Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

November 12, 2014 00

I came across a fascinating post the other day about female cyclists getting waxed (he hem) down there and some discussion around if you get the whole lot removed (AKA Brazilian wax), is it going to hurt to ride? Should you groom or not groom then? And how much grooming is too much grooming? From […]

I came across a fascinating post the other day about female cyclists getting waxed (he hem) down there and some discussion around if you get the whole lot removed (AKA Brazilian wax), is it going to hurt to ride? Should you groom or not groom then? And how much grooming is too much grooming?

From most reports, it’s best to avoid cycling (or gym or running) for 24 to 48 hours after waxing. Let everything settle down.

Also investing in a good chamois cream is a good idea and I’ve found a good cream called Bump Eraiser which is pretty effective for avoiding in grown hairs.

What’s your advice or tips on waxing as a female cyclist?

 

Row of topiary trees of various sizes

April 17, 2014 01

When I’m driving, I hate the way they run red lights. Who said the road rules don’t apply to them? I hate how they are allowed to ride two abreast and I can’t get past them. I hate being stuck behind them because they are going sooooo slooooowly and then I get in front of […]

When I’m driving, I hate the way they run red lights. Who said the road rules don’t apply to them?

I hate how they are allowed to ride two abreast and I can’t get past them.

I hate being stuck behind them because they are going sooooo slooooowly and then I get in front of them and get stuck at the lights and they zoom past (running the red). Then the lights change and I’m stuck behind them again!

There I said it. Bet you weren’t expecting that from a cycling advocate!

angry motorist

So who hasn’t thought this way at some point?

Even I confess to thinking this way sometimes and getting frustrated in the traffic. We’ve all been there.

But I want to tell you what I also hate.

I hate being on my bike and scared witless that the guy driving very closely behind me is going to take me out.

I really hate when cars pass me in the lane and come so so close and I’m over in the gutter already with nowhere else to go.

I hated the day I was on my bike and watched the tyre of a 4WD roll about two inches away from my foot.

I hate the verbal abuse I cop nearly every time I ride my bike when I’m obeying the road rules and not doing anything wrong.

So this easter, you can expect many cyclists to be out and about.

If you are driving, give cyclists a metre of space. They are a person – they could be your daughter, or son, your friend, your work buddy.

If you are cycling, obey the road rules and help us all earn a bit of respect from motorists. Don’t jump red lights. Don’t ride more than two abreast.

Please share this with all your motoring and cycling friends.

Happy easter peeps and…

Happy cycling!

BikeGal.com

 

April 6, 2014 00

Nga Haerenga is Maori for the journeys and those kiwis seem to have journeys via a bicycle all stitched up. Now I know Australia also has lots of great places to ride (and yes we have an equally great rugby team)  but I really don’t think we can compete with what’s going on across the ditch with […]

Nga Haerenga is Maori for the journeys and those kiwis seem to have journeys via a bicycle all stitched up. Now I know Australia also has lots of great places to ride (and yes we have an equally great rugby team)  but I really don’t think we can compete with what’s going on across the ditch with cycling trails? (feel free to argue with me).

Five years ago, our kiwi neighbours had this idea about a cycling trail network across New Zealand. The NZ Government chipped in $50 million and made this idea possible and next thing you know the project was underway.

Now you may think that sounds expensive. But considering the recent news story  about converting a lane of the Pacific Highway through North Sydney into a bike lane would cost $15 million, I think that $50 million for a whole country seems quite reasonable?

I guess NZ was lucky too as once they worked out where the cycle paths were going to go, the local communities saw the value and came up with another $30 million of co-funding.

And they also had quite a lot of pre-existing off road networks to work with – so they weren’t starting from scratch and trying to convert a lane of a very busy main road.

In total our Kiwi friends created 23 rides – both new and existing trails – through some of New Zealand’s most beautiful and spectacular regions. And one of these regions is Hawke’s Bay – east coast of the North Island. This is New Zealand’s oldest wine growing region.

The cycling trails there are predominantly flat (easy to intermediate). Perfect for beginner riders and also the opportunity to visit all the lovely wineries. The images below are from some of Hawke’s Bay trails, looks like nice cycling.

HAwkes Bay 3

Hawkes Bay

There are cafes, wineries and toilets along this particular winery trail with mobile phone coverage in case you want to stop and call a friend to gloat about the amazing holiday you are having.

Aside from all the wines to try while you are there (this region is known for cabernet merlot, syrah, pinot noir, chardonnay and sauvignon blanc) the other thing Hawkes Bay is well known for is the town of Napier.

It’s known as the art deco capital of the world. After a devastating earthquake hit the town in 1931 and pretty much flattened it, they began rebuilding at the height of art deco popularity.

Today, everywhere you look, there is beautiful art deco architecture from the shops, the town hall, banks, office buildings.  Even their McDonalds is an art deco building! You can view some of the other lovely art deco buildings in Napier here.

Even McDonalds in Napier is art deco.

Even McDonalds in Napier is art deco.

So don’t wait – start planning your cycling holiday to NZ today! And I have the perfect option for you…

My friends from Tour de Vines are hosting a cycling holiday visiting some of Hawkes Bay’s best wineries – and giving friends of BikeGal.com a very special offer for their upcoming easter trip.

By mentioning BikeGal.com when you book on the easter trip, Tour de Vines and BikeGal.com will together make a $100 donation to the Amy Gillett Foundation for each booking!

It’s a five day/four night trip fully guided, all inclusive tour with 4/5 star accommodation, gourmet meals and winery visits. Click here to request a detailed itinerary. The daily cycling on this trip ranges from 20 to 50 km each day but is mostly flat with lots of stops.

There are only a few spots left and it will sell out. And as it’s over Easter, you can go without even having to take time off work! So why sit around at home this Easter, when you can escape to NZ winery country for a holiday on two wheels?

*This blog was sponsored by Tour de Vines. They provide food & wine based cycling tours all across Australia, New Zealand and Europe. BikeGal is actually a kiwi (yes born there!) and loves Hawkes Bay. Sponsored blogs are aligned with our disclosure policy.

Photos thanks to Hawke’s Bay Trails.

June 30, 2013 00

Following on from my last post about road rules, this week we are looking at all the cycling rules when cycling in bike lanes, cycleways, shared paths etc and what do all those signs mean? Bike lanes These are separated, marked spaces on the road especially for cyclists. And if there is one of these, by […]

Following on from my last post about road rules, this week we are looking at all the cycling rules when cycling in bike lanes, cycleways, shared paths etc and what do all those signs mean?

Bike lanes

bike lane sign

These are separated, marked spaces on the road especially for cyclists. And if there is one of these, by law you must use it if it’s practical to do so, i.e. if there is a truck parked over it, it may not be practical to do so. Just use your common sense. Watch for pedestrians and car doors opening. They look like the photo below –

bike lane image

Separated cycleways

separated cycleway sign

These are dedicated lanes for bike riders, separated from other vehicles and pedestrians by a kerb. You have priority on a cycleway but be careful as drivers and pedestrians are still about and may not see you. Make sure you give way where a give way sign or logo is displayed and give way to pedestrians on crossings.

Separated cycleways look like this:

separated cycleway

When the cycleway ends or changes, you may have to merge with other traffic and share the road with vehicles. Be aware of the change and take care.

Shared paths

shared path sign

These are often in parks and on some footpaths, shared paths are for cyclists and people walking. Pedestrians have priority here and you must give way to them.

shared path image

Bike only contra-flow lanes

This enables cyclists to travel on roads that are marked one way for other vehicles – i.e. you can ride along it in the opposite direction. You do not have to use this lane, and may instead use the traffic lane and travel in the same direction as traffic. They look like this:

contra flow bike lane

Look out for part 3 of road rules where we will explore what you can get fined for – yes you can get fined on a bike!

Happy cycling!

BikeGal.com

June 27, 2013 00

Before we all head out cycling over the weekend (rain, go away!), tell me….have you ever been cycling along, trying to change lanes and running out of time or road space, when you swing around to look at the driver who is not letting you in and give them the evil eye? This action seems […]

Before we all head out cycling over the weekend (rain, go away!), tell me….have you ever been cycling along, trying to change lanes and running out of time or road space, when you swing around to look at the driver who is not letting you in and give them the evil eye?

This action seems to have varying degrees of success – sometimes they back right off and let you in while other times they put their foot down and give you the evil eye right back!

One thing I did learn from doing the City of Sydney free cycling in the city course (http://sydneycycleways.net/courses/cycling-confidence), is that you can make this whole process easier for yourself by actually making normal eye contact with the driver (not the evil eye!).

Politician Julie Bishop has the evil eye down pat!

Politician Julie Bishop has the evil eye down pat!

And once I discovered this, I also learnt that more often than not connecting eyes with the driver in a nice, sharing the road kinda way rather than the evil eye, get outta my way kinda way, generally led to the motorist letting me in.

I suppose ultimately we all are all on the road together and so we need to share the infrastructure. In a perfect world we would have separate bike lanes to cycle in, but that’s simply not the real world of Sydney that we live in.

So next time you are trying to change lanes – give it a go – lock eyes with the motorist in a friendly but confident kind of way, and see what response you get.

Happy cycling!

BikeGal.com

June 25, 2013 00

So if you had assumed that all of Sydney city’s cycle paths would be interconnected sooner rather than later – think again. At today’s meeting of the Central Sydney Traffic and Transport Committee (created by Premier O’Farrell to improve transport planning in the city of Sydney) the group voted against getting on with the work […]

So if you had assumed that all of Sydney city’s cycle paths would be interconnected sooner rather than later – think again.

At today’s meeting of the Central Sydney Traffic and Transport Committee (created by Premier O’Farrell to improve transport planning in the city of Sydney) the group voted against getting on with the work to extend the separated cycleway on Kent St from Druitt to Liverpool St.

This cycleway provides cyclists with a way to move particularly between the city’s north and through to areas such as Chinatown, Darling Harbour and Pyrmont. It is also a crucial route for cyclists to access the Harbour Bridge.

The Kent St cycleway - courtesy of smh.com.au

The Kent St cycleway – courtesy of smh.com.au

The Committee is unfortunately made up of four members from State Government bureaucracy vs three members from the City of Sydney including Lord Mayor Clover Moore.

They voted 4-3 (what a surprise!) to not finish the cycleway until the Sydney City Centre Access Strategy is completed – a strategy that integrates all travel modes including pedestrians, cycling, trains, light rail and buses.

As noted by Jacob Saulwick in the Sydney Morning Herald article yesterday,  the proposal to extend this part of the cycleway along Kent St ‘has been before the (O’Farrell) government for its entire term in office’!

Prior to the vote, Clover Moore asked the Committee to not delay the cycleway work and acknowledged to the room, which included many of Sydney’s cycling advocates such as BIKESydney, Bicycle NSW, BIKEast, that the Kent St cycleway was “a critical route.”

She said the recommendation put forward to delay its completion was shocking and she would not support it.

“To not proceed with Kent Street (cycleway) is a real set back,” she added.

Many of Sydney’s cycling community in the room were not surprised by the decision and most agreed that this has been coming for a while however the disappointment and frustration was obvious on many faces.

This Committee is meant to meet four times a year – so far they have met once, last November, so today marks their second meeting.

So what can we do about it?

I encourage you to express your disappointment to as many Ministers as you can.

Express it to the NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay by emailing him office@gay.minister.nsw.gov.au and letting him know you would like the Central Sydney Traffic and Transport Committee to stop delaying crucial parts of Sydney’s cycleway from being completed.

Or express it to the NSW Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian by contacting her here.

Or express it to Sydney media such as the Sydney Morning Herald.

Or express it to the Minister for Planning (Hazzard), Minister for Health (Skinner – as we all know cycling has health benefits!) and the Minister for Healthy Living (Humphries).

Email all of them a short email requesting the urgent delivery of the Central Sydney Access Strategy.

 If you need ideas on what to write – click here and scroll down to David Borella from BIKESydney’s comments where he has kindly shared his letter…

We’ve waited long enough!

June 20, 2013 2

On a cold and wet Sydney afternoon I took a trip to Marrickville to visit the store who won our recent survey  to find Sydney’s best bicycle store for female cyclists. I can confess, I had never heard of them.  And what or who is Omafiets??! ‘Omafiets’ is a Dutch word that literally means ‘grandma […]

On a cold and wet Sydney afternoon I took a trip to Marrickville to visit the store who won our recent survey  to find Sydney’s best bicycle store for female cyclists.

Chris accepts the certificate from Rachael from BikeGal.com

I can confess, I had never heard of them.  And what or who is Omafiets??!

‘Omafiets’ is a Dutch word that literally means ‘grandma bike’. No this doesn’t mean they only sell bikes for grannies – it’s referring to a style of bike that has been widely copied for its ease of riding, good looks and reliability.

The majority of bikes at Omafiets are second hand, upright, comfy bikes.

Ollie, Maurice and Chris opened Omafiets in 2010 and their ethos is simple. They just want to get people cycling and provide great bicycles for transport and getting around.

Maurice, Ollie and Chris with their BikeGal.com certificate – winners are grinners!

Having met them, I can now understand why they won. What a nice bunch of blokes who just want to get you cycling! They are relaxed and friendly but clearly know a lot about bicycles and cycling. No macho BS here!

Here is my interview with them.

Congratulations on your win, why do you think you won?

Maurice: “We believe everyone can cycle. I guess our store has got away from the male dominated, sports side of it, most of our bikes are more for getting around. Even our road bikes are more for day rides.

Also Chain Lynx started here which was all about teaching women bike maintenance skills.”

Do you have any female employees?

Maurice: “No! We want some! We are trying to find them!”

So most of your bikes are second hand? Where do they come from?

Chris: “We actually import second hand bikes from the Netherlands.”

How old are the bikes?

Chris: “They range from the 1980s to 2000s. Some are more vintage than others.”

So why are there so many second hand bikes in the Netherlands?

Maurice: “The Netherlands actually has a tax incentive in place so residents can literally write off a new bike through tax every few years.”

How often do you get a new shipment of bikes?

Ollie: “About every six to twelve months we get about 100 to 150 bikes.”

Do you check each bike?

Chris: “Yes, we want to be able to tell people you can rely on these bikes.”

How much are your bikes?

Ollie: “They range from about $400 up to $1000 or more.”

Do you only have commuter bikes then?

Ollie: “No we have all sorts of bikes – road bikes, cargo bikes, electric bikes, kids bikes, tandems… There is a bicycle to solve every problem.”

What sort of new bikes?

Maurice: “We stock the Dutch Gazelle range, Allegro bicycles, and Jamis commuter bikes.”

Do women ask more questions when buying a bike? Is that true?

Chris: “Yes, we think so. We find that women tend to have lots more questions than men.”

Who are your usual customers?

Maurice: “Mostly we get local people or some will come specifically to us because they have heard about us. We often get people who are trying to get back into cycling. And then we try and find them a comfy bike and tell them to go do a City of Sydney cycling course.”

I heard you do something with old second hand bikes?

Ollie: “Yes, Chris and I are part of the Bicycle Garden, a volunteer group that fixes them up and gives them to asylum seekers through St Vincents de Paul.”

So there you have it – our winners for 2013!

I can confess I’ve never recommended buying a second hand bike, but having met these three, I think you could trust them to sell you a reliable second hand bicycle.

Well done to Omafiets! Go and visit Chris, Ollie and Maurice at 117B Addison Road, Marrickville (on Agar St). www.omafiets.com.au

The Omafiets store

April 29, 2013 00

Sorry it’s been all a bit quiet from BikeGal.com over the last week but I’ve been on holidays to Vanuatu. I had a revelation while I was on holidays… cycling = better balance. Now this may not seem like rocket science to you, but if you are like me and have never considered yourself to […]

Sorry it’s been all a bit quiet from BikeGal.com over the last week but I’ve been on holidays to Vanuatu.

I had a revelation while I was on holidays… cycling = better balance.

Now this may not seem like rocket science to you, but if you are like me and have never considered yourself to have great balance then cycling is a way to improve it.

Having cycled for a few years now fairly consistently, I was delighted to go on holidays and discover that I could attempt paddle boarding and get up first go without falling off.

Several years ago I attempted windsurfing and the experience was just awful.

Anyway, here is me (below left) about to get on the paddle board. Sadly my photographer lost interest in my experience (and probably went to have a margarita!) so there are no photos of me up on the board. But I can promise you, I got up and it was fun!

Getting onto the paddle board

My boyfriend scoffed at me when I said I wouldn’t be able to get up on the board. So yes, he was right and I was wrong. But I was still surprised at how much my balance has improved.

Have you discovered better balance with other activities thanks to cycling?

Happy cycling!

BikeGal.com

March 22, 2013 00

Last week I had a really special night – Jono Fisher and his gang from Wake Up Sydney gave me a kindness award for being kind to women by helping them to get cycling with BikeGal.com! Here’s a link to the Q&A with me (thanks to my quick thinking boyfriend for recording it!). Wake Up […]

Last week I had a really special night – Jono Fisher and his gang from Wake Up Sydney gave me a kindness award for being kind to women by helping them to get cycling with BikeGal.com!

Here’s a link to the Q&A with me (thanks to my quick thinking boyfriend for recording it!).

Wake Up Sydney is a community of 12,000 people celebrating kindness and courage in Sydney and encouraging Sydneysiders to be kind to each other.

I spent 10 minutes on stage with the host of the event and Wake Up Sydney founder Jono Fisher talking about BikeGal.com. I really hope it inspires a few more women to give cycling a go.

On stage

The night was great. It started with a guided meditation which may sound odd, but when you have rushed there straight from work and have a million things rolling through your mind it’s not a bad way to start an event and get everyone in a good place. (Guided meditations before work meetings – wouldn’t that be cool?).

There was music performers, a great speaker called Steve Biddulph talking about his book which is all about raising girls (I’ll let you google that one).

Thanks Wake Up Sydney and thanks to City of Sydney for nominating me.

Here I am (in the middle) with my family and friends. We had a great night!

(L-R) Ginni Seton, Robyn, Chris and Rachael de Zylva, Sarah Nicita, Sarah Fernando, Mark Drinkwater

(L-R) Ginni Seton, Robyn, Chris and Rachael de Zylva, Sarah Nicita, Sarah Fernando, Mark Drinkwater

March 21, 2013 00

Another guest blogger!! Today’s blog comes from my gorgeous friend Sarah who is living in Kathmandu, Nepal at the moment. As she is riding a bike there I asked her to send me a blog about her experience. She is quite the writer! I love that she can still look glamourous while riding a bike […]

Another guest blogger!! Today’s blog comes from my gorgeous friend Sarah who is living in Kathmandu, Nepal at the moment. As she is riding a bike there I asked her to send me a blog about her experience. She is quite the writer!

I love that she can still look glamourous while riding a bike in Nepal.

If you would like to share your cycling adventures overseas or even your everyday travels – email me! info@bikegal.com with a photo of you and your bike. Tell us why you ride, where you like to ride.

Now… over to our guest blogger Sarah and her ode to Scott

I gaze lovingly at your tall, strong frame. To say that you have changed my life, opened new doors and blazed new paths is insulting in its understatement.

You protect me in this place of chaos by lifting me above the dust and debris. In a city where there are no road rules or traffic lights and lanes are merely a suggestion, you navigate me safely among the zooming and zig-zagging cars, motorbikes and pedestrians. In places where the city’s road widening project has turned the streets into something resembling a bomb site, you lead me lovingly over the piles of rubble and mud.

I used to be terrified of this place, but now, thanks to you, I feel right at home.

Sarah cycles the Ring Road, 27 km of paved road circling Kathmandu.

Last week, you whisked me away for a magical weekend in the hills surrounding Kathmandu, passing through rural villages where the children delightedly greeted us with “namastes” and doe-eyed cows and baby goats stared lazily at us. Bemused villagers raised their hands in greeting, wondering who this strange foreign couple were. We got down and dirty in the mud and splashed around in the bubbling brook, laughing at our sheer inhibition and wild abandon.

This month, we will travel to postcard perfect Pokhara where we will have an exhilarating time navigating the mountains surrounding gorgeous Lake Begnus together.

Scott, my dear American, my feelings for you are unconditional. If you ever get sick, I promise to take you to a place in Lazimpat where they will fix you up, as good as new.

Where Sarah takes Scott for bike repairs in Kathmandu, Nepal.

I love the way you feel under me. We fit together just so. You know exactly how to handle me and you know when to put the brakes on.

I will stick by you, through the monsoon and winter seasons. We have an amazing year ahead, Scott. I can’t wait to share my life with you here in Kathmandu.