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Margaret Boylan, the ambassador for Bike SA’s Gear Up Girl SA ride gives some “where to from here” advice for participants of Gear Up Girl SA. 

How good was our Gear Up Girl SA ride! We all had had an excellent day out on the bike. Now that you have celebrated your success in the ride you might be asking yourself “where to next’? or “what’s my next cycling goal”? Before you answer those questions though it’s a good idea to a bit of review about your Gear Up Girl ride so you can learn from it and use that knowledge to go on from here with your cycling. Some questions you might ask to do that could be ….

1. What did I learn from my Gear Up Girl” ride about what worked really well for me about my bike, my kit & my body on the day? Why did it work well? How can I make good use of that knowledge to get even better at cycling?

 2. What did I learn from my Gear Up Girl” ride about my bike, my kit & my body on the day that didn’t work so well for me? Why didn’t it work well? How can I make good use of that knowledge to get improve my riding in the future?

The “Susie Fictional-Rider”

To show how this works here is a story about a “Susie Fictional-Rider” that might help explain ..…

“Susie Fictional-Rider” is a cyclist who has never done a Bike SA ride before she did Gear Up Girl. She had done some training for the Outer Harbour ride that she registered for. She always found herself quite tired when on her training rides which she did by herself.

But on the Gear Up Girl ride she didn’t feel so tired – she felt much more energetic through-out the ride! Although she did end up with a lower back ache when she got off which she had not had before.

When she asked herself why she might have felt more energetic she realised that there a few things that she did differently on the Gear Up Girl ride that contributed to this improvement.

·         She stopped at every rest station provided by Bike SA & had something to eat. She usually didn’t eat anything on her training rides at all.

·         She rode in a group with other women who were about the same level of fitness & experience as her. She didn’t know them but they rode in a “bunch’ so she was able to “draft” instead of riding into the wind by self all the time as she usually did.

From this Susie thought she could make good use of that knowledge to learn more about nutrition for herself as she rides. Luckily she had the contact numbers of some of the women she had ridden with in Gear Up Girl so she also resolved to call them to see if she could ride with them regularly. She also thought she could learn more about group riding before she did that & that she would try a Bike SA ride.

When Susie thought about why she had a lower back ache she remembered that she had played around with her seat a few days before the ride & had moved it a bit lower. She did this as she usually rode by herself and was concerned about riding with others. She thought it would be a bit safer to be “closer to the ground” if she needed to put her foot down suddenly. As it turned out she had a lot of fun riding with others, learned a lot from riding with them, including that it was easier to ride in a bunch than by herself. She realised her adjustment to her seat had changed her position on the bike & probably gave her a lower back ache. She thought she would make good use of this knowledge about how she got a lower back ache by learning more about getting the best position for herself  on her bike and   maybe getting a bike fit done – especially as she was now planning to ride more with her new friends!

In any case, I wish you lots of fun building your cycling skill & fitness & list of great ride experiences in 2017.

About Margaret Boylan

Margaret was drawn to cycling at a later stage in life, switching from horse riding to cycling in 2005.  She is now a Cycling Coach and Personal Trainer & has set up First Principles Fitness and Coaching, putting her many years of coaching & leading in her previous career to work enabling and supporting recreational riders to gain fitness, skill and confidence as cyclists. She was the 2016 ambassador for Gear Up Girl SA.