Gear Up Girl Woman – Rachael de Zylva

Who am I?

I am the creator and founder of BikeGal.com – a completely not for profit website which aims to encourage more women to cycle in Sydney. The website came about because when I started cycling only recently I noticed how male dominated the sport was and how hard it was to get good female specific cycling info (and let’s face it, our biodynamics and anatomy are NOT the same as a man’s!).

I also had a tremendously embarrassing conversation with my older brother when I’d just bought my bike, about how to get the right saddle and bike set up so I didn’t get sore (you know… down there…). Lol.

Anyway, the other reason for starting the website was that I started asking other women why they didn’t cycle and I often got responses around safety, a lack of confidence as well as the lack of female friendly information on how to get started cycling or get back on a bike.

I thoroughly believe if I can cycle, any woman can. I have a lousy sense of balance, get scared easily and when I started, I couldn’t ride up a hill, out of the saddle or indicate to turn a corner. These days, I ride a road bike in cleats and know that anyone can do it. It just takes a bit of perseverance and practice.

Why do I cycle?

I started cycling because I was first and foremost a runner, but after many years of running and lots of injuries, running was just getting harder and harder on my body. My physio had repeatedly encouraged me to take up cycling instead of doing all the running.

Then several years ago I had a (now ex) boyfriend who was a super keen cyclist. So I asked him to help me buy my first bike which was a hybrid style commuter. Bit by bit, as I got more confident on it, I realised how fun cycling is. You feel like a kid again, zooming along on two wheels. It’s such a great way to get around.

It’s the quickest way for me to commute into town and enables me to commute and get some exercise all at the same time.

Being on a bike (as long as it’s not pouring with rain) is so much more lovely than being couped up on a bus or a train. And the time on a bike at the end of the work day also helps you to leave your work behind you as you cycle home.

Now I also cycle for fitness – so I will go for a ride not for a commute but just for the exercise. And I also enjoy this alone time on my bike.

What does Gear Up Girl mean to me?

Gear Up Girl means more women cycling. That’s it.

I want to see you and your bike at Gear Up Girl. This is a great opportunity to get your girlfriends, mum, sisters, daughters, grannies, aunts and nieces and do a cycle together.

You don’t have to ride a million miles per hour. You don’t have to be the world’s best cyclist. Just register and have a go. This event with women only is friendly and fun. And who knows, you might just surprise yourself. Looking forward to seeing you there.

Rachael AKA BikeGal.com

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  1. Pingback: BikeGal.com – one year on…. | bikegal.com

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