Volunteer profile: Lynne Prentice, New Horizons and more!

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Lynne Prentice rediscovered cycling just a few years ago but she’s taken to it with a vengeance, crossing over between on-road and off-road disciples with passion and ease. Now she’s also a volunteer coach and, when she’s not on a bike, she’s helping with funding submissions. We asked her five questions.

What sort of job/jobs do you do with Pedal Power?
In 2013 I trained to become a basic skills cycling coach with Beth Johnston (manager of the New Horizons program) and this helped me to understand the role of a coach. This year I became a New Horizons volunteer helping with the seniors program. Right now I am also helping to put together an application for a grant to run some learn to ride classes for people who have never learnt to ride or who haven’t ridden a bike for a very long time.

Why did you become a volunteer with Pedal Power?
I was lucky to have a brother who pushed me off down the hill and taught me to ride to school when I young. Some people never learn to ride and I think everyone should have that opportunity so that’s why I’m helping with the grant application. I rediscovered cycling just a few years ago after finding out what I didn’t know about riding from Raynie McNee at Cycle Education. At the time my job involved organising cycling skills classes for disadvantaged people. I started commuting then joined all the different Pedal Power social rides which helped me to become fit. I love the social aspect of these rides as well so volunteering is my way of appreciating these rides and contributing to the organisation.

What’s the best part of the job?
I am passionate about encouraging more women to learn cycling skills so we can feel confident riding on a variety of surfaces and in different environments. In the New Horizons program I see enthusiastic people develop and learn. It’s a buzz for the participants and the coaches.

If you could do one thing to make Canberra more cycle-friendly, what would it be?
The one thing I try to do is be considerate to pedestrians and people walking on the shared paths. Say hello or thanks as the need arises and generally chat and say something nice like …great dog you’ve got (if it’s on a lead). I think cyclists in general could be better at sharing the paths. I would also like to see more women working in cycling shops so they were more ‘girl’ friendly. Perhaps the shops could hold some women-only demo times.

Describe what sort of a bike rider you are.
My family would call me smitten and pretty addicted. They are also very supportive because they see how fit and happy it makes me. I like all sorts of riding: social, mountain biking, road rides and touring. At the moment I’m really enjoying the FIT (Females in Training) Long Distance Road Cycling course and learning about how to train properly and ride in a group. Our coach Angie is so inspiring and generous with her time. Last September I toured down beside the Darling River with a Pedal Power group and this last summer it’s been all about mountain biking. I won the Merriest Maiden award at the Dirt Maidens event at Jindabyne. Then at the New Years Eve Wicked Wombat event I did seven 10km laps over the eight-hour event, despite suffering from cramps. I was stoked about that. Previously I thought I’d be wrecked after 20-30km. This inspired me ask around for a partner to enter the Duo Classic event at Kowan Forest. Thanks to long-time mentor Gregg and some training I am a much more confident mountain biker. I’m really looking forward to it.

You have two hours to spare for a bike ride on a fine Canberra summer’s day. Where would you go?
I would take the mountain bike and do some of the Centenary Trail. I’d joint it at Red Hill and ride the Mt Mugga Mugga, Isaacs Ridge section down to Mugga Lane and return via the Isaacs Cycle path – almost 5km of beautiful downhill glide to Hindmarsh Drive. From there I’d turn right through O’Malley. With a little knowledge you can go through the tunnel under Hindmarsh Drive and up Red Hill (a bit steep) then turn left around the back of Garran and over the saddle, finishing up with some lovely single track back along the base of Red Hill. This ride has it all for me: dirt fire road and single track, cycle path, a little bit of road and lots of bush and some adventure.

Photo: Lynne competing Dirt Maidens Challenge 2013. The team’s theme was spots.


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