Kath Bicknell

Or perhaps the better question: what are the most important considerations when it comes to person-specific bike fit, regardless of gender?

And the question I wish more people were asking: what has an increased focus on fitting bikes for women taught us about bike set up for, well, everyone?

Having worked in cycling media for over ten years, and often tasked with reviewing bikes aimed at a female market, I’ve heard the ‘women’s-specific’ debate from many angles. Where it gets most confusing for consumers is that a large number of early designs for women were (in hindsight) a load of bollocks. More recently, most of the companies that invested heavily in well-researched designs for female riders such as Trek, Specialized and Scott, seem to have back-flipped and have returned to gender-neutral designs, particularly at the racier end of the spectrum. Reducing the marketing for these changes to single, snappy sentences seems to confuse consumers even further. Read More

How do the skills you’re exploring now relate to the things you might do in the future? Or to answer a question I also get a lot: ‘What is it that you actually do again?’

Mark Parry shot a series of videos answering these questions for the Department of Cognitive Science at Macquarie University in Sydney. It was initially developed as part of a third year undergraduate course called ‘Cognitive Science in the Real World’. The series interviews all kinds of interesting people about the professional work they do, shares advice for current students and cleverly reveals the smaller moments and interests that brought them to where they are today. Like any good content, it’s enjoyable and relevant to people with much broader interests as well. Read More

But most of all, thank you to Ride Guide for considering the writers. No one ever thinks of the writers!

Without words and the perspectives of the writers and journalists, mountain biking may well have been another gear based sport, but there is something more to this than riding and racing. It can be the struggle, the exhilaration, the adventure and mis-adventure, the highs, lows and tragedies. A writer has a gift to transport you to another place and take you on a journey, drawing you in with their with their words, and for a short period, you become transfixed to the page (or screen). The writers below have the ability to do just that, so still do it, while others have moved on. Either way their legacy and future work will continue to shape this sport for years to come.

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The Specialized Epic is one of the world’s most lusted-over cross-country (XC) mountain bikes. It’s the main bike choice of current XC world champion, Kate Courtney, former world champion, Annika Langvad, and a whole stack of privateers – riders who usually pay for their bikes making their vote for the Epic perhaps the most discerning of all.

Specialized Womens S-Works Epic-1

The women’s build is designed to be fast and efficient, just like the women who seek this bike out.

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Imagine if you said ‘Yes’ to every surreal opportunity that came your way for a day. What would you do? And where would you base yourself to do it?

Yes Day: Tropical North Queensland is a short film I wrote, produced and directed with Wade Lewis and Chris Baker (Tokyo Swim Team). It developed in response to the adventurous tourism opportunities that kept coming up when planning and shooting Like a Local. Read More

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