Ride Bikes

What does it feel like to mountain bike pregnant?

Usually when people think of a pregnant woman they don’t imagine her riding a bike! Have you ever wondered what it feels like to ride pregnant?

You are probably thinking of the awkward waddle of a pregnant woman and conjure up uncomfortable images of her on a bike.

You imagine the discomfort of her sitting on a seat on her ‘private parts’ where, soon a baby will be delivered. How can that be a good thing? It’s enough to make you cringe.

Then you hear she has also been riding off road on her mountain bike over bumps and rocks! You cringe again…

Let me assure you: She’s not a complete nut job.

She’s probably not in pain and probably not even thinking about the area where a full sized baby will soon be birthed from.

She’s probably smiling, enjoying the fresh air, the outdoors and the exercise. She’s dressed for comfort and feels good.
Her lungs may feel squashed, making it an effort to breathe. But that would happen regularly regardless of if she were on a bike. She may feel tired, but that’s nothing new either. The bumps may make her need to pee and she’ll feel hungrier than ever.

But it is likely that she is enjoying herself, just like everyone else on his or her bikes.

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A review of the Yepp Mini baby bike seat


This is my first online review. So, I did what any good researcher does…. I found the ACCC guidelines for online reviews (https://www.accc.gov.au/publications/online-reviews-a-guide-for-business-review-platforms).

Just to make sure I don’t do something illegal! It all seems pretty straightforward.

I am not getting paid to do this review, but I am using affiliate links to websites which sell the Yepp Mini. If you purchase from these sites using my links, then I receive a small commission from the sale.

The Yepp Mini front baby seat costs $199. But you can usually get it cheaper (approx. $170 with free shipping) from 99 Bikes (click here) or Pushys (click here).

The seat is designed for a child 9 months to 3 years. However this depends on how big your baby is, and how well they can hold their head up and hold on. I think it is probably more suited to a child of a minimum of 1 year old, then they have the required head stability and grasp. I think the top end age would be a 2 year old. There is no way my just turned 3 year old would fit in there. So I think that age range is a bit ambitious.


It is really user friendly. It was easy to install and connect on the bike. We had to buy an adapter to mount it on a mountainbike. The head stem was not long enough to mount it using the adapter that came with it. The Yepp Mini Ahead Adapters are $29.99. You can buy them from 99 Bikes (click here) and Pushys (click here).

A 1-hour ride was no problem for our 1 year old. The straps are nice and wide for his shoulders and he seemed quite comfortable.

We will use the Yepp Mini for bike paths. We don’t intend on using it off road (even though we put it on a cross country mountain bike). Obviously you will have a different experience with the seat depending upon the bike you use it with.

Pros: It’s light but robust. It is easy to install and take off if needed (I could do it with one hand). It comes with keys to lock it to the bike for extra security. The shoulder straps are nice and wide. The baby has his or her own handles to hold onto.

Cons. Steering was an issue as the feet holders hit the side of the frame when at the smallest foot holder setting. This limited the range of steering. There was an extra cost for the Ahead Adapter to fit onto our mountain bike. When mounted, I had very little room for my head on top of baby’s helmet. Taller riders did not have this problem.

In my experience the Yepp Mini is a really cool little seat. It’s durable and funky.

Check out my video review for some footage of the seat in action.

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Learning to ride a Penny Farthing

Our five year old has started to show interest in learning to ride the baby Penny Farthing.

He fits it now and started to ride it last week. You can see the footage here: https://youtu.be/XX3muGGmaXI

Then today he wanted to have another turn. This time he balanced really well and was almost cornering without any help.

He understands how to stop the bike using the pedals (remember that Penny Farthings don’t have brakes!).

Next time we might take him out on the open footpath so he has more room to ride. It gets a bit tricky on the small deck.

Here is the footage of him riding by himself.


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Bike riding with kids

The weather is getting warming and we all want to ride our bikes.

I love to ride and race, but I am also a mum to three kids.

As a bike-loving Mummy, I am very excited that the time has come where we can all ride our bikes together! The organisation and effort required to get three kids and their bikes, helmets, shoes, food and water out of the house can be quite an exhausting process. With planning and organisation it is achievable.

When can you all ride together?

Once your kids are about one year old, you can start to go on family rides, with the baby in a bike seat or a trailer.

Once they are about two years old, they can ride by themselves, or sit in the bike trailer.

I was lucky enough to experience our first family ride as a family of five on the weekend.

Our youngest baby is 11 months old and can hold his own head up long enough to sit in the baby seat.

We have a Mini Yepp, which mounts on the front of the bike. You can buy them from 99 Bikes (click here) and Pushys (click here).

We also have a trailer, but found that when our other kids sat in it and were too young, they would flop sideways or pull off their helmets. So you’d always be looking behind you to check on them while riding. The Mini Yepp solves that problem. If you are keen on a trailer though, both 99 bikes (click) and Pushys (click) sell them.

Master F is five, and he has a 18 inch BYK bike, Miss T is three and she rides a First Bike balance bike (and a hand me down pedal bike, but the balance bike is much easier on family rides). We managed a flat ride of about 5 km and it took about 1 hour.

The rides aren’t fast and there are often crashes, tears and a lot of band-aids.

Organising all our bike stuff

Prior to having kids our garage provided a home to 15 bikes. Each of them lovingly cleaned, maintained and stored.

Since having kids, our riding time has diminished, and so has the number of our bikes. But instead of creating more room in the garage, we actually have more stuff. Each of the kids have bikes of their own and helmets, gloves, camelbaks etc.

Photo: Our storage solution and helmets on the garage wall.

Photo: Our riding camelbaks hanging on the wall.

To make it easier to find everyones bike gear, I mounted the helmets on the wall with containers underneath for gloves, spare tubes, tyre levers etc.

Bike shoes are stored on the shelf. I put hooks up for our camelbaks and the kids safety vests. The bikes are stored on the wall and on bike stands. All the gear needed to ride is easy to see and find. Finding the kids is a little more difficult…

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The first family ride

Baby Z is now 11 months old and is big enough to come out with us on bike rides. Nothing too serious, just bike paths.

He sits in the Mini Yepp front baby bike seat (which you can buy from 99 Bikes (click here) or Pushys (click here)) on one of our ‘spare’ bikes. It’s RRP is $199 (AU), but the bike shops usually have good sales and you can get them for about $170 with free shipping from both online stores. Both these links are affiliate links, so if you click on the links and buy from there, then I get a small commission.

I will be doing a review of the Yepp Mini baby bike seat in a future blog.

It was so lovely to go out with the whole family. The bigger kids were excited to see Baby Z in the bike seat smiling away. It was a fair effort to get everyone organised and sorted with helmets, bikes and shoes. But worth it to see their smiling faces.

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3 tips to make you a faster, smoother and more energy efficient mountain biker

So you’ve got the bike set up right, you are confident and have some fitness. You may even have some new riding socks.

You are all set to ride and you want to be faster, smoother, save energy, go harder and ride for longer.

Riding more often is going to make you fitter and stronger. But ultimately when riding, you want to carry more speed and go fast, while still conserving energy. So you can ride for longer and travel further.

Conserve energy while still going faster? Yes that’s right!

Here are 3 tips to help you reach that goal:

  1. Don’t brake.
  2. Choose good lines.
  3. Pump the track.
Doing these three things means there will be less pedalling (when you don’t need to), more speed, more energy.

Don’t brake

Try to carry speed by not braking as much. If you brake you will only have to put in the extra effort and pedal to get back up to speed. By not braking, you save that pedalling energy for later. Saving 1 pedal per corner on single track means you have the energy to pedal another 30 + pedals on the hilly or flat sections. Don’t brake unless it’s absolutely necessary!

Choose good lines

Line choice is a great skill to have. It is a key skill for downhillers, but it’s often overlooked by the cross country rider. Remember that the most direct route (or the A-line) is not always the fastest. It may not line you up best for the next corner. Some B-lines around drops are actually faster as you can carry speed and you don’t loose momentum on dodgy landings. Learn what works best for you and your bike. Ride smart and choose lines with purpose.

I remember reading an interview with Missy Giove (professional downhill mountain biker who dominated the sport in the 90’s and early 2000’s) which always stuck in my head. She always visualised the track before each race and imagined herself as water or a river, choosing the fastest route to flow down the mountain (Source from Dirtragmag).

Pump the track

Learn how to flow better and pump the trail. Pumping is more useful on the flat or downhill sections. Sometimes the trail is too rocky, rooted or rutted to get pedals in. So by working with the trail you can actually maintain speed and gain speed without pedalling or loosing speed. Small rises and falls in the track are actually like little roller coaster tracks. You flow down one side and ‘G-out’ at the bottom to carry speed up the next side. Push the bike down at the low points, and be light on the bike on the high points. It may not always be obvious where the track rises and falls. Sometimes it’s over rocks and roots and micro hills. You will be amazed at how much speed you can carry while pumping over a trail without even pedalling. If you are unclear of the concept of pumping, try playing the Tiny Wings game on your phone. It’s just like that.

So, by doing these three things, it will mean less pedalling, more speed, more energy!

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There’s a first time for everything. Go away tonsillitis!

There’s a first time for everything. Go away tonsillitis!

I managed to get really sick this week. Sitting at home with a sore throat and a high fever with 3 kids, is not fun.

The doctor diagnosed tonsillitis and a dose of antibiotics.

I felt much better almost instantly, however it wasn’t enough to ‘fix’ me in time for the Queensland XC State Champs at Samford.

As with any illness or injury, it sucks to be on the sidelines.

Time to recover, and focus on the next event. I haven’t decided what that will be yet… stay tuned!

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Chicks in the Sticks - womens only MTB enduro

Chicks in the Sticks - womens only MTB enduro

Yesterday was my first ever “ladies only” mountain bike race. I’ve been racing for 10 years, and most of the time there is only a handful of women at the start line. So it was amazing to see 175 chicks at the Karingal 3 hour race yesterday.

My favourite part was seeing all the Daddys on the sidelines with babies strapped to them! There were lots of Mummies racing, so the Dads had to kid wrangle for 3 hours.

Racing the 3 Plus 3 at Old Hidden Vale

Racing the 3 Plus 3 at Old Hidden Vale

The annual 3 Plus 3 Event consists of a 3 hour race on the Saturday and a 3 hour race on the Sunday. We did the race last year when I was 6 months pregnant (see blog here), and we were keen to do it again. Our transition was like this Mr Z needs his nappy changed, Mr F is hungry, Miss T is really tired”. An extra fast commentary of all the kids needs and a quick kiss good luck to the parent who is left behind with all the kids (not to the racer). The racing part was clearly the easier component of the duo.

Mt Crosby Sunshine Series - XC Race

Mt Crosby Sunshine Series - XC Race

With a 7 month old who wakes up every 2 hours over night, I am exhausted. But because I love riding my bike, I was determined to enter the race at Mt Crosby. Having not seen the track before, I asked fellow MTBer AB what it was like. She said “There’s a few steep climbs, but you’ll be alright”.


24 hours on the bike (well not quite….)

24 hours on the bike (well not quite….)

The Kona 24 hour race was held in April at Old Hidden Vale. We did the race last year when I was 14 weeks pregnant (see blog), which was challenging. This year we have 3 kids (including a 6 month old who wakes up every 2 hours) to add to our race planning and execution. I remember being up in the middle of the night (every 2 hours) breastfeeding Baby Z and thinking to myself that at least I wasn’t the only one up. I could hear riders outside. It gave me comfort knowing that there were other sleep deprived racers out there.

Racing at Underwood Park

Racing at Underwood Park 15 Feb 2015

The short sprint XC series has begun. I am no where near race fit, with only a handful of rides under my belt, with none being longer than 1 hr. Perfect for a 40 min sprint race! I really enjoy racing. I love the adrenaline rush, the white line fever and the feeling of accomplishment after the race.

Cadel Evans photo bombing me

Cadel Evans photo bombing me

Cadel Evans and the BMC Team photo bomb me and Mr Z at Henley Beach in Adelaide.

New year!

I can’t believe it’s 2015. Our eldest child will be 5 this year. whoa, where did that go…