Gearing up to climb

11 December, 2011
Two cyclists climbing a steep hill with support vehicles following

Flat ground on an incline: the right attitude is just as important as strength when climbing hills.

Uphill and down dale the lofty heights and deep valleys where the bike riders character and metal is shaped and strengthened.

Hills once you get your mind around them can be better than a long flat ride where you are more likely to encounter a head or cross wind that can be far more of a challenge and draining. For every uphill there is bound to be a downhill that allows a degree of recovery and a reward for every rise conquered.

What seems to be one of the biggest challenges for new comers on the bike with hills is getting the gearing right to match the power to weight and level of fitness.  Hills most of the time are best ridden at your own pace and keeping control of your breathing and pedal rhythm until you have established strength and endurance of the mind to work the legs. Read the rest of this entry »


Knowing your opponents

10 June, 2011
A group of five racing cyclists climbing a hill

Postion, position: recreational cyclists can learn from pros who's wins depend on being in the right place at the right time.

Getting to know your opponents in cycling is helped when we recognise we all have external opponents and there are some that have the monkey on the back as well they can’t shake that are ingrained habits and thinking less of themselves.

Speaking with one of Bendigo’s competitive cyclists recently about the skills and art of racing and growing an increasing knowledge of the strategic tactics required, to celebrate success. Not to sound too much of a simplistic view the basic knowledge of racing can be summarized with the Real Estate Agents favourite words at an auction “the real estate you hold on the road in a race is position, position, position till the end.”  Read the rest of this entry »

National Ride2School day 2011 – not a once off

11 March, 2011
Young boy and his father ride their bikes across a bridge on the way to school.

Ride to school: active kids are healthier kids and riding to school reduces morning traffic congestion.

There is no doubt over the years relationships between mums and dads are strengthened when there is a common goal and lots of fun involved. Cycling is a family activity with untold benefits and it is not just a weekend recreational activity but can well be an everyday of the week. Cycling is a community activity whether it be for recreation of health and well being or a mode of transport the body and mind is invigorated.

A local dad, Kingsley, is very excited about the opportunity to share the roads and pathways with his son and daughter and join the cycling ranks that we hope to see continue to increase in riding to school. Kingsley has signed up to be a parent support of cycling skills and other activities to encourage families to give cycling to school a go and beyond the school days.  Kingsley is encouraging his local school community to register for National Ride2School Day, 16 March, to reinvigorate students’ journeys to school as an effective response to preventable diseases like diabetes and obesity. Read the rest of this entry »

Defensive cycling

10 February, 2011
Cyclists wearing a bright orange jacket reflected in a car's side mirror

Aware: both cyclists and motorists need to be aware of each other on the road. Photo Christian Barkla

I attended a defensive driving course, that affirmed many aspects of the need for cycling safety on the road, that this column has advocated for the past four and a half years. There is a shared responsibility of all road users to respect each other’s space and time in obeying the road rules. When looking at road safety statistic it is quite evident there are many varying factors in the cause of accidents, and from past experience cyclists involved in accidents often don’t get reported.

To be a defensive shared road user requires a conscience decision to change existing behaviour.  While not easy, change can be achieved with the right motivation, attitude, combined with increased awareness and skill development. In any change process there needs to acknowledgement of the risk factors that can place us on a collision course at sometime in the future. Thinking about how our own behaviour can impact others is the start of self awareness. Some might say it is gaining a better balance of our rights and responsibilities as a shared road user. Read the rest of this entry »

A Christmas blessing in graduating in cycling skills development

24 December, 2010
Children lined up at the finish line at the Bendigo cycle track

J-Cycle Bendigo: under expert guidance, young cyclists are learning general and track cycling skills.

There is no doubt that cycling is growing across Bendigo at recreational and sporting level, recently Cycle Sports Victoria awards night Bendigo and District Cycling Club was awarded club of the year. It is fair to say that the Bendigo Club runs an extensive and very successful junior development program now for a number of years.

This Junior introduction to cycling is under the banner of “J-Cycle” which comes from Cycling Australia born from the need across Regional Australia of cycling clubs to make an entry level into the sport of cycling available with a purpose and defined structure. J-Cycle is a Sports Commission Accredited Program and has the same benefits of insurance cover as all other licensed riders in the sport. Read the rest of this entry »

What are your blind spots on safe shared road usage?

17 December, 2010
Two cyclists sharing the road with cars at a busy intersection

Share the road: both cyclists and motorists need to be aware of the other's rights and their own responsibilities.

This week’s article has come from a number of different incidents that highlighted a gap in understanding in sharing the road safely regulations and laws ascribed to in our community.  These incidents also confirmed that in community groups there will always be a sliding scale of those that try their best to be responsible shared road users and at the other far end there will be those that have a different agenda motorist and cyclists alike. These are mainly in a minority and we find it hard to comprehend or understand where they may be coming from when mixed with anger and frustration towards other shared road users. Read the rest of this entry »

Team building on the bike

12 November, 2010
Line up of 11 cyclists in Powercor jerseys and 4 support crew

Team building: the Powercor Peddlers and their all-important support crew

Have your own small business? Involved in a group of people that you would like to take on an eventful weekend away cycling?  Looking to do some team building in your work place and can get Corporate support? Consider a well organised friendly ride like the Port to Port.

Our experience has been after taking away many groups of mixed company we have witnessed the development of many riders increase their cycling repertoire. Last weekend was the ninth Mallee Family Care Port to Port that we had participated in as team number 20 Powercor Peddlers. Port to Port is a 2 day bike ride through scenic national parks, starts in Mildura and runs through Swan Hill and on to Echuca. As we ride we get views of Hattah National Park, rolling vineyards, orange groves through the Almond Plantations and views of the mighty Murray River as we pedal over the 400 klm course. Read the rest of this entry »