As an adult I took up cycling when I was given a second hand bike. I hadn’t ridden since I was in high school and so set up a really old trainer in my garage and thought it was pretty amazing when I managed to ride for 10 minutes straight.
Now I have 3 bikes, my road bike, my CX/commute bike and my pub bike.
Last year during my training for Around the Bay 250km ride, I participated in the Amy Gillet Gran Fondo and had an accident resulting in multiple fractures of my collarbone. I was devastated that I was unable to ride Around the Bay. Instead I set my sights on the 7 Peaks challenge.
I was really worried about Mt Hotham and Baw Baw. Both of those rides were much steeper than I’ve attempted before. I’d underestimated Dinner Plain and that actually worked for me because having done Dinner Plain I was pretty confident that I could do Hotham. The day we did Hotham I decided to just ride, not to think about it or stress about how steep some of the sections are. I told myself that it didn’t matter how fast I did it, what my cadence or speed was. All I needed to do was concentrate on climbing the bit right in front of me as comfortably as I could, don’t push too hard, just tap it out, leaving enough to get to the top of the mountain. That’s what happened, I got to the top, much to my surprise relatively easily. Then I knew I could do Baw Baw.
We used the 7 Peaks challenge to also do our first camping trips together. It was great fun and we found some great camp sites, the most memorable was at the foot of Mt Bogong. It was spectacular. this experience will open up more cycling experiences for us in the future.
To women just starting I say, go for it. Don’t worry about what other people think. You’ve already done better than lots of other people by just getting out and doing something.