Top 10 Tips For Female Riders – With Pro Cyclist Tiffany Cromwell
G’day. Here’s my top ten tips for female cyclists trying to get into cycling. If you ever have the opportunity to go out there and train with the guys, I highly recommend it, because it will make you stronger, it will make you more confident, they’ll always look after you, and you can feel good about yourself if you beat them on a climb or in a sprint. When it comes to nutrition, it’s part of life, athletes in particular are very good at getting caught up with it. I say: don’t think about it too much, because you’ll stop enjoying what you’re doing. Just eat healthy eat meals regularly, eat when you’re on the bike because if you try and restrict yourself you end up ‘hunger flat’, you’ll end up suffering, and you’ll feel terrible on the bike, whereas if you keep the regular intake of energy coming in then you’re going to use it, your metabolism will be quicker and everything will work. The biggest thing I can say is just: eat your greens, eat your carbs, proteins, and your body will love you for it and you’ll get the best out of the bike. When it comes to bike handling, the biggest thing is: be relaxed, don’t tense up. I see so many people come down descents on their brakes, arms locked, so scared, whereas if you just loosen your arms, loosen your body, work through the corners, if you hit bumps you’ll just glide through them. I think most important thing is just being relaxed and not thinking about everything that could
possibly happen and just going with the nature of the bike, with it’s movements. Don’t stress too much about what’s going on, be relaxed, you know. If you’re going down a descent, loosen your arms. Let your elbows be shock absorbers, take in the bumps, use the corners. Use your body to help get around them. When it comes to gear selection, you have a big chainring, a little chainring, and ten or eleven gears on the back. Use them all. Don’t be afraid to break a sweat use the big chainring, put some power out. Then when you want some recovery, drop it down and use the little gears and spin the legs out. But Interval training is probably the best training you can do, you don’t have to train long but your heart rate goes up, you get a much better workout and you’ll probably burn a lot more kilojoules changing the gears and using the big chainring. When it comes to getting out on the road, don’t be scared, be confident. Don’t be intimidated by the cars, you have your space on the road, you’ll be given space just get out there. I know a lot of people get put off when there’s a lot of traffic but you just have to get out there, ride your bike. Start out with a quieter area, start with blocks around your local neighborhood to get used to the road and used to being aware of what’s around you, and then once you’re ready
for it, get out there, enjoy it, and don’t be scared. For me personally, I like to go for the tighter-fitting jerseys because I hate having fabric loose and in the wind. I like it to fit snug to my body, so I cut through the air to be as aerodynamic as possible. With the shorts, I don’t like it too long or too short, just in the middle so it looks classy and comfortable. Saddle is a very personal part of the bike, some people prefer big, some prefer little, some people like more comfortable and soft, others like
hard, so be sure to find someone who can let you try a few different options and work out what’s best for you. For me personally, I run a men’s saddle, currently I’m on a Prologo, and I prefer to have a cut-out because i find it gives you a little bit more flexibility, it takes in the bumps a little bit nicer and it’s not quite as hard. When it comes to the frame, be sure to find a bike shop that is willing to go the extra mile with the service, and to be able to measure your limbs, measure your body and to make sure that you have a frame that fits you because the last thing you want is to have the reach too long, to have a really high seat post and a really low frame or vice versa, where the seat post is jammed all the way down onto the frame. Make sure you have somebody that knows what they’re talking about and find a bike that’s a perfect fit for you because once again, you’ll be much
more comfortable really enjoy riding the bike and you’ll want to spend hours and hours. Girls are notorious for just taking the bike ‘as is’ and using bars that are too wide for them. The ideal size is the width of your shoulders, so for me I ride a 38cm centre-to-centre width bar and you’ll find your handling is much better, the comfort is much better and it makes a massive difference. One of the best quotes I’ve ever heard since I’ve been cycling is: “it doesn’t matter how are you’re going, as long as you look good.” If you’re having a bad day but you look good, then people will just think you’re having a bad day. If you’re having a bad day and you don’t look the part, people will just think you’re a shunter!