Cycling has a magical ability to be whatever the rider wants it to be. Fun, challenging, scary, romantic, social or silly. You name it, and there’s a type of cycle for it, which is why avid cyclists end up with several different bikes. Most importantly you don’t have to have a fancy bike, or be dressed top to toe in high-end cycling gear, or go very fast to enjoy the experience.
There’s no doubting recreational and competitive cycling is experiencing a great surge in popularity among women right now. 2014 saw a substantial growth of women’s cycling events with the addition of La Course and the Women’s Tour. This revolution is not only happening abroad it’s happening “ Down Under” in New Zealand…. You only need to Google the number of women’s riding clubs and scheduled cycling events for road and track.
We at VBIKE have seen an encouraging increase in Women’s memberships rise from 10% to 30%... Fantastic result girls, lets keep those numbers climbing! Interestingly Strava a popular GPS and tracking website and app have just released new figures showing an 82% increase in FEMALE membership in the last year… GO GIRLS…
Over the past few years indoor riding has become a bona fide trend, at the elite level of sport, this trend has now started to trickle down to all levels of cycling. On a trainer everyone rides at his or her own pace, but still gets to enjoy training in a group.
RIDING INSIDE IS CONDUCIVE TO HIGH QUALITY TRAINING BECAUSE:
- There are no red lights, stop signs or road works to hinder you;
- No descents to coast down; (no cheating!)
- No adverse weather to deal with;
- No other cyclists to draft behind;
- The idiosyncrasies of the roads do not affect your workout;
- You are free to work at a higher intensity than outdoor.
This week I had the opportunity of interviewing Janet Stark, (a newbie) - this is what she had to say as to why she’s joined VBike :
"I work part time, have a busy life with kids, I’m an active volunteer worker for the Pohutukawa Coast Bike Club a ladies riding group. I co-ordinate rides and events, and trips away. It’s a small group of mixed riding ability, Some women have improved and gone on to do other things, others have stayed on for the social riding and get together. A lot of my riding is on a mountain bike"
HOW DID YOU COME TO HEAR ABOUT VBIKE AND WHAT WERE YOU LOOKING TO ACHIEVE
"A friend referred me to you, it sounded interesting so I got online and researched VBike. I’m competing in the Whaka 100 kilometer endurance ride in October, going through my program I have to be on my bike 4 times a week for the first few weeks. The weather has been so crappy I thought to myself - do I really want to be wet 4 times a week? The options of riding inside dry really appealed.
From looking at my program I knew I needed some external help, and I think VBike will help, if nothing else it will force me not to cheat on my training. Each day is programmed in my zone of ability. If I was on the road I could not keep the same intensity up"
HOW DID YOU FIND THE VBIKE EXPERIENCE
"I didn’t know if I was going to go ahead with it or not, but I was convinced knowing my training program could be integrated into your computer system. I don’t have to change anything… I thought fantastic. Walking in I felt your place was very well organized and so well set up, everything is so easy. Nothing feels difficult. Jianni was so helpful and made me feel at ease. It was great having someone tell you what to do…I kept saying to myself while I looked at the computer screen - "Just stay in the Green” I know at times I went too fast or slow, but now after a couple of sessions I’ve figured it out. It’s a great system, and I love the big screens.
The other thing...Oh my goodness your ladies bathroom! It's amazing! That’s also what sold me… I walked in and thought wow I’ve never been to a Gym that caters so well for women. You’ve gone that little bit extra to cater for girls. I had left my deodorant behind and there in front of me was a collection of face and body creams, deodorants, not to mention the soft fluffy shower Mats to stand on. It certainly is a pleasant way to finish off a ride. I realized you really could do your ride then head off to work."
HAVE YOU BEEN TO OTHER BIKE GYMS AND HOW DO WE DIFFER.
"I have been to the local gym who has Watt bikes. I got tested a year ago. I had to take my own pedals and I found that a real nuisance, as I had to remember which way to thread what, I’m not technical. I had to get there so much earlier just to prepare myself. It was a hassle. Whilst they gave you a program, you really fluffed around doing your own thing. Unlike your system, which you can’t hide from, the figures are all there; you can measure what you’ve done in that session."
WHAT IS YOUR MESSSAGE TO OTHER WOMAN
"VBike is just so easy… you wheel your bike in, you don’t even have to take the back wheel off, there is someone there to help you. I just want to encourage other women out there who consider themselves average riders, they can actually do this. I am 45 years old, and I thought “Why Not” I’m never going to be brilliant, but I love riding dearly. I thought why not challenge myself totally outside my comfort zone, and give it a go. I don’t want to regret I didn’t try something when I’m older. There are so many women out there that want to do something, VBIKE offers the opportunity to get started or improve your cycling. There are women’s groups popping up all over Auckland, Hamilton, nationwide, and I think they need people like yourselves to come in behind them to help them improve their fitness, to take them to what ever goal they want to achieve. For me, the race in October is only part of it; it’s more about the journey getting there. I am really passionate about spreading the word to women to give it a go…"
Well girls… Find a Bike, get on it, -RIDE– Simple! Every journey starts with the turn of the pedals.
The biggest thing I have learnt is that you can really make measureable improvements at almost anything, if you just dedicate some time to it.