Michelle Armstrong

Can I just say I am a 50 something, who has delusions of still being a fit and fabulous 30 something! Actually I think I am fitter now than in my 30s, when I lived in Sydney (sans bike), but that all changed when I moved to the beautiful North East 14 years ago. Two weeks later I was invited to join my sister and a group of 40 something ladies on a coffee ride…two years later and I’m the proud owner of a road bike; touring bike and town bike!

I have now completed six Alpine Audax Challenges (2 x 120km & 4 x 200km) – so that’s a lot of preparation time spent climbing Hotham, Dinner Plain, Buffalo and Falls.

So many reasons motivate me to ride.  It’s is a low impact workout which builds core strength, balance and coordination, it’s a great way to catch up with friends and get fit at the same time, the mindfulness (especially when riding in the mountains) – riding is so enjoyable you come away feeling happier, healthier and energised. Cycling is an integral part of training for my other passion: cross country skiing and competing in long distance ski marathons.

My most memorable moments riding the 7 Peaks… The time I rode with a girlfriend and a travel writer from Mt Beauty to Bright: Hotham, Omeo then back of Falls and finished at Mt Beauty – over 2 days is etched in my memory. Brumby mares and foals galloping next to us near Dinner Plain, lots of laughs and a few expletives especially on CRB hill; amazing food and accommodation…..and so proud to show off my alpine backyard to my friend and colleague. I still haven’t forgiven him for featuring our lycra bottoms in a national newspaper!

Prosecco is definitely one of the rewards, after properly hydrating of course!  Other off bike experiences: swims & Ice Baths (winter) in Bright and Porepunkah after climbing Buffalo, breakfast at Treats Café, Mt Beauty, after an ascent of Falls and relaxing by the crackling fire at Rundells Lodge, Dinner Plain, with a robust red in hand.