Tag Archives: cycling

Tips For Switching From Road to Mountain Bike

It’s not unusual for Road riders to want to venture into Mountain biking, after all, it is just another form of riding to explore.  However, mountain bike riding is very different and does require quite a different approach to road riding.

wendy bike motion wendy and friends wendy bikeMountain biking is a very friendly, relaxed recreational sport.  It’s not about racing or being first across the finish line, it is about smelling the roses in a non competative environment, spending time with your friends and family, or just getting out in the bush for some fresh air, searching for that ideal single track.

There are some beautiful trails and single tracks in and around Melbourne to explore and practice your “switch”.  Not too far from the city is Lysterfield Park – the perfect place to get on your bike.  There are varying levels of tracks from fire trails and basic green tracks all the way up to black and double black tracks used when they held the Commonwealth games there in 2006.

So here are my 6 basic tips for crossing the line to the dark side and once you’ve tried it you may never go back!

Relax your approach

  • MTB riders are a friendly social group.
  • Take your time to enjoy the scenery and take some selfies
  • Everyone waits for each other, its not always race

Attack Position

  • Learn and perfect your attack position
  • Think level pedals, elbows out, eyes up
  • Use this position as your default for obstacles, corners and everything else

Start with the basics, everyone needs to get their foundations right

  • Go and do a basic skills course
  • Hang out with others that ride regularly and follow their lines
  • Practice, practice, practice 

Pick trails that are to your ability

  • To get better, you need to be confident 
  • You also need to be able to commit to certain obstacles and skills, if you don’t you will fail
  • Gradually build your skills, master one, then move onto another

Pedal all the way

  • Whatever you do, don’t stop pedaling
  • When you go over obstacles, up hills and inclines you need to have traction – no traction and you come to a stop
  • By pedaling, you get stronger 

Look where you want to go

  • MTB riding is all about vision
  • Sight the corner or obstacle and then look beyond it, if you continue to focus on it, that is where you will go.  
  • Keep your vision up and scanning all the time

wendy rearMountain biking can be so much fun.  The more you do, the more you will want to do, so get yourself kitted up in a good pair of baggies and a comfortable jersey to head out onto the trails for a ride to remember!  


By Wendy Snowball, Personal Trainer @spincyclewarrandyte


16111940_693254704185670_467797458_nWendy Snowball is a She Science Ambassador, Personal Trainer, Mountain Biker, Warrandyte MTB Club Secretary and also coaches MTB skills. She races with her daughter Courtney – who is also a She Science Ambassador. You can follow the ladies @spincyclewarrandyte, @courtney_snowball and at spincyclewarrandyte.


Trials and tribulations of cycling across Australia

 By Kerryn Harvey, She Science Ambassador & founder of START foundation 

Just a few short weeks ago I completed what I consider to be the cycling adventure of a lifetime.  Ride For The Royal Adelaide Hospital was a 3,600km, 5-week ride, from Perth to Melbourne raising funds for a critical care research project at the hospital.

Following 18 months of planning, a team of passionate and enthusiastic cyclists and support crew left Perth on a wet, April day, and began our journey East.  All of us were filled with a combination of trepidation and excitement, unsure of what challenges lay ahead.  We had all trained hard in the lead up, but had we done enough?

On paper I had selected the days that looked to be most challenging, either by their length, or the terrain we were covering.  In reality, the most challenging days came along mostly unexpected.  The weather was usually the catalyst that affected how well the day went.  On our longest day of 225km from Southern Cross (WA) to Kalgoorlie (WA), we were lucky enough to have a roaring tailwind and fine conditions, arriving at our destination 2 hours ahead of schedule.  For many of the riders it was the longest they had ever ridden in a day and they were over the moon at their achievement and how great they felt.  We were on a high!


One of the most challenging days was on the Nullabor, a 181km slight downhill ride, from Madura Roadhouse to Eucla Roadhouse.  On paper it looked like a long, gentle roll.  We left Madura before the sun rose and instantly felt the fresh air in our faces.  Not long after the sun came up, the wind picked up and became a strong westerly, blowing hard relentlessly the whole day.  Despite working together as a team into the headwind, our speed was extremely slow, and the day seemed to drag on and on.  The last 40km we desperately tried to make it in before sunset but were beaten and finished off the ride well after it was dark.  I was physically shattered from the day and so thankful we had a rest day the following day as I definitely had no interest in getting on a bike!

Each day had its highs and lows and each day brought our team closer together.  We became like a travelling family, working together seamlessly to help everyone arrive safely at our new destination each night.  I soon realized I was living with a group of like-minded, driven individuals.  We were striving toward a common goal on a number of levels.  Firstly it was about achieving our riding goal of traversing across the country under our own steam.  Secondly it was about fundraising and raising awareness of Royal Adelaide Hospital.


Everyone on the ride, especially me, had an emotional attachment to Royal Adelaide Hospital and was committed to our fundraising goal.  This was because the Royal Adelaide Hospital had saved my life 2 ½ years ago after contracting a flesh-eating bacteria.  Fundraising for the hospital was my way of saying thanks for saving my life.  The emotion boiled over when we arrived in Adelaide on our bikes in early May and landed at the front gates of the hospital.  Staff, dignitaries, and our families welcomed us, and we presented a $40,000 cheque to the hospital.  I had tried desperately to keep myself together on the bike on this day but the closer we came to arriving the more overwhelmed I felt, and I rode the last few km’s with tears streaming down my face.

Arriving home to Melbourne a week or so later, at the end of our journey was equally overwhelming, especially after a week of riding in cold, wet conditions from Adelaide.  We had made it!  An incredible journey made possible by some incredible people – family, friends, sponsors, and everyone who donated.

All the cyclists, volunteers, and myself recognize we have experienced something unique and amazing.  For me it ticked so many boxes, the cycling challenge, the camaraderie in the team, the friendships, being in the great outdoors, seeing parts of Australia by bike, and giving something back to the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

We all agreed we wanted to do another major cycling event again.  Now I am resting up, my mind is ticking…………watch this space.

photo 2-18


A woman that has overcomed significant adversity in Life, Kerryn continues to inspire us with what she achieves. In the past years Kerryn has gone from learning to tackle life as an amputee to winning the ITU Para-Triathlon World qualifying event, founding the START foundation and finishing her qualifications to be a Personal Trainer. Kerryn’s committment to empowering people with disabilities to achieve their sporting dreams is inspiring. Follow Kerryn via @startfoundation_aus


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