Written by Debra Jason
As with all things in life, you have to strike the right balance… So when my thoughts wander off to cycling down a quiet road, I marvel at how perfectly balanced and glorious the bicycle really is. It is, for me, perfection. In fact, if you think about it, nothing has come close to being as efficient, reliable and cost-effective as a triangulated structure with two pneumatic wheels driven by a chain and cogs.
So as the bike and I work together to propel me towards any given destination with such efficiency and grace, I feel so grateful to my father and brother for passing the cycling bug onto me.
For as long as I can remember I’ve loved that fact that I can just hop on a bike and ride to wherever I want to go. Childhood memories were all about speeding down the local roads, feeling as free as a bird. Of course with study, work, travel, moving countries, more work and now family life, cycling with any consistency has been near to impossible. However, the urge to get back on my bike has always surfaced when I’ve felt in the doldrums and lost my sense of direction (pardon the pun). Cycling always seems to save the day.
Nowadays, balancing a full-time career, motherhood and cycling can be tricky. The children know that cycling is a big part of my life, however, I am acutely aware that cycling has a time and a place and it’s important for me to be sensitive to my children's needs as well as my own. Creeping out of the house before anyone wakes for early club rides can leave me with mixed emotions (especially after working in town all week). So over the years, I’ve learnt to listen closely to myself, and them, so I can work out at any given time whether to ride or stay at home.
Of course, I strive to be a positive role model for the children as much as I can (this isn’t a revolutionary concept). It’s when you start to understand the impact a sporting mother has on their children (particularly adolescent girls according to a report from UTS) I feel propelled to make a difference in my own children's lives and demonstrate to them how keeping active is part of their mum’s everyday life.
This year both my 12-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter will join me in the Heart Foundation Gear Up Girl. Joe will start the 40km route with me (like he did last year) and we will pick up Erica with 20kms to go. They can’t wait. We will take it at our own pace, enjoy the views, people and spirit of the whole event. For them, it's a great day out with mum, for me, I will have memories for a lifetime and who knows, maybe somewhere along the way, the cycling bug might bite them too.
If you are thinking of registering and would like to bring your children along too, why don't you come ride with me 🙂