31 Aug 22 | By pp-admin
By Linda Laker
Following on from our series on your Pedal Power advocacy champions, News Wheel will regularly profile a member. We know one of the things other members love hearing about is where and how people ride, what they ride and tips and tricks on how to get the most out of their cycling by hearing from others.
This week, we talked with Lindy Armstrong, a Pedal Power member for over a decade and a keen social and touring rider.
Although starting to ride as a child and continuing to ride through university years, ‘life got in the way’ as they say, and there was quite a hiatus until Lindy took up riding more seriously once her children were older.
After joining Pedal Power, you might imagine her first Pedal Power ride would have been on Saturday Wanderers or a leisurely lake ride with the Wednesday morning crew.
But, no, you’d be mistaken.
Lindy’s first Pedal Power ‘ride’ was a pub crawl … and she drove it, yes, in a car! How this came about was she travelled with a Pedal Power group riding in Victoria – following in the car and joining them for lunches and other breaks but having a delightful touristy time while they pedalled on. Until the last – and rainy – day in Rutherglen where Lindy hopped on her “Kmart special” and managed to ride 42 km that day.
Lindy’s first Pedal Power ride was a pub crawl. In a car!
And one of the things that inspired her from that first ride was the friendship and help given by the group to a rider who had a flat tyre. She loves that continuing aspect of Pedal Power’s group rides.
After that first touring ride experience, she got a real bike!
For touring and general riding, Lindy has a titanium framed Van Nicholas with belt-drive Rohloff hub gearing. She’s also got a hard tail Giant mountain bike. For cycling clothing, she’s a fan of layers. As someone who hates long sleeves (do you know, she’s even been known to chop them off – from a perfectly good jersey!) she encourages the use of arm sleeves as being far more useful in Canberra’s weather which can rapidly warm up from a cold start. She is also super happy with her MIPS helmet – that stands for multi-directional impact protection system. These helmets have been specifically designed to reduce rotational injuries on the brain after research showed human brains are better at handling ‘straight-on’ impact than oblique impacts which create rotational strain. Fortunately, in all the many thousands of kilometres she’s cycled, she’s never had to test its efficacy.
Lindy’s currently riding roughly four times a week and clocking up around 200km per week. When asked why she does it – her answer, quick as a flash, was, “For coffee!” But a more considered answer included her enjoyment of the social aspects of riding, particularly with the many friends she has met through Pedal Power, and the terrific adventures and places she’s seen when touring. But as to her favourite ride in Canberra, that looped us back to, “Any ride with coffee!”.
And Lindy delights in exploring new trails and paths across Canberra. Her favourite riding season in Canberra is autumn – pipping out spring as a close second … because of her phobia of birds, which, she explains, multiple members of her family have suffered from, surprisingly. And it’s not just because of Canberra’s swooping magpies.
Lindy has a couple of good suggestions for those needing some motivation to get out on the bike
But that hasn’t kept her from her bike rides. So, what are Lindy’s suggestions to Pedal Power members looking to get more out of their rides and/or to just ride more? Her first, and most obvious suggestion – and one we could all follow easily – is “Just do it”. And she also has a couple of good suggestions for those needing some more motivation or incentive: next time you’re meeting up with a friend for a coffee, suggest you ride to wherever you are to meet up; and she also recommends joining a Pedal Power social ride and making sure you get to Pedal Power’s social nights (yes, that is a plug from Lindy, and fair enough too as she has been a long term joint-organiser of these fun and informative nights). For those looking to step up to some touring, she suggests joining an organised trip as a great way to fall in love with longer rides.
And speaking of longer rides, she has ridden in every state and territory, but her all time favourite ride was cycling the Lands End to John o’ Groats cycle route – the LEJOG for those in the know – in the United Kingdom. A marvellous 30 days of cycling over 38 days completing 2021km with over 21,000m ascent. Phew.
So, follow Lindy’s lead and make the most of those emerging spring days – hop on your bike and get out there and “Just do it”.