

One of the major topics amongst my riding friends in the last few weeks at the post-ride café visit, has been aggressive birds. Spring has definitely sprung in my neighbourhood and birds are out in force defending their young. Thankfully my bird attacks have been uneventful where I’ve heard a click noise on my helmet and been aware of an anonymous object nearby, but a few of my friends have not been so lucky. One of them had a butcherbird attack him on Saturday morning and draw blood on his cheek. Another was attacked by an aggressive magpie last week

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Meet Tina McCarthy – encouraging women to ride just for fun

Tina McCarthy is changing women’s lives by getting as many of them riding bikes confidently. She has a Melbourne-based business called Wheel Women and focuses on social and recreational female cyclists. Tina contacted me a while back and we’ve kept in touch. I’m very impressed with her enthusiasm and passion. Women Who Cycle asked her a few questions about her business – Wheel Women. Q: When and Why did you start cycling? A: I’ve always cycled, for as long as I can remember. I had 3 older brothers so I didn’t have any choice if I wanted to keep up

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The importance of braking on a road bike

When I started riding a road bike nearly five years ago I didn’t have any idea that there was actually a technique involved in braking. If I wanted to slow down I just grabbed either or both of the brake levers and it seemed to work. I had no notion that the front and back brakes have a different role and that there was actually a technique involved in using them. I, like so many newbie cyclists used my brakes far too much, particularly when cornering. So I thought it would be helpful if I shared some of what I

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More women are working in the bike industry

I’ve just returned from Melbourne where I attended a training course with US bike company Specialized. I attended the course because I recently took on a full-time role at Ashfield Cycles. The course was excellent and run by a great team at Specialized and I found it particularly encouraging that there were six women (out of 13 total attendees) sharing the three days. According to Emma Mackie who coordinates the courses for Specialized, this was the most number of women that have ever attended this training course. Typically there are usually one or two on each course. I took this

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A quick chat with Anna Meares

I was lucky enough to catch up with the amazing Anna Meares via email for an interview. I find Anna very inspiring and have been lucky enough to see her race a couple of times at the velodrome in Sydney. Q: My Sydney Cycling Club, Lidcombe Auburn Cycle Club (LACC) has a girls’ development squad called the Pixies. They ride and race both track and road and range in age from about six to 13. What words of wisdom could you offer them? A: I have heard of the Pixies (very cute little group and cute name). My advice would

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Why cycling is the best sport according to 8 year old Ava

Eight year old, Ava Giramondo is a member of the youth development squad of my cycling club Lidcombe-Auburn Cycle Club (LACC) and she recently presented to her Year 2 class at PLC Sydney, her reasons for selecting cycling as the best sport. When I read it, it seemed to me that Ava’s reasons were not dissimilar to many female cyclists. I particuarly like the bit about how she and her friends don’t have to hang out with the boys! Enjoy…. Here’s Ava’s presentation: Good morning/afternoon 2c. In my opinion cycling is the best sport. The type of cycling I’m going

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Women on a Roll – interesting research report

One of the things I’ve always admired about the United States is the sheer scale of the country. With a population of nearly 14 times that of Australia, at almost 314 million, there is always a group of people (like women cyclists) who have a real voice because there’s so many more of them. I suppose proportionally there no difference to other groups but they seem to get cut-through. In the US there’s a group called the League of American Bicyclists which has its own Women Bike program and a few weeks ago they released a really interested research report

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Two years and still going strong

It seems like only yesterday I was writing a blog post about Women Who Cycle reaching its first anniversary and here I am telling you about the second year milestone. What an amazing two years they have been in my life. My fervent hope is that I’ve inspired many women (and maybe a few men too) to take up cycling or to take their riding to the next level. Writing this blog has given me the opportunity to focus on women’s cycling and led me to uncover some wonderful stories like the incredible journey undertaken by Dani & Kacie in

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