Kate de Beer is the Weekly Rider! Working in her dream job at Cycling Australia, Kate is the Program Director for She Rides, which is all about giving women the opportunity to rediscover the joy of riding bikes.
After being introduced to cycling by her non-cycling husband just 3 months before completing the 210km Around the Bay, Kate loved the 'experience' and has now moved on taken on some super tough rides like Peaks Challenge Gold Coast...
We talk to Kate about why she loves to ride.
Name: Kate de Beer - Fitzroy, VIC
I'm a bit of a newcomer to this whole cycling thing and am absolutely in love with my current bike, the Trek Emonda SL6.
This is my second 'proper' bike, and when I upgraded to the Emonda, it was the equivalent of upgrading from a Barina to a Boxter. I haven't really started thinking about my next bike yet, or at least that's what I tell my husband, but I like to think that in a couple of years time, I will be upgrading to something like the Trek Madone - that is one mean looking bike!
What is your favourite local ride?
This is a really hard question! Living in Melbourne, there are so many great rides and routes... Like most Melbourne cyclists, I started my journey into road riding along Beach Road, and I still love starting my day with an early spin along the bay, especially now the mornings are getting lighter and warmer. Every now and then you get treated to an absolutely cracking sunrise too. Add to that a great bunch of friends and a good coffee at the end - there really is no better way to start the day.
What is your current cycling goal?
Ooh, good question! I've just ticked off, without a doubt, the biggest fitness-related goal I have ever set myself in finishing the Peaks Challenge ride on the Gold Coast, and have spent the last 4 weeks politely ignoring the "what's next?" questions being thrown my way, while eating all the food and drinking all the wine. BUT, after proclaiming "NEVER AGAIN" at the finish line of Peaks, I think I'll probably have a crack at Peaks Challenge Falls Creek.
It seems to be one of those rides that is absolutely polarising, riders either absolutely love it, or absolutely hate it. I'm curious to see on which side of the fence I will sit...I secretly think I might love it. Getting to spend the better part of a day riding my bike? Hell yes!
When I am on the bike I....
If it's before 6am, I usually spend the first 20 minutes reminding myself that I do actually love riding. In my pre-riding life, I was not a morning person, and while I am much better at getting out of bed early these days, the morning pep-talk is still very much part of my routine.
Once I am past the pep-talk, riding for me is about two things - connecting socially with other people who also love to ride, and also having the opportunity to switch off a bit from everything else that is happening in my "normal" life.
How did your love of bikes come about?
When I look back at how I got into cycling, I think it is a small miracle that I've ended up loving it. My husband, Sam, first got me on a bike not long after we moved to Melbourne. He'd heard of this ride called Around the Bay, and thought it would be something fun for us to do together. So, with less than 3 months to train, he signed us up (for the 210KM loop, obviously), and took me over to Preston to buy my first road bike.
I entered the bike shop not even knowing about clip-in pedals, and left having to ride my bike home, by myself, with clip-in pedals....from Preston to St Kilda. Needless to say, I fell over at the first set of lights when I couldn't unclip from the pedals, and 'fun' would not be the word I use to describe my first ATB experience! But, somewhere between that bike shop in Preston and the start line of ATB that year, something had clicked, and I've never looked back.
Share a cycling memory
A single cycling memory?! (*Spends lots of time thinking.....)
Some of my favourite things in life are riding, good friends, and great food and wine. I recently found the perfect balance of all of these things while on a cycling holiday with some friends in France.
We'd heard about this great seafood restaurant in this little town in the Bay of Arcachon, and promptly planned to ride out there for lunch. 5 of our group rode the 95KM to lunch, and my goodness, lunch was well worth the ride. 4 of us decided that we'd also ride home because it was mostly flat, and you know, totally easy. I am sure it would have been much easier had we not had a stomach full of French-cooked seafood (and a few cheeky glasses of wine), but even though I still rate that 95KM home as one of the toughest rides I have done, it is still by far one of my best cycling memories, and that trip is one of the best holidays I have ever had!
I love to ride because....
I was never an active kid growing up. I am asthmatic, and grew up in one of the worst parts of NSW for anyone that has allergies. Of course, I didn't know this at the time and just assumed that I was unfit, and that playing sport was something that was not for me.
Riding has been been quite an eye-opener for me in terms of what I am actually physically capable of, and a way for me to keep pushing my limits and doing things that have previously seemed completely out of reach. If you had told me 4 years ago that I would be contemplating doing my second Peaks Challenge ride, I would think you were a crazy person!