The goRide women profiles tell stories about everyday women who ride bikes. These stories will connect you to real women and perhaps spark an idea about what you could achieve with your riding or remind you what you have done. In this story enjoy biking tips for older women. We are all on a journey, regardless of whether you are beginning or an experienced rider, so be open and curious and see what happens. Lets begin to build a stronger you and a stronger female riding community. Enjoy reading Sandra’s profile…
RIDING WORD – Enjoyment
When did you learn to ride and why do you still ride?
I first learnt to ride when I was 13 years old but I didn’t really bike anywhere. Then at age 60 I started again (7yrs ago). So it was like learning to ride all over again. The gearing was the hardest thing. We never had gears when I first rode a bike. It took me a while to learn what gears to use when – to be able to look at a hill and just know what gear you need to be in to get up it. I did a lot of walking up hills to begin with.
My husband brought me my bike so I started and now I love it. I was doing a lot of walking and wasn’t that interested but now I try to bike every day weather permitting.
What kind of biking do you do…
Everyday for fitness and to train for the bigger rides that we do on the New Zealand Cycle trails. Most of the riding is on quiet back country roads as I live on the outskirts of Geraldine. I ride a simple Avanti bike which is fine for me. I just needed the basics to get started and not make it too complicated.
Your Favourite Piece of Bike Equipment.
My new thermal jacket which is both wind and water resistant and just lovely to wear in the cold.
Do you have a biking tip or piece of advice that you would like to share?
Take it slowly to start with and stay off the main roads. Don’t push yourself or expect too much. The important thing is just to start even if it’s only to the end of the road and back. Doing small bits like this means you can get back on the bike the next day and the next and look forward to it without being sore or feeling overwhelmed.
What, if any, are your frustrations with riding? Personally and/or generally.
It’s important that both motorists and cyclists are considerate. It amazes me that some people who drive cars don’t know what to do around cyclists. If I ever feel unsafe I just get off and walk for a while or wait for a bit. Cyclists riding in groups need to be aware of what their actions can cause. It only takes two riders ignoring their environment (riding next to each other & chatting) to create a dangerous situation.
What is your favourite ride now?
A cycling track through the sand dunes at Opotoki. It was just really well made and such a fun place to cycle through.
What is your favourite ride from the past?
The Central Otago Rail Trail because it is such a safe, off road track through my favourite part of New Zealand.
Do you have a riding goal at the moment? (think equipment, skills/technique, rides)
Now: To ride the West Coast Wilderness Trail
Future: To try and finish the Alps to Ocean ride. They have improved the end of the ride by taking more of it off road. We stopped the first time because I just didn’t enjoy riding on a main highway. I don’t feel safe when cars are passing me at that speed no matter how aware of me they are.
I just want to keep riding for as long as I physically can.
Anything else you would like to share:
A gel cover for your seat helps for the first few months then you can take it off once you have become used to riding.
Thanks for reading. Used together our stories and resources support you to achieve and develop as a rider.
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