Ride Bikes

Back on the bike ! 5 weeks after baby

Back on the bike ! 5 weeks after baby

Yay, my first ride back after having my third baby. It feels like forever that I have ridden. Yet it feels so comfortable and natural.

Penny Farthing Criterium - QLD


​New bike! And it glows in the dark!

New bike! And it glows in the dark!

I’m currently 35 weeks pregnant, and I have a new bike!

Not intentionally racing when 6 months pregnant

Not intentionally racing when 6 months pregnant

The 3 plus 3 at Old Hidden Vale (QLD) - 12 - 13 July 2014

Last year at xmas time, my husband and I entered into the 3 plus 3 event at Hidden Vale. It’s a 3 hour XC race on the Saturday and 3 hours on the Sunday. Because we have 2 kids, the format suited us. We could ‘tag team’ the racing and parenting. The race was cancelled due to a few days of heavy rainfall and was postponed to ‘Xmas in July’.

Fast forward to July 2014 and I’m 6 months pregnant with our 3rd baby. Not ideal racing conditions, but our entries to the race were carried over from last year. So we figured we would still ‘race’ and camp on the Saturday night with the 2 kids (almost 4 and almost 2 years old).

I tested out whether or not I could still fit in my Sol Breads - Cyclinic race kit. It was a tight squeeze, but achievable.

Riding when 6 months pregnant isn’t all that easy. Yes, I am smiling in the photos, but that’s because I love being out in the fresh air, and rolling over the rocks and dirt on my bike. The un-fun parts involve having a baby’s head pushing on your pelvis, lower back, ribs, lungs and stomach. You also have to make sure you don’t overheat, or push yourself into the red zone where you max out your heart rate. You also have to be careful with your balance and centre of gravity. Every week as the baby grows my balance seems to change. So you need to account for this when on the bike.

It is totally safe to ride when pregnant, but you need to know your limits, and listen to your body. Don’t push it!

I planned only to do 1 lap a day, leaving husband Tony to do the rest.

I set out on my first lap and got a few strange looks (‘is that chick pregnant, or did she eat too much of the wood oven pizza?” ). The Hidden Vale tracks were quite rough, loose and dry. The rocky decants were catching a few people out (4WD ambulances were working hard). So I made sure I was extra alert to read the trails ahead of me.

I spun my way up the climbs in granny gear to keep my heart rate down. There were some steep sections and drops that were a bit tricky due to the baby bump. I usually get quite far back over my seat/wheel (just a habit from downhilling). But with a baby bump in the way, this was hard! Baby would hit the seat, so I couldn’t extend all the way back.

My 4 year old smiled when I came back over the finish line and said “That would have been a bumpy ride for baby! Did it like it?”.

It was great to be out riding and camping. I can’t wait to race again properly; minus the baby bump!


Baby bump + bike


craft beer

10 years since my first DH race!

10 years since my first DH race!

Way back in May 2004 I randomly decided to have a go at Downhill MTB racing. I had done a bit of DH riding, and wanted to meet more girls who rode. I had only ridden with one other female.

So, I packed up my Norco A-line DH bike in the back of my Pulsar hatch back and went out to Bennetts Forest for the Inside Line MTB Club event.

I don’t remember if I had ridden the track before. I remember pushing the bike to the start line thinking that I just wanted to get down the hill in one piece and enjoy the experience. The track was not very steep and a perfect beginners track. It was a pine forest and there was nothing too frightening on the track. I think I came in last place, but it didn’t matter because I was hooked.

I met some great girls who taught me a lot about riding and keeping race nerves under control. We kept racing together/against each other for years.

Photo: 2004. My bike and I when I first got it. I’m in my work clothes and just wanted to pose for a photo.

May 2004. First race!

My second race was at Fox Creek Long Track. I found some photos while reminiscing. This race was a challenge!

I think there were five of us racing in Elite Women. Myself, Sarah Booth, Julie Harris and Gemma Mayfield. Carol may have had more sense and decided not to race (and get the white socks muddy). The conditions were muddy and a bit more muddy…. It has been raining for days. The race still went ahead. I remember the top part of the track wasn’t too bad, but the bottom section was almost unrideable.

These photos showed how bad it was getting through a section. Once you stopped it was impossible to get momentum again to keep rolling. Your wheels got all clagged up and wouldn’t spin.

I found the results too. Boothy had the skills to keep it rolling, but Julie, Gemma and I really struggled. It took Gemma 21 mins to get down the track! I think she actually went off the course and physically couldn’t lift her bike back onto the track.

Photo: I needed to push my bike up over a kicker… it was exhausting…


craft beer

Kona 24 Hour MTB Race - Hidden Vale

Kona 24 Hour MTB Race - Hidden Vale

AKA camping with kids and chocolate…and 14 weeks pregnant.

We wanted to race the 4hr event in a duo, however the only option was to race together (keeping within 100 m or so of each other at all times). This format wasn’t going to work for us, because we had the two kids to look after. So we entered into the 24 hour.

We arrived to Hidden Vale on Good Friday and pitched the tent, shelter, set up BBQ, beds etc etc etc… We had intentions of riding the track in the afternoon, but by the time we had set up our campsite, it was getting time to feed the hungry kids and then settle in for the night.

Easter Saturday was race day. The day was full of activities before the main event started. Our kids woke us up at 4:30am and the day had begun.

Hidden Vale is the location of the Spicers Retreat (fancy accommodation and restaurant overlooking lovely rolling hills and countryside). The race HQ was a few kilometres away from the main Spicers area, but we were told we could go to the restaurant for hot coffee. So after having some breakfast we ducked down to get coffee and pretend that we could afford to stay and eat at the restaurant. The staff were lovely and we would love to go back to stay there one day.

Back to the campsite, and I geared up for the kids race. Felix was racing his first event! The course was part of the main race track. There was a huge turn out for the kids, and a big range of abilities and ages. Felix (3.5 years old) was on a balance bike, which had its own class. I rode with him so he would know where to go. The crowd was huge, and cheering all the kids on, it was a great atmosphere. The track was quite tricky for kids. It went down a steep rocky long section where lots of kids crashed. Then it followed some single track up over rocks and through sand, under a bridge and back up onto a fire road. We stopped a few times for a drink, and Felix seemed to be enjoying it. Towards the finish line the commentator cheered on all the kids and Felix and I went through the finish line. He came first in his class, and did the 1.7 km track in about 15 mins. We were so proud of him.

Photo: The kids prizes. Yum!

After the kids presentations, we had to quickly get ourselves ready for the start of the 24 hr. Tony was off first and he took off with the 100’s of other competitors. The 4 hr race started at the same time. It was midday and getting quite warm. Tony went out for 2 laps which took almost 2 hrs. The kids were entertained on the bouncy castle and other fun things.

We transitioned slowly after Tony finished his laps. We were just there to have fun and ride our bikes, and knew that we couldn’t be too competitive (we hadn’t been training for a 24 hour!). I went out for my laps and was enjoying just taking it easy. I had ridden some of the trails before (a long time ago for the Duathlon! See link here 2009) but I couldn’t really remember what was coming up next. The tracks were dry, rocky and loose. HEAPS OF FUN! There was a tricky rock drop section after the skills park where the ambulance people were stationed. I wasn’t keen to blindly ride off it, so I walked it and had a look at the obstacle. The next trails had flow and could easily catch you out if you weren’t paying attention. I loved the ‘Rock Bottom’ track. Lots of little drop offs and fast steep sections through a creek. It took me over an hour to do 1 lap, so I went out for another half lap and then headed back to camp to get dinner and the kids sorted.

I would have loved to have kept riding, but there were mouths to feed. By this stage the kids were feral. Miss 20 months hadn’t had a day sleep and was inconsolable. Felix was hypo and exhausted from riding and playing in the bouncy castle all day. It took 2 hours to wind him down to get him to sleep. By this stage we were exhausted too, and decided not to do any night laps. Slack maybe, but we were enjoying the peace and quiet and chocolate at the campsite.

Morning time and it was Easter Sunday. We had chocolate eggs and the kids were hypo by 7am. Time to do some more riding!

We did a few more laps each and watched the crazy 24 hour racers come in from riding all day and all night. They are machines.

We had fun, came in 3rd place in the mixed team. Took a while to pack up the camp and we have decided that 2 nights camping is not really worth the massive effort it takes to pack up the car, kids, bikes etc. It needs to be longer than 2 nights.

It was great to be out riding.!


craft beer

New Kit!

New Kit !

Got a new race kit for the Sol-Breads Cyclinic Womens riding team.

It’s an honour to be asked to represent the team and wear the colourful kit. It’t got polka dots and some 80’s style stripes and colours. It will match my new helmet perfectly!

I can’t wait to wear it racing and shredding down the trails.

I won’t squeeze in it much longer as I am 12 weeks pregnant.


craft beer

Summer Sprints - The same track backwards

Summer Sprints - The same track backwards

3rd Place (16th February 2014)

I felt a bit more comfortable on the track this time because I had already raced it a few weeks ago. But it was to be raced in the opposite direction. I wasn’t a fan of it being in this direction because there seemed to be less single track downhill sections.

Somewhere along the way I managed to loose the front end and crash with a load of dust everywhere. I didn’t hurt myself and quickly got back on my bike wondering how that had happened! It’s been a long time since I have crashed!

I raced ok and gave it my best. I finished in 3rd place behind Jo Rowell and Jodie Willett.

I have decided I need to climb more hills and get some leg strength!

*Edit: Shortly after posting this blog, I realised I was 5 weeks pregnant with baby number 3!


craft beer

Summer Sprints - The race to make me hungry

Summer Sprints - The race to make me hungry

5th Place (2nd February 2014)

It’s about time I entered another race! The summer sprint series is held at Underwood Park, south of Brisbane. I had heard about these races, but never managed to make it down for one.

I entered into A grade, perhaps a silly idea…. but the format of racing meant that even if I was way behind the pace, no one would be left waiting for me to finish. It was a 50 minute race, and you just finish on whatever lap you are on after the 50 minutes.

While lining up to get my race place I bumped into Jodie Willett, Kylie Maduna and Anna Beck. All top riders, who would be my competition for the day. gulp.

It was hot even though it was early in the morning. The track was nice with a few tricky little sections like this rock garden (photo). It was harder than what it looked because it was fairly flat and you needed quite a run up to keep the momentum over the rocks.

I came in 5th place. Time to step up the training a bit.


craft beer