FourPL asked Mia some questions to give us some insight into cycling and what inspires her.
- How did you first get into riding?
As a young girl, I was heavily involved in swimming and triathlon. Specialising in both the 400m and 800m freestyle as a swimmer, and both the sprint and olympic distant triathlons, I underwent a severe shoulder injury at the age of 14. After years of vigorous distance training (swimming any where between 5-9kms in the pool) my shoulders had been ruined. With limited movement, prohibiting my ability to swim any long distance, I had to give away two sports that meant so much to me. Keeping somewhat along the lines of triathlon, I decided to give road cycling a go. 5 years later, I haven’t looked back! I am the happiest I’ve ever been, training harder and achieving at a greater level.
- Why do you like road cycling?
Coming from two sports that are heavily individual and competitive, I have always trained and raced alone. Achieving my own goals and racing for myself. Road cycling has given me the opportunity to grow my team comradery. Racing as apart of team, to achieve a collective goal and riding alongside your teammates and friends is the greatest possible result. Road cycling allows you the best of both worlds, to achieve for yourself and for your teammates who are just as deserving and committed.
- Why the Women’s Racing Project
After racing and being around the sport for around 5 years, you come to know all the teams and the riders. After taking some time off the bike during my final year of school, coming back to the sport I was wanting to be a part of a team that encouraged growth and friendship, over results. Women’s Racing Project was the perfect fit for me. The caring and fun nature of the team, who’s main goal is to encourage women in cycling and nurture their riders into potentially going to race in the professional peloton, is the reason I applied for the team.
- How many days a week do you ride?
This varies from week to week. Some weeks are bigger than others, depending on both my race and uni schedule. Generally I have one day a week completely off the bike (usually Monday’s) then I get the bulk of my kms done during the middle of the week (Tuesday-Thursday), Friday’s are my easy days whereby I do 60-90minutes on the stationary bike spinning my legs before the weekend. Weekends are filled with long rides and racing. So pretty much I’m in lyrca more than I care to say!
- If you had to pick the best hill climb across the globe for cyclists, which one do you think wins first place and why?
I think this would be a pretty common answer among the cycling community, but hands down Alpe d’Huez in the Tour de France. The 21 hair pin switch backs definitely cements this climb in first place for me. There’s just something about this stage, watching all the riders grit their way up this climb that makes you just want to pack your bike and jump on a plane to Europe.
- In your opinion, what sort of things can bike shops do to cater for women better?
I think if bike shops were to look at the amount of stock they have on their floor, that caters to female cyclists, the amount of female cyclists in stores would increase dramatically. I know myself, the first thing I do in a bike shop is scope out all the women’s cycling kits and accessories. But unfortunately, majority of the time their stock is very limited on their sizing and stock. Having a full range of sizes, in all women’s cycling kits and accessories would increase the likeliness of women purchasing their equipment in store, rather than online.
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?
Most days I love getting out and riding my bike. The only days I ever envy the cars going past me is when I get stuck in the rain. Riding in the rain, for me always is hard. I hate the feeling of wet shoes and a dripping wet kit!! Other than these days, I always feel like I’m getting my days off to a better start than the motorists in their car!
- Don’t you bet bored riding for hours?
Luckily for me, I’m surrounded by a massive cycling community on the Gold Coast! Both my parents ride and race so it’s an activity that we all get involved with and do as a family. On the days that I’m not riding with my parents or friends, I look at riding like a little escape from all the things waiting for me at home ( work, uni ect). Riding is a little bit of me time where I get to turn some good music on and train hard.
- Lyrca? Are you serious? Is it really necessary?
Lyrca honestly doesn’t look good on anyone, but you learn to love it when you come off your bike at 50 plus kilometres an hour when it’s the only thing that saves you from a body covered in gravel rash! Luckily though, there is some pretty cool and funky designs out there that make us look pretty stylish, or as stylish as possible!
- Do you really need more than one bike?
Honestly, you probably could get away with one bike. But it’s always nice to have one for every occasion, like a suit and tie I guess!
- Isn’t it uncomfortable sitting on that saddle?
That’s another bonus of lyrca, the huge amount of padding positioned perfectly for when you sitting on the saddle! I’m also a big believer that you just mould to your seat after a while!