The year that was…club champs to club champs

It has been a hectic few weeks, post Tour of Murray. I have barely raced since then… just been concentrating on getting life admin done, riding my bike and riding my bike. Actually, who am I kidding, I’ve just been riding my bike…So I must apologise for the tardiness of this update.

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Over the past two weeks I have been reflecting a lot about the year that was…Surprisingly, there was a time before #pinkwasmycolour, before I lived in Melbourne, before Napoleon, before lift selfies, and before I raced bikes.

It was this time last year that I “got on my bike and raced it” for the first time, at the 2012 Hawthorn Club Championships. Thinking about this race makes me cringe a little. Mostly at the fact that I had no idea what I was getting myself in to. I mean, I had never raced before. I had not trained, ever. I was sooooo not prepared. Ha. My legs were blown off during that race. I came last, or thereabouts. Though slightly traumatised, I came away from that race determined and set myself two goals.

1. To not have my legs blown off again and;
2. To race C Grade, Tour of Bright

Both goals that at the time, seemed somewhat unachievable.

So, effectively, with the help of my super coach, those two things are what I’ve been working towards.  For those of you that have been following this blog and my cycling will know, it has been quite the year. I’ve had some wins. Some losses. Gone up some grades. Got dropped. Got back on. Got on the front. Got off the front. Climbed mountains. Learned a lot…And… had a heap of fun in the process. Along with a lot of hard work… and hundreds of kilometers, I’ve had some great opportunities come my way too.

I guess it all started with joining Hawthorn Cycling Club and through their Women’s Development Program my love for cycling spiralled, Total Rush have played an important role in that they continually supported me as a development rider and ambassador; and having the opportunity to race the National Road Series with Cycling Victoria Women’s Development Squad NRS team has made me push my limits and learn a lot about racing with the big girls in the process. Some amazing people have come into my life too, as mentors, friends and partners. They have and are contributing so positively to my life. I’m not sure why I feel compelled to tell you all this, but I guess I just want you all know that I appreciate everyone in my life… and that you can achieve your goals that you set.

Two weeks ago I raced the 2013 Hawthorn Club Championships. I did not come last. I came first! I could not believe it. By no means am I an amazing cyclist. I won’t be going to Europe or riding in the Giro Rosa. I’ve got about 100 watts and a lot of experience to gain. …and as the super coach says “patience grasshopper”.

Get on your bike and ride it, and most importantly, have fun whilst doing it.

P.S. I have achieved my gols I set last year…. Though my legs continually are blown off each and every time I race. But, I know now it is what makes you stronger, more determined and a better cyclist. And you know what…I am riding at the Tour of Bright… time in B grade.

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2012 Club Champs

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2013

Meet The Watermelon – Elan Triathlon Bicycle

I came across this steel frame Triathlon bike on eBay in December 2011. I had to have it. $400 later, it was couriered to me from Adelaide, its alleged birth place.
“Elan was Pulteney Street Cycles [Adelaide] own brand from around 1986 until around 1993, when they ceased trading in South Australia….The Abeni, Europa, & Elan, were quality lightweight steel racing frames built in-house in Australia, by Abeni” (taken from: BicycleHistory.com.au).

The Watermelon came to me in pristine condition. She was purchased by her precious owner in the 90’s and only raced a few triathlons before being shelved once babies were born. I have not raced a triathlon, and probably never will, so this Australian made beauty will live out the rest of her days being ridden around and about town and will eloquently serve its purpose as a bloody awesome specimen of a bicycle.

the watermelon

Some not-so-convincing reasons why you should cycle

I cycle everywhere: to work, to the pub, to the supermarket, I ride hard and I ride up hills, I ride slow, I just ride. You should do it too. It is fun. Here’s why:

  • You won’t have to drive or park ever again, you will be way less stressed than if you road raged your way to work
  • You won’t have to pay for parking or pay for petrol, its expensive…think of all the lycra you can buy with the savings
  • You will meet hot bike boys/girls on the road, bike path romance – been there done that
  • You will always be at the front of the traffic queue, just skip through the traffic and beat the cars. You can race them at the lights!
  • You will have sexy helmet hair, all the hipsters are doing it, just ruffle your mop, and go
  • You will get to exercise for free, why pay for an over priced gym membership when you can burn 600 calories per hour on the bike
  • You will save the environment by not producing any carbon emissions, except for the emissions from breathing of course – so hold your breath
  • You can park anywhere you like, footpaths, indoors, in the way of people etc.
  • You will look like a hipster, just roll up one pant leg, wear skinny jeans, a floral/hawiian shirt and don’t smile even though you are loving life on the bike
  • You can legitimately wear lycra to a cafe, just make sure that it fits you properly and is not ugly
  • You can drink as much coffee as you want, thats all cyclists do, other than cycle

Enjoy your bike or get one, it’ll change your life.
And if you have any other reasons, let me know!

Meet Napoleon – AMIRA SL4 PRO COMP

Napoleon is my new baby. She was born at Total Rush, Richmond on 15 December, 2012.

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Named primarily because of the Neapolitan Icecream colour combination – pink bar tape, white hoods and black shifters. I discovered later about the term “Napoleon Complex” (more info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napoleon_complex), which upon further research, seems somewhat fitting! The complex apparently surfaces in people who are of short stature, like myself. Where one displays compensatory behaviour for the subjects stature. Ha.

Napoleon has changed my life (or the way I ride at least). He is light, handles well, and is an overall dream to ride.

AMIRA SL4 PRO COMP
Total Rush, Richmond

FRAME
FACT 10r carbon, FACT IS construction, women’s tubesets and performance geometry, tapered 1-1/8″ to 1-3/8″ HT, OSBB

FORK
Specialized FACT carbon, full monocoque, 1-1/8″ to 1-3/8″ tapered steerer

HEADSET
1-1/8″ upper and 1-3/8″ lower Cr-Mo cartridge bearings, w/ 20mm carbon cone spacer and 20mm of carbon spacers

STEM
Specialized Pro-Set 7075 3D forged alloy, cone head bolt and plastic clip, 12- degree, 4-degree shim, 31.8mm

HANDLEBARS
Specialized Women’s Expert alloy, shallow drop

HOODS
SRAM white

TAPE
Specialized Roobaix pink

FRONT BRAKE
SRAM Force

REAR BRAKE
SRAM Force

FRONT DERAILLEUR
SRAM Force

REAR DERAILLEUR
SRAM Red Black

SHIFT LEVERS
SRAM New Red DoubleTap

CASSETTE
SRAM 1070, 10-speed, 11-28

CHAIN
KMC X10 DLC Superlight

CRANKSET
Specialized Pro FACT carbon

CHAINRINGS
50/34

BOTTOM BRACKET
OS integrated, sealed bearings

PEDALS
Shimano Ultegra

FRONT WHEEL
Roval Fusee SLX 23

REAR WHEEL
Roval Fusee SLX 23

FRONT TYRE
Specialized Turbo Pro, BlackBelt, 127TPI, aramid bead, 700x23c

REAR TYRE
Specialized Turbo Pro, BlackBelt, 127TPI, aramid bead, 700x23c

INNER TUBES
Turbo Ultralight, 60mm, presta

SADDLE
Body Geometry Oura Expert Gel, hollow Ti rails, 155mm

SEATPOST
Specialized Pro SL, FACT carbon, 27.2mm

SEAT BINDER
Forged alloy, Ti bolt and nut, 32.6mm