The Sunday Mail (Queensland)

Sam cy­cles past all her old fears

- To register for the cy­cle chal­lenge visit http://b2gc.bq.org.au/ WITH DAMIEN STAN­NARD

SAM Squiers once thought as you did.

Cy­cling for fit­ness can be in­tim­i­dat­ing. And don’t get her started on Ly­cra.

“I to­tally un­der­stand,” the health and fit­ness nut said as she leaned non­cha­lantly on her gleam­ing road bike.

“Many women aren’t con­fi­dent about rid­ing on their own and I was ini­tially ner­vous about get­ting the Ly­cra on.”

Her mes­sage, how­ever, is that pedal power can be a lib­er­at­ing ex­pe­ri­ence and one best shared in a so­cial ride with your mates out on the open road.

“I’ve al­ways had bikes but it was only a few years ago I got into the Ly­cra side of it,” said Squiers. “I love the free­dom of it. “I leave the rac­ing side of it to my hus­band but I en­joy the rides we go on to­gether and love the so­cial side of it when I ride with friends.

“It’s safe and can be quite ex­hil­a­rat­ing.

“When I took it up for ex­er­cise it was like tak­ing the train­ing wheels off for the first time.”

Squiers is now a reg­u­lar on the streets of Bris­bane and is en­cour­ag­ing women to fol­low her lead and register for the Bris­bane to Gold Coast Cy­cle Chal­lenge on Oc­to­ber 18.

For the first time, Queens­land’s big­gest bike ride has cre­ated a women’s only cat­e­gory for the an­nual event.

Rather than split­ting into bunches based on av­er­age speed, women can nom­i­nate to ride in a pack with other fe­male cy­clists for the 100km jour­ney.

Not­ing fig­ures from Bi­cy­cle Net­work that re­veal less than 25 per cent of Aus­tralia’s rid­ing pop­u­la­tion are women, or­gan­is­ers wanted to en­cour­age a more friendly and safe en­vi­ron­ment.

“There will be an area marked ac­cord­ingly on the day so they can line up and start to­gether,” Bi­cy­cle Queens­land chief ex­ec­u­tive Ben Wil­son said.

“We hope the group will con­tinue to ride to­gether to pro­vide sup­port and ca­ma­raderie to oth­ers who may need it along the way.

“This year we’re aim­ing to get more women in­volved than ever be­fore to con­vince them of the long-term health ben­e­fits of cy­cling more of­ten.”

The char­ity ride sup­ports the Heart Foun­da­tion, start­ing at Bris­bane’s South Bank and gift­ing par­tic­i­pants with a bliss­ful, traf­fic-free 17km stint along the South East Busway.

Af­ter ex­it­ing the Busway the course then fol­lows a com- bi­na­tion of ser­vice and sub­ur­ban roads all the way to the Broad­wa­ter Park­lands at South­port.

For those not com­fort­able about tack­ling the ton, there is also a 60km op­tion.

 ??  ?? Pic­ture: Mark Calleja
Pic­ture: Mark Calleja

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