7 Essential Cycling Tips for Every Rider

When the triathlon season is over, it is not uncommon for triathletes to lose a bit of momentum. I know my husband falls into this category. There was a period of limited exercise over a 3 month period recently due to a demanding job. His love of cycling has seen him get back on his bike and using cycling as a means of transport to get to work each day.

Cycling is a favourite pastime for many people. It provides many health and lifestyle benefits and is a fantastic way to travel to work. There are a number of bike retailers, like 99 Bikes out there that can set you up with a superior cycle.

There are also many tips that cyclists can use in order to stay safe and have an enjoyable cycling experience. Here are 7 essential cycling tips for every rider.

1. Use High Quality Clothing

Correct cycling clothing will help make your cycling experience far more enjoyable. The proper apparel will help protect you from scrapes and bruises, regulate sweating, keep you warm and make your experience far more comfortable.

2. Pick The Right Seat

Choosing the correct seat, or saddle, for you is one of the most important parts of purchasing a bike. It needs to be comfortable enough for you to sit on for long periods at a time. It also needs to be ergonomic and allow you to assume the correct posture to prevent back problems.

3. Use Correct Shoes

Trainers aren’t the most ideal shoes to use whilst cycling. They are far too flexible, allowing the foot to move whilst cycling. This can cause lower back and hip problems later in life. A proper cycle shoe is far more rigid, allowing for greater power and will prevent health issues.

4. Learn How to Maintain the Bike

Maintaining the bike is an essential skill for all cyclists. By learning to take care of the bike, will make it last longer and you will get more pleasure and enjoyment out of riding it. At the very least, learning how to change a tyre will save you money and a significant amount of time.

5. Be Road Aware

Cycling on roads can be tricky; knowing the road rules will help prevent a lot of angry road users. Staying in the bike lane, or as close to the side of the road as possible will help minimise delays for other users.

6. Stock Up On All Your Gear

Ensuring that you have all the gear that you need for cycling is important. This can include water bottles, sun screen, phone holders, and a lock and chain for when you dismount. Putting all this in your cycling bag will make your next journey a lot easier.

7. Wear A Helmet

Probably the most important piece of advice is to wear a helmet. This is required by law in some countries, so always make sure that you double check before taking to the road. A good quality helmet will also help protect you should any accidents occur whilst you’re out cycling.

There are many tips that cyclists should take on board before going out for a spin, but the most important tip is to just have fun. Cycling is a fun activity; enjoy the fresh air, the feeling of the pedals and the sunshine.

One final tip, if your husband, wife or partner has a passion for cyclying and they say that they will be gone for 2 hours, double that as it’s usually much longer.

Are you a cyclist? What are your essential tips for cycling?

This post was written in collaboration with 99bikes.


Breathtakingly Beautiful Baw Baw

Taking three young children to the snow requires commitment, patience and courage. Actually, can I change that to patience, courage and commitment?

If it’s a family friendly mountain you’re after, Mount Baw Baw definitely gets the thumbs up. It’s far enough from Melbourne to feel like you’ve gone away yet close enough to be able to enjoy a day trip if that’s what you’d prefer.

Beautiful Baw Baw

Last weekend, we packed our bags, said good-bye to the hustle and bustle of Melbourne and head to the slopes. A long earned family break was welcomed by the hubster and I and we are so grateful to the team at Mt Baw Baw for such a fabulous opportunity.

Mount Baw Baw is just 2.5 hours from Melbourne, (3 if you include a stop with the kids which I highly recommend). The roads are windy for about an hour heading up to the mountain and if you or any of your family members suffer from travel sickness, then motion sickness tablets are essential.

We picked a pearler of a weekend to go. Only a week earlier, the Victorian Alpine region had very limited snow and the snow machines were working over time.

That was until the Antarctic Vortex blasted across the east coast and delivered what experts say is our coldest icy hit in 15 years. Perfect for snow lovers!

We arrived at the mountain at 12.30pm and what a truly magical experience it was for the kids. They had never seen snow before and it was snowing when we arrived. The looks on their faces was one that I will remember for years to come. It was sheer excitement.

Our host for the weekend, Kim Whitehouse welcomed us with open arms, quite literally. Every opportunity she had to help out, she took, and it made our arrival the most pleasant of experiences.

The apartment wasn’t quite ready so we thawed out in the local restaurant with hot drinks in roasty toastie comfort.

It was all too exciting for the kids and as the snow melted outside with the afternoon sun, my heart was melting watching these two enjoy their very first snow fight.

Baw Baw 10

We checked into the Altitude Apartments and were pleasantly surprised by the spaciousness and cleanliness of our accommodation for the weekend. There were several stairs to climb to get to the top so I was mindful of supervising the kids going up and down at all times.

There was a double bunk which was a novelty for the kids and our fearless 4 year old was the first to grab the top bunk for the weekend.

The master bedroom was also spacious with a queen size bed and plenty of room for a port-a-cot. There were built in robes, plenty of heaters throughout and a clean bathroom with huge shower.

Once we were settled, we head across to the ski hire place and got fitted for skis and a snowboard by the friendly staff in preparation for our Super Saturday Snow session.

It’s amazing how quickly time flies. Before we knew it, dinner was upon us. On the mountain, there is the option of the restaurant or bistro to dine in.

We enjoyed a beautiful dinner at the restaurant, albeit quick as the kids were starting to get a little feral.

The meals were so good that the hubster gave compliments to the chef about 4 times and praised the cheap prices of the meals for a snow resort. A main meal was on average $22-$30.

As dinner was still digesting, we whisked the kids back to the apartment, into their thermals and off to bed. After such a big day, we were certain that the kids would sleep in until 7.30am.

That wish was shortlived. They were up at 6.30am and in their snow gear faster than I could say snowman. Trying to tell two eager kids that the mountain didn’t open until 9 was not an easy task so we head down to the snow for some toboggan action before the kids had their ski lesson at 9.30.

Baw Baw 5

Now I’m not going to sugar coat things and tell you that the weekend went completely smoothly and it was happy families the whole entire time.

The kids were due to have their first ever ski lesson at 9.30 on Saturday morning. With everyone dressed and ready to go, we made our way to ski school. Kim was there to greet us with her warm, friendly smile. She is seriously the nicest host anyone could wish for.

At 9.25, Miss H decided that her gloves weren’t quite right and went into absolute meltdown mode. She was screaming, there were tears and lots of stamping of the feet. As I turned to the hubster for help, I see him skiing off into the distance. I turned back to console the 4 year old when suddenly, the 5 year old decides that he needs a toilet stop before his ski lesson.

Within a minute, both kids are busting to go to the toilet and the baby, who happened to be in a carrier on my back, decided to poo his pants and start screaming at the top of his lungs.

Kim, if you’re reading this, THANK YOU. You seriously were my saviour.

I wouldn’t wish the snow to swallow anyone up but I seriously wanted it to be me at that moment.

Only one of the kids ended up having his lesson which he absolutely loved and I took the other 2 home for an overdue nap. At 2pm, I enjoyed a private snowboarding lesson then had an hour on the slopes with no distractions whatsoever. It was absolute bliss.

The kid was a natural

The kid was a natural

One of the highlights of the weekend was definitely the tobogganing. There is a great area allocated for this and the kids ABSOLUTELY loved it. Even the one year old giggled all the way down. These kids have no fear I tell you.

There is also a kids playground set up called the Frozen Snow Play Park which the kids really enjoyed. Just quietly, so did I. There was even a large igloo that I happened to stumble across that was big enough for me to take refuge in for about 2 minutes before the kids found me.

Baw Baw 11

Baw Baw 7

Baw Baw 4

We didn’t get to see the Howling Huskies, we simply ran out of time but we could certainly here them. A great novelty for the kids. They take people for tours on the mountain and have special times for the kids to pat them. It is definitely on the bucket list for the next time we go.

If you are Melbourne based and looking for somewhere to go for a day trip, I’d highly recommend taking the family to Mount Baw Baw.

For any other ski, snowboarding or tobogganing enthusiasts, Mt Baw Baw is a must. It’s extremely family friendly and very affordable.

Have you been to the snow this season yet? Ever been to Mount Baw Baw?


Party In The Park And Win – Thomas Street Reserve

We had two main criteria when we were house-hunting 7 years ago. There had to be a variety of cool parks for the kids to play in (I was 3 months pregnant with our first at the time) and some funky cafes that made great coffee for sleep deprived mums and dads.

I stumbled across popular Thomas St Reserve in Hampton and I cannot help but feature it this week in the second series of Li’l Busy Bodies Party In The Park And Win series. If you missed the first week, you can check it out here.

Thomas Street Reserve is fully equipped with bbqs, tables, benches, drinking fountains and toilets. The luscious greenery and stunning pine trees create a space for children to let their imaginations run wild.

A favourite feature of this park is the enormous wooden fort. It seriously provides children with hours of fun and allows them to “just be kids”. It is the perfect place to play hide and seek as there are so many different nooks to hide in and walkways to get lost in. There is a sand pit, kids monkey bars, a wooden boat and much, much more.

Image - Herald Sun

Image – Herald Sun

There are four swings that are sheltered but, just a warning, it does get busy and if you’re kids are anything like mine and become impatient easily, you can distract them with one of the many other activities this fabulous park offers.

There is a path that connects Thomas Street with Myrtle Rd and it’s perfect for scooting, walking or riding a bike.

Most Sunday’s (if it isn’t raining), there are pony rides which my kids absolutely love. The last time we rode the ponies, it cost $7.50 per child and is an absolutely gorgeous experience for them.

The luscious grass area of this picturesque park is ideal for a kick of the footy or soccer ball, a throw of the frisbie, a round of cart wheels, a series of relay races or simply just lay out the picnic rug and enjoy some lunch with friends and family.

It is also the perfect venue to have your child’s next birthday party. Li’l Busy Bodies have run a few parties here and the kids have had an absolute blast. The trees that are located in the centre of the park are perfect for setting up a pinata and the grass area is ideal for footy, soccer or multisport games.

Thomas Street Reserve is located at 164 Thomas Street in Hampton.

Take a pic of the kids somewhere within the wooden fort and post it to my Lil Busy Bodies IG or Lil Busy Bodies Facebook page using the hashtag #lilbusybodiesparties

One lucky person will WIN 30% off their child’s next birthday party with Li’l Busy Bodies.

Each week there will be a new activity for the specific park featured so get the kids out, and visit this weeks featured park – Thomas Street Reserve.

The most creative photo will win 30% off a Li’l Busy Bodies party and the judges decision is final. You have until Thursday night 9pm AEST each week to get your entries in. Winner announced on the blog each Friday.


Is Mt Baw Baw Ready For Us?

Baw Baw

I love snowboarding. I learnt how to board during the millennium. I saw in the Year 2000 in Andorra, a tiny town in the Pyrenees mountains. It was one of my favourite trips on my European trip.

I became a confident snowboarder when I returned to Australia and looked forward to the winter months.

The last time I went snowboarding was with a group of girlfriends almost 8 years ago! It was supposed to be a fun weekend away with the girls but it didn’t quite turn out that way. I had decided to have one last board down the mountain before heading out for dinner late Saturday afternoon.

Half way down the mountain, a 10 year old boy and I collided and his ski stock went straight through the corner of my nose. It hurt, a lot.

As I lay in the snow, blood everywhere, I heard his father telling him to move away from me and to carry on skiing. I couldn’t believe it.

Barely conscious, I listened on as the young boy asked his father to call for help. I was not in a good way. His father refused. Was this really happening? Thankfully, a friend that I was boarding with came to my aid and called for help.

I ended up in the resort hospital with four cortisone injections being put into every angle of my nose. The pain was excruciating. My nose was had been broken and the doctor wanted to see whether the stock had gone all the way through the corner of my nose to my gum. Thankfully it hadn’t.

Neets snow

Fast forward 8 years and we have a 5.5 year old, a 4.5 year old and a 1-year-old and we have never, ever done a family snow trip. It seems to always be on the bucket list but something that never gets ticked off.

We had a NZ holiday when the kids were 1 and 2. I know, I know, hardly a holiday right? Toddler wrangling + holiday = disaster.

It was the middle of summer and we visited Mt Ruapehu and it just so happened that there was snow on the mountain. It was quite surreal. Bush walking in 26 degree heat then stumbling across snow at the top of the mountain. Amaze-balls!

The two eldest are now old enough to ski and we have excitedly been invited by the lovely crew at Mt Baw Baw to visit this divine mountain this weekend. It will be a long overdue family break and I am finally ready to get back on my board and face my fears.

It appears we’ve picked the right weekend to go as well. The school holidays are over so it will be quieter and the Antarctic Vortex that has hit the east coast has delivered one of the coldest icy hits in 15 years. (I’ve been wanting to say “Antarctic Vortex” for ages. It sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie).

I will report more on our shenanigans of our snow trip next week.

Are you an avid snow bunny? Been to Mt Baw Baw? Now as I haven’t been on a snow trip with my family ever, does anyone have a checklist on “the don’t leave home without items?”

Image Source – Travalability.Travel


Party in The Park and Win – Dendy Park

One of the things I really love about my job is that it never feels as though I’m working. The saying that if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life is not as cliché as it sounds.

I feel extremely lucky to be living in Melbourne’s beautiful Bayside and it is here (and its surrounds) that I have decided to base my work. My business Li’l Busy Bodies is an active kids birthday party service that offers high energy, team orientated, themed sports parties.

Each week for the next twelve weeks, I will be featuring one of Bayside’s (and surrounds) stunning parks, perfect for hosting a kids sports party.

This week I’m featuring one of my favourites, Dendy Park in leafy Brighton.

Why is it a favourite? Well there is not much not to love about it. In any given week, I can run the dogs around the awesome trail there, have a kick of soccer with my son, take the baby for a walk, enjoy a family lunch or have a play date at the beautiful sand based kids playground. This place is packed with things to do.

Dendy blog 3

There is green for as far as the eye can see at this gem. Perfect for a game of soccer, footy, rugby or good old-fashioned british bulldogs. There is also a wall for having a hit of tennis or handball. It is the perfect place to have lunch with friends and family with a sheltered area and bbq facilites.

Dendy blog

Li’l Busy Bodies also run active kids sports parties here so if you’re wondering what to do for your child’s next birthday, why not head over to our website, pick a theme, get in touch and talk to us about providing your child with an unforgettable experience.

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If you’d like to be in the running to get 50% off your child’s next birthday party, then grab the kids and head over to Dendy Park over the next week.

Walk along the trail with the kids, take a pic and post it to my Lil Busy Bodies IG or Lil Busy Bodies Facebook page using the hashtag #lilbusybodiesparties

One lucky person will WIN with Li’l Busy Bodies.

Each week there will be a new activity for the specific park featured and a new prize.

The most creative photo will win and the judges decision is final. You have until Thursday night 9pm AEST each week to get your entries in. Winner announced on the blog each Friday.


Copyright 2013 Fit Mother Hubbard