I’m 22, and I came to cycling after a bad accident at a party left me with a broken tibia. I was a high level rower and after some time off and ongoing pain I discovered riding a bike wouldn’t hurt so much while I was waiting for the bone to mend.
I did a race and then had another unfortunate incident due to a j-walking pedestrian who didn’t look. By this point, I was hooked and my palms were sweaty to get back on the bike once my pelvis healed. I was on the bike the day I was allowed to go riding again.
Three months later I was lining up for my first national road series race for Tour of the Murray River and I’ve never been so nervous. People had been racing years and I could count the bike races I’d done on one hand. Nine months later I’d had my first Top 10 in the NRS and the next day I was caught up in a bunch crash and broke my elbow badly. I found this very difficult to get over and only in September of 2016 did I begin to see my old self return to the bike.
During this time I learned a lot about myself and about whether I really want to be a bike rider. I’m now back doing about 350km a week with plenty of hills.
I’m very fortunate to have a fantastic coach (Simon and Jen Bennett from Velocity Endurance) and a very supportive group of family and friends around me. My dad rides too and so when I’m home around Torquay we ride to Barwon Heads for coffee.
I train alone a bit but I don’t mind it. If my boyfriend is around we ride together (even though he’s much faster than me) otherwise my go to bunch ride is the Peak Cycles ride. In my generation of cyclists we have already seen the induction of a women’s World Tour and hopefully the pay gap will improve a bit over the next ten years.
The best bit about cycling is the view from the top. I think that’s why I like climbing. There is so much satisfaction when you get to see those spectacular views! The first proper hill climb I did was Mount Hotham at the Tour of Bright in 2014. There was pouring rain and then I got a puncture 4km from the shortened finish – so I had a bad Hotham experience. So the first peak I actually got the whole way to the top of was Mt Buffalo and it’s still one of the most fulfilling experiences I’ve had. I might go close to the strava QOM if I was having a good day… I missed it by 28 seconds but I cracked an hour: 58:28. I still have bad dreams about that, as I was so close!
My favourite [climb] is probably the Mt Beauty side of Falls Creek. I’ve done all but Baw Baw – it’s the one that eludes me. I have plans to do the Baw Baw road race next year though so I’ll probably do it then! I have made a habit of doing climbs for the first time in races.
Most memorable on bike experience: Snow at Hotham in November! I got off my bike and just sat in the snow and threw some snowballs for the novelty! It felt more like Europe than Australia.
I really like the other stuff to do around Bright. The river is great. There’s a really cool rock pool down Rock Pool Lane out on the Buckland Valley Road that everyone should experience once. Go down Harris Lane and then onto Rockpool Lane where you follow your ears to the water.