I'm excited to introduce Erin Ferguson as the Weekly rider! She's getting involved in so many aspects of road cycling and embracing all that it has to offer. She's involved with the new initiative SheRace (@sherace), which has a mission to get more women in Melbourne racing their bikes at all levels which can only be a good thing...
She's busy renovating a cycling den in Bright (something that many of us would dream of having!) and has a 'real' job as a lawyer in Government. Watch out for her taking the long way home on her bike.
Cover image - Melita Van Steel (@fullgasimagery)
Name - Erin Ferguson
Lives - I split my time between South Melbourne and Bright!
It seems like I always come back to the idea of a titanium roadie. I feel like a good titanium bike is Mr Right, as compared to carbon, which is more like Mr Right Now.
I like the idea of a bike that is elegant and timeless, and I also really enjoy the craftsmanship that goes into titanium. I love long days out on the bike and there is a lot of appeal in having a bike that is comfortable, lively and feels a bit more 'connected' to you as a rider.
There's also the bonus of not living in total fear loading it onto a plane!
What is your favourite local ride
Victoria is such a fantastic place for cycling - it is hard to pick one.
I get a lot of sick pleasure out of Arthur’s Seat – it’s the first proper climb I did on a bike and it’s still every bit as savage as the first time I rode it. I can see it from my parent’s home in Safety Beach and my home in South Melbourne, so there is a really nice ‘coming home’ nostalgia to riding up it when I can.
I spend a lot of time up in Bright and Mt Buffalo really is the ride I look forward to. I love the reward of riding mountains and I really use Mt Buffalo as a yardstick of how I am improving as a rider. It is a challenging ride however the views are constantly evolving and the descent is extremely rewarding. I absolutely love riding up in winter and seeing the plateau and much of the high country covered in snow.
It might be controversial but my OTHER favourite ride is training at Cycle Collective in Richmond. The guys there have become like a second family over the last year, and I have loved the physical and mental strength that comes from training indoors. I've made some incredible friends there and we all push one another to be better on and off the bike.
What is your current cycling goal
Each year that I have cycled I have challenged myself with something new. Last year was all about going long - I ticked off Peaks Challenge which was an amazing achievement.
I've always been really inspired by women who go out and race, however I've also felt a bit anxious and inadequate about doing so myself. I've been lucky enough to have some excellent friends who have encouraged (bullied) me to start getting involved with crits, and I really think that this year is as good as any to throw my hat in the ring and learn a bit about racing.
So far racing has exceeded my expectations; it hasn't been scary at all (it has been heaps of fun though), and there is a lot of support and camaraderie which I didn't expect. I enjoy pushing myself out of my comfort zone, and historically that has involved going longer/higher. Crits have been totally different - the challenge comes from riding harder and having less control over the pace, which I am trying to adapt to!
I'd love to see more women showing up to give racing a go, and I figured that the best way to be a part of that is to do it myself, because in all seriousness, if I can race bikes, anyone can race bikes!
When I am on the bike I....
...Am usually eating! Seriously, when I'm on the bike I'm the best version of myself. I don't think its possible to be unhappy riding a bike, and no matter how much pain and suffering the ride dishes out, it still beats not being on the bike.
How did your love of bikes come about?
I remember when I was really young I used to have this old TV in my bedroom and when the Tour de France was on I would sit on the foot of my bed with my blanket over both my head and the TV so my parents didn't know I was up watching TV really late at night. I was fascinated by the romanticism of the sport and the scenery and loved the thrills and spills of elite racing.
So naturally, as I got older I got into...running! I set my sights on completing a marathon and off I went. With running came the injury cycle and I was sick of not only training on and off while I waited for things to recover, but living with a lot of pain. I started thinking about cycling as a way to build fitness while I was too injured to run and eventually bought myself a road bike and started riding around the Mornington Peninsula, which is where I lived with my parents. I rode on and off while running, and although I knew I loved riding, running was still my priority and I was desperate to finish a marathon and progress onto ultra marathons.
I finally ran a marathon in 2015 and although I finished, I did a LOT of damage to myself and I ended up on crutches for a few weeks. That was a huge reality check, because in my mind I could only think about how desperately I wanted to get back on the bike. Running no longer registered as a priority. I sat down with my physio, who I'd almost had on retainer for the previous couple years, and I said "if you get me back on the bike, I'll never run again" - and I haven't!
Share a cycling memory
It took me a week to respond to just this question, which I think is because I have so many incredible memories from cycling, but every time I thought of 'something', I realised that it was a good memory because of 'someone'. Cycling has been the gateway for me to meet so many incredible people that have challenged me to be better, on and off the bike. I think the best days out are not measured by distance or vertical meters, but by the quality of the company, and reflecting on this for a few days has been humbling.
I love to ride because....
...Cycling is totally customized to what you need it to be. Need distraction? Ride with mates. Need some alone time? Ride on your own. Need a rest? Ride slow. Need to prove a point? Ride a mountain. Happy? Ride. Sad? Ride. Just ride. Too often I think we get caught up in the complexities of our world, and its refreshing to have bikes, which are simple, reliable and honest - they give back to you exactly what you put into them.
If you are sponsored and would like them listed please tell us here.: It would be great if you could give a shout out to Pedla and Cycle Collective