Kath Bicknell

Blog

The Trek Remedy offers riders so many of the best things about mountain biking right now: an efficient suspension design that lets you ride just about anything, anywhere. A frame geometry that delivers super precise handling up front and, due longer than average chain stays, a very planted feeling at the rear. A wheel size (650b) that encourages playful riding and keeps you connected to feedback from the trail. And a parts list that feels like it’s been hand chosen for mountain bikers by mountain bikers.

Tim Bardsley-Smith_Trek Remedy 9.8_Australian Mountain Bike magazine-24

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A film about riding and not-riding in and around the incredible landscape surrounding Cairns, Australia. I wrote, directed and produced this film with Toyko Swim Team. Chris Baker shot and edited it bringing his unique style from the fashion world to the trails, while Wade Lewis made magic happen just about every else where magic is make-happen-able. Read More

Three things I love: being invited to learn new and exciting things, somewhere far, far away, surrounded by all kinds of interesting people. Read More

We recently learned that SBS Zela, an Australian website dedicated to women in sport, will finish up after the Olympics.

The reasons for decisions like this from any publication are far from simple and I’m not going to go into it here.

It’s left me with mixed emotions. Sadness to start with, exasperation next, and finally, fatigue. These feelings aren’t directed at SBS or the reasons the decision was made. It takes courage and conviction to back something like this to start with.

These are feelings I have when I see forum posts asking why women aren’t featured in other publications, when I see a high-quality article on women in sport receive almost zero traction on social media, and when I see skilled writers and photographers work for free because they want to contribute to this gap but can’t build a relationship with enough publications that can pay them for this work. In short, my feelings are in response to the state of media on, by and about women in sport far more broadly, and the actions from audiences in response. Read More

Caroline Buchanan. Gracie Elvin. Bec Henderson.

Three Olympians. Three cyclists. Three Canberrans. Three very different athletes.

I had the opportunity to interview these three ladies for SBS Zela, a website dedicated to women in sport. With free reign on the shape of each article, I started with a list of questions: things I was curious about, mediated by things I think the Zela audience might be curious about. Read More

Velocio’s premium women’s ES kit. The CamelBak Solstice 10LR hydration pack. The classic looking Cafe du Cycliste Violette and Heidi jersies. Shimano’s high-ish end women’s WR84 road shoes. The bright and grippy Specialized Cliplite 2FO MTB trail shoes. Specialized SWAT apparel, which has secret pockets to stash your riding goods. Adidas Eyewear Evil Eye Evo with Vario lenses, and their new casual glasses, the Excalates. Custom merino kit from Sydney-based Eleven Velo. Updated Scuffers from Nzo, the women’s baggy shorts that redefined women’s baggy shorts.

That’s a fair few product reviews and write ups over the last year! Most are designed for women, but by brands that do some excellent man-gear too, using similar fabrics, gadgets and technologies. The main exception here is the Adidas Evil Eye Evo sunglasses, which come in different unisex size options and are adjustable for different face shapes. Read More

E-bikes are one of the big, divisive curiosities of the cycling world at the moment. E-mountain bikes even more so.

Along with several other influential people in my local riding community – trail builders, Specialized shop staff, keen riders, other media – I was recently invited to test ride the Specialized Turbo Levo. The social media froth was high as everyone took to Instagram and Facebook to confirm that riding bikes, including this one, is a heap of fun. Read More

This a question I get asked a lot. The thing is, media changes so quickly, my response changes too.

I often tell students that the jobs they’ll end up doing after their degree haven’t been invented yet. In this way, it’s not the number of essays completed or exams passed that make people suited to a workplace. It’s the broader skills learned through doing these tasks that matter most, like seeing patterns, managing workflow, choosing where to invest your energy, attention to detail, knowing where to look when you don’t have an answer. Journalism is about creating clear communication, across a variety of channels, with the audience of that form of communication in mind.

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Three weeks, three destinations, two helicopter flights, many articles, stunning images and lots and lots of riding.

I travelled to New Zealand five times between 2015 and 2016, mostly for work, sometimes for holidays. It’s beginning to feel like a second home. The most recent trip took in one of my favourite places, Rotorua on the North Island, and two I’d never been to before, Queenstown and Wanaka, on the South Island.

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When you buy this women’s bike, you’re buying into a community as well.

There are a lot of things that go into choosing a new bike. In my opinion, some people fixate too much on brands, the drool level of the parts, weight and appearance, and forget about other important aspects which determine how much they enjoy using it.

Tthe 2016 Liv Avail 1 Women’s Disc is so much more than the sum of its (well thought out) parts. For new riders this alloy, Shimano 105 specced, AU$ 1,799 disc model is an entry point into a whole new community. In Australia, there are regular rides in most capital cities, and a quick look at the #LivBeyond hashtag on instagram will show you how big this community is becoming on a global scale.

I tested the Avail 1 Disc for the Summer 2016 issue of Bike magazine (Australia). The bike itself has a robust and instinctive ride feel with a frame geometry that encourages comfort and stability. A PDF copy of the full review is here. An excerpt and a gallery of extra images from the very first ride are below (so clean!). Double tap the images to see them bigger if you’re reading from your mobile.

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The Cannondale Synapse range suits riders who prefer a slightly relaxed position on the bike rather than super aggressive stance. The Women’s 105 5 features an alloy frame and  Shimano 105 shifting. My favourite feature is the SAVE Plus micro suspension, which transforms the ride properties of this $AU 1699 bike into one that you would think cost a lot more. With rack mounting points and a colour scheme that won’t show grime, it’s well suited to commuting through the city some days and longer adventures out of town or with a road bunch on others.

I tested the 2015 Women’s Synapse 105 5 for the Spring 2015 issue of Bike Magazine (Australia). You can download a PDF copy of the review here. An excerpt and a bonus gallery is below.

The frame, features and spec feature strong overlaps with the 2016 model, which you can read about on Cannondale’s US website. If you’re reading from your mobile, double tap the gallery to see the images in full size.

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DHaRCO is an Australian mountain bike apparel company blending detailed trail functionality with a casual, surf-inspired aesthetic. I first wrote about the range for Flow Mountain Bike when DHaRCO launched into its opening season in 2014. It was interesting to interview designer, Mandy Davis, as part of this article and learn first hand about the processes that happen behind the scenes before garments like these hit the shelves.

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The antibacterial ‘j’adore rouler’ (I love to ride) t-shirt is a favourite on and off the bike. Photo: Chris Southwood for Flow Mountain Bike

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