FONKU

Do you worry about not keeping up? You may be suffering from FONKU

I have to admit that I’m not a great fan of silly acronyms but I was rather proud of myself when I came up with FONKU – Fear Of Not Keeping Up. For me, it really sums up my own fears and lack of self-confidence and from talking to other female road cyclists it really is an issue. When I first wrote about this in February 2018 I got some great comments from other riders like “Great acronym – I knew straight away what you were talking about! I think another “fear of” that stops me riding with bunches at

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R U OK?

Today is the day when you need to ask someone – R U OK?

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? You might ask what this topic has to do with cycling. I believe that mental health and cycling are closely linked because the magic bicycle can play a big role in the treatment of mental illness. But this topic is also really personal and close for me. A little over a year ago my friend Tom Lutton took his own life after struggling with depression for many years. Until he died

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why you should take up road cycling

Here’s 12 reasons why you should take up road cycling

I’m sure I could come up with a dozen more, but here’s my top 12 reasons why you should take up road cycling. I honestly believe that every woman could benefit from riding a bike, whether it be road, trail, transport, commuting or any other reason. You really have no excuse….. Fitness If you do enough kilometres (or miles) on your bike, no matter how fast or slow, you will improve your fitness. As a result of cycling I’m the fittest I’ve ever been in my life. Friendship I have met literally hundreds of great people through cycling and many

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cycling for mental wellbeing

Doctors should be prescribing cycling for mental wellbeing

One of the many reasons I ride a bike is for my mind health because cycling for mental wellbeing is so great. So why don’t more doctors send their patients away with a bike hire voucher instead of a prescription? That’s exactly what’s happening in Wales right now. The pilot program, the first such initiative in Britain, according to the health board that is leading it, reflects an effort by medical professionals around the world to give patients alternatives to drugs, in order to avoid side effects and improve cost efficiency. Patients at two medical centres in Cardiff are offered

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anxiety before a bike ride

How to handle anxiety before a bike ride

I was on a longish women’s only bike ride a couple of weeks ago and the conversation between me and the rider beside me led to our common experiences with anxiety before a bike ride. She had had a poor night’s sleep before the ride because she was worrying that she’d struggle to keep up. I had also had a poor night’s sleep, not because I worried I would keep up but because I had the responsibility of ride leadership. As we talked, others joined in the conversation and shared their own experiences of pre-ride anxiety which got me thinking

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things I’ve learned about road cycling

Ten things I’ve learned about road cycling in ten years

I recently celebrated my tenth anniversary of road cycling, so I thought I’d share the most important things I’ve learned about road cycling. Taking up road cycling was the second best decision I ever made. The first was when I chose my life partner, the gorgeous Phillip. Riding makes you fit The past ten years have been my fittest ever. Before I took up riding I tried various forms of exercise like gym membership, aerobics classes, jogging and power walking but it wasn’t until I started riding a road bike regularly that I could truly claim to be fit for

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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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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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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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magic powers of the bicycle

The magic powers of the bicycle

It seems fitting that in the week leading up to Christmas we talk about the concept of magic, and there’s no greater magic for me than the magic powers of the bicycle. I know it’s a big call, and I’m sure any non cyclist reading this will think I’m a little strange, but those of you who have been mesmerised by bike riding, will be able to relate. For me, taking up road cycling nine years ago was life changing so I’ll declare it has magical powers. Here’s a few reasons why: Turns introverts into social butterflies A fellow female

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