I am relatively new to the world of cycling and can at times find it overwhelming. Since joining many bike pages on social media, my eyes have been opened to a whole underground community that I never knew about. There are so many different types of cycling, and even different types of mountain biking !

About a year and half ago, I started commuting to my job in the CBD as a way to get some incidental exercise and because I know if I get home, exercise is just not going to happen. I have successfully ridden three days a week, in and out of the CBD which is a 40 km round trip. It does take me an hour each way, very slow in comparison to the regulars on the path.

I am quite an ‘unco’ rider, who since moving to clip in peddles for my commuter bike has fallen off many times, mostly on the bike path as I have come to road crossings, freaking out and trying to release my foot. Would you believe, I have even fallen off when one foot has been unclipped, as I leaned in the wrong direction.

My original goal was to develop some fitness so I could then purchase a mountain bike and enjoy some trails on the weekend. I bought a second hand MTB off Gumtree and can proudly state that I now have more bikes than my husband ! It seems to be the sign of a serious rider when you have several bikes.

I received ‘Where to Mountain Bike in South East Queensland’ as a gift and had started following the BVRT facebook pages and couldn’t wait to tackle some of the trail, which I have now done two stages of. Due to the busyness of life, we don’t get out half as much as we would like, and when we do sometimes it is just on the local bike path or to a 4km bush track near home.

I see cycling taking me many places in the future, we only have one car and I am open to getting on my commuter bike to get around and hope to one day cycle parts of NZ and Europe.

Being a newly inducted RATS committee member, I thought it only appropriate that I should sign up for the Chicks in the Sticks event in the beginner category. I have heard so much about the friendly, encouraging and supportive environment. To tell you the truth I really have no idea what to expect, but I know it is going to be fun. Will I ride for three hours, probably not ! But I am really looking forward to ‘Having a Crack’ !

Due to starting at a new workplace, I am no longer commuting (but working on finding a way to). So in the meantime, I don’t want my bike confidence to slip. I have signed up to ‘The Marks’ from Mountain Bike Coaching Brisbane for their training ride on 12 August, which will help familiarise myself with the course. I hope to commit to at least one MTB ride each week in the lead up. I am looking at it as not a ‘race’ but just a chance to get out with a bunch of cool chicks.

With less than 6 weeks to go until event day, it is time to get your entries in – who wants to join me in the Have a Crack category? I would love to have some fellow newbies out there. We can wear our L plates with pride

Author: Samantha Ryalls