Enjoy riding around the block, commuting on a bike or sweating through a spin class? Read our tips or join one of the many women’s cycling groups in Melbourne and regional Victoria. Social cycling in particular can be as fun or as practical as you like. It’s a way to socialise while getting some movement in your day with other like-minded women – of all ages, backgrounds and fitness levels.
On this page we look at:
- How This Girl Can Ambassador Tiffany found a way to explore new parts of Melbourne with cycling after moving from overseas
- How to start cycling if you’re a beginner
- Finding a women’s cycling group near you
- This Girl Can Ambassador Tina’s tips for women starting cycling
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Cycling helped Tiffany to discover new areas after moving from overseas
Tiffany got a bicycle for Christmas when she was in her late twenties, just after she moved to Melbourne from Taiwan. Now she loves cycling and the access it’s given her to “tucked away places” in her new city and feels passionate about encouraging more Asian women to be active. Cycling has also plugged her into the local community: “You don’t have to know each other – you just feel it.” … “It’s nice to cycle around, particularly when the weather’s great. I can feel the wind in my hair. It feels really good.”
Cycling classes and how to start cycling
If cycling sounds like an activity you’re interested in trying, that’s great. It’s a fun way to be active and get some exercise, and you can go cycling by yourself, with friends and family, or in a group.
There are many women’s cycling groups that offer learn to ride programs for first starters.
You can also find a range of resources and cycling classes for beginners by searching online. Bike shops, universities and other private organisations offer cycling lessons if you’re new and need a leg up to get moving.
As well as the basics of the bike, you also need to know the road rules. Bicycle Network offers free resources to get you started and learn more about how to get the best bike for you.
Finding a social women’s cycling group, or go cycling just for you
One of the best parts of women’s cycling is going for a ride with others. There are lots of women’s bike rides around that are social, fun, and help new riders learn.
Look online to find cycling clubs, women’s cycling social groups, and plenty of beginnergroups too for those finding their feet.
If you’d prefer to go cycling by yourself or with someone you know, there are many resources available to show you the best cycling locations. Visit Victoria has some great information about where to go cycling, and you can pick up some handy route maps from VicRoads too.
Tina’s cycling for beginners tips for women
When This Girl Can Ambassador Tina, 54, was cycling for the first time, she almost gave up. Then several female cyclists zoomed by. It inspired her!
Six months later, she’d bought a new bike and started training for a big ride. Despite heckling from dudes about “fat chicks” wearing lycra, Tina chooses to wear lycra no matter what!
Here are some top tips from Tina for women jumping on a bike for the first time:
- Don’t feel worried if you don’t know some of the rules, or how to change a flat tyre. This comes with time and experience.
- It’s normal to feel nervous being on the bike. It’s kind of expected, really!
- If you’re not sure that you can make it up a steep ride or hill, it’s okay to get off and walk.
- Riding is about being in the moment and enjoying yourself. It’s okay to do things your way.
Next steps to get into women’s cycling
- Visit the websites mentioned on this page: Bicycle Network, Visit Victoria or VicRoads.
- Google it! You might not believe it, but there are social women’s cycling groups everywhere in cities and regional areas in Victoria.
- Find a Supporter in your neighbourhood to see if a women’s cycling community has registered online to support This Girl Can – Victoria.
- Ask other women about women’s bike rides – chat to your friends, family or colleagues about trying it together, or post a question to our Facebook page where there’s a super supportive community of women who can help you out.
Can’t get out right now?
There are many ways to learn to ride and get into women’s cycling groups. If you can’t get out right now, that’s okay.
If you have access to a gym, you can try a spin class or cardio class, or jump on a free bike on the gym floor. If you have a bike of your own, you can buy an indoor bicycle trainer, which keeps the back wheel propped up. This means you can ride to your heart’s content at home – you just won’t technically go anywhere!
Learn more about This Girl Can – Victoria and how it’s helping women feel good by getting activity in a way that suits them.