I have been on a bike for as long as I can remember. From the BMX bike to the track bike to the road bike – it’s in my blood! More than just riding a bike it’s the love and passion I have grown for this sport, it’s the people I have met, the shared sense of adventure, challenge, achievement and camaraderie that I relish the most.
Every year when I get back to Australia there are new riders to meet at the Monday night crits or the Saturday bunch ride, and new bonds are formed. As a woman, I am always inspired when I see other women taking up the challenge of cycling. It doesn’t matter if it’s a young girl or an older lady – there are no boundaries and it’s a sport that is truly inclusive of people of all ages.
Starting something new or signing up for an event like L’Etape Australia may seem exciting or intimidating but one of the biggest things I value about cycling is the sense of community that is created, the people you meet on the road and then moments later find yourself sitting at the coffee shop with and planning your next adventure together.
L’Etape Australia could be the first step in this journey or a step along the way. Either way, it is an opportunity to set a goal and to challenge yourself. The best thing about this event is it caters for all abilities – whether you take up the Ride or the Race course, both have their own challenges and both come with a real sense of achievement to finish the course. It’s the chance for you to feel challenged but more importantly to achieve things you may never have thought were possible.
Cycling is a welcoming community and finding that weekend riding buddy or weekday commute partner can quickly turn into so much more than the person you ride with. Friendships are formed for life. This year we have a new member to my club team for the event – Lisa. Lisa’s husband Nigel is an original 2016 team member so to have his wife Lisa on our team for this year will be special. Lisa raises two young boys, works and this year ran the 100kms Ultra trail event in the Blue Mountains. It’s fair to say that L’Etape Australia will be a big challenge for her but I am proud to welcome another female into our team and it will be special to roll out from the start alongside her. I find inspiration from seeing women on bikes. Let this be your chance to be inspired too.
Riding as a professional for the Orica-Scott team, Amanda Spratt is one Australia’s most talented cyclists. Two-time Olympian (London 2012 and Rio 2016) and Two-time Australian National Road Champion (2012 & 2016), Amanda is a serious competitor but, above all, loves cycling.
Amanda will share her knowledge and tips with the L’Etape Australia cycling community in our Weekly Wisdom articles before she joins you in the Snowy Mountains this December, riding L’Etape Australia of her Penrith Cycling Club team