5 top tips for Women in Cycling
The alarm buzzes at 5:30am. Your eyes struggle to open but you still manage to roll out of bed and make your way to the kitchen where you ready yourself for your ride. Just a few months ago you would never have contemplated this situation unfolding on a Sunday morning, yet somehow this cycling culture crept up behind you, absorbed you, sucked you in.
As a female cyclist I think that from the outside cycling can seem like a male-dominated sport. There may be more males riding bikes than females, but it shouldn’t be a defining feature of our sport. Over the last few years I have noticed a huge increase in women riding bikes in the area where I live. I had a particularly humbling experience last December when I was invited to the Christmas ride of a local bike shop and spent the majority of the ride meeting women of all ages. Sharing my experiences and hearing theirs is something I truly love… I can assure you that it is well worth the pedal.
Whilst the thought of pulling on lycra, waking up at ridiculous o’clock and trying to learn the ever-increasing amount of cycling lingo that creeps its way into every day conversation may seem daunting, the most important thing to remember is that everyone was a beginner once.
So, you’ve decided to give it a go… but where do you even start?
Here are my top five tips:
- Stay local – visit your local bike shop and have a chat to the staff there. It’s easy to buy things on the internet but finding a friendly shop that are willing to help you goes much further. These days there are plenty of women-specific options on the market as well.
- Invest in a bike fit. It’s one thing to have the bike but making sure you are comfortable on it will definitely help enjoyment levels whilst cycling.
- It’s worth investing in a few cycling-specific items. If you’re not up to wearing the tight lycra there are options available that still give you the extra padding but don’t look or give you the feel of a typical cycling kit.
- Investigate local rides and bunches in your area. I can guarantee that every weekend there will be a bunch nearby that meets for a pedal together. Strava can also be a great way to see other riders in your area and link up with them for a ride.
- The most important part of it – have fun and enjoy the cafe-stop at the beginning, middle or end (or all!) of the ride. Cycling is just as much about the social side as it is about the ride itself.
L’Étape Australia is the perfect event to ride with your group of friends and to enjoy the social aspect of cycling. Amanda Spratt will be leading a “ladies coffee ride” in the lead-up to L’Étape Australia and a recovery ride on Sunday 2nd December in Jindabyne. Join the women already registered for L’Étape Australia at www.letapeaustralia.com
Always a team player, it is common to see Amanda sacrificing herself for her teammates.
The 2012 and 2016 Australian road race champion is known for her big heart and big engine. Amanda recorded her first European victory at the Giro del Trentino Alto Adige – Sudtirol in 2015 and has taken a big step up as a leader in the outfit following the retirement on Loes Gunnewijk.