FourPL asked Emma some questions to give us some insight into cycling and what inspires her.
- How did you first get into riding?
My dad competed in many Ironman triathlons when he was younger, my sister got involved in triathlons (and then cycling) from watching him, so lots of family influences.
I first got into riding at the age of 9 when I got sick of being dragged along to my sister’s races and decided I’d just give it a go.
After some time away from the bike, I got back into cycling about 2yrs ago for both my mental wellbeing, socialising and the ability to eat a lot of food.
- Why do you like road racing in general?
I love having goal races to train for and love riding in pretty places.
- Why the Women’s Racing Project?
I wanted to be a part of a cool racing team and surrounded by many inspiring girls.
- About how many days a week do you ride your bike?
- If you had to pick a favourite cycling moment, what would it be?
Tour Down Under 2018, this was the only year I’ve been to spectate Tour Down Under, and it is just a fun bike party week where you ride lots, eat lots and can drink lots.
- What is the funkiest bit of kit you own?
My Women’s Racing Project Scody kit looks pretty nice I’d say 😉 I’ve never really had any kit that’s super weird kind of funky because there’s so many kits that can make you look so good on a bike!!
- If you had to pick the best hill climb across the globe for cyclists, which one do you think wins first place and why?
This is a tough one because there’s many good climbs around. I’d say from my sister’s photos Stelvio Pass looks pretty nice. Out of the climbs I have done, Mt Nebo, Falls Creek, Norton Summit and Kosciuszko deserve special mentions. Maybe Springbrook, that’s a pretty nice climb and I know my boyfriend likes it too.
- If you could cycle any route in the world tomorrow, where would you go?
Just anything but a riverloop (I’ve done far too many in my time).
- What advice would you give women who want to start racing?
Give it a go! Ask for advice from other riders too, we all start somewhere!
- In your opinion, what sort of things can bike shops do to cater for women better?
I can’t think of any off the top of my head. I would love more workshops on bike mechanics and maintenance because I definitely could learn a thing or two myself!
- What do you think stands in the way between getting more women onto bikes?
Many women might look at cycling and think it’s a man’s sport I’d say. Also, the fear of motorists might be a factor. I would love Australia to develop its cycling infrastructure further to increase safety on the roads.
- What advice would you give to someone who wants to join a cycling club, but is nervous?
Get involved and get to know members- make some friends. The cycling community is generally very lovely, and everyone helps each other out.
- The cycling competitions of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo will feature 22 events. What is your favourite event to watch and why?
The Women’s Road Race is always exciting to watch. I find mountain biking pretty fascinating too because I would never have the guts to race on a mountain bike.
- Have you seen more involvement of women and acceptance by men in the bike world…more sectors than others (say bike rides vs bike shops)?
I’m currently Vice President of my uni QUT cycling club and we have seen amazing growth in our female members this year. I also love the “Why It Matters” campaign going around which is looking at increased women’s cycling televised as it is often skipped over, only showing men’s races. The Women’s Zwift Academy is a very special program too- my sister is in her first year as a professional cyclist now because of the success of this program.
- What’s your advice for someone getting into cycling for the very first time?
You will love it. It will take some time to get used to things like bunch etiquette, safety on the roads, what is seen as “cool” in cycling fashion but the more you do it, the more you love it.
Questions a Non-Cyclists should not ask about Cycling…(by a non-cyclist who’s not very sympathetic to cycling …it’s not their fault they don’t realise how amazing cycling is, yet!)
- Do you ever wish you were rather in that car overtaking you?
No because I hate driving, sitting in traffic, etc. I like being outside and the more I ride, the more I get to eat.
- Don’t you get bored of riding for hours?
Not usually. If I’m with a group it’s my socialising time, if I’m alone, it’s my time out from the stresses of life.
- Lyrca? Are you serious? It is really necessary?
Definitely, yes! Maybe it’s just because I’ve grown up in the sport, but I think Lycra looks pretty good and makes riding so much comfier too. I can’t imagine riding for more than 20mins without a chamois cushioning my butt.
- Do you really need more than one bike?
Yes. They cost a bit of money, but I would love one day to have a garage filled with my family’s beautiful bikes. That’s how you know you’ve made it in life as a cyclist.
- Isn’t it uncomfortable sitting on that saddle?
Refer to above. Chamois. But sometimes you do need a bit of Sudo cream as well if you spend too many hours on the bike.