Bike skills

Selection Criteria for Commuter Olympics: Official Announcement

PRESS RELEASE City cyclists today have been buoyed by the news that Cycling Australia has released its official selection criteria for the 2014 Commuter Olympics.

The Cyclone Hubbards, as the team will be known, will comprise 14 of the nation's top commuter cyclists. Hubbard High Performance Manager Harry Halfwheel has high hopes for the contingent:

"The Commuter Olympics is an opportunity for Australia's fastest commuters to thrash it out on the world stage. Cycling to work is certainly still a minority sport in this country, but I've seen enough high-speed bike path crashes to know that we are not short of hubbard talent. While Australia doesn't boast the grass roots commuter development seen in nations like the Netherlands, I am expecting the Cyclone Hubbards to really ignite Australians' passion for racing total strangers down city streets on unroadworthy bikes."

The selection criteria, set out below, sets qualification standards based on technical skills, performance in commuter events, and number of urban Strava segments held by the athlete. Rigorous clothing regulations apply, including minimum standards for high-viz jackets and maximum numbers for zip ties in helmets.


(Maximum long team size is twice the qualified quota in UCI ranking system for nations. Only cyclists in the 2014 national long team will be considered for selection to the final 2014 Australian team.)

The selectors will consider the following in determining the 2014 Commuter Oympics national team:

  1. Mandatory Events/Requirements

Final team selection (clause 4) will be subject to a cyclist having satisfied conditions below.

    • Riders must have competed in at least one of the following during the previous 5 years:
      • Around The Bay in a Day;
      • BRW or Ironman distance triathlon;
      • Any qualification events for the World Cross-Fit Games (one of which must involve a tractor tyre).

In all cases, the rider must have purchased and worn the official event t-shirt on a Casual Friday.

2. Automatic Selections

A maximum of 2 riders who attain top ranking on 2 or more Strava segments within the CBD of their home city will be added to the final team. For the avoidance of doubt, a Strava segment will be considered to lie within the CBD if it falls within a 4km radius of the GPO and contains at least 1 set of traffic lights. The colour of the traffic lights at the time the rider passes through them will not be taken into account at the time of recording the Strava segment.

3. Additional Team Selections

  • Selectors will identify the remaining final national team members based on a mixture of talent that may include bike path handling skills, pannier loading aptitude and general panache. Particular regard will be given to a cyclist’s demonstrated ability for overtaking a bunch of commuters sitting stationary at traffic lights just so that they can get first jump when the lights turn green.
  • In no specific order of priority, selectors will consider the following factors:
    • Proportion of high-viz wear worn by the individual as a total proportion of their clothing. Particular attention will be given to reflective ankle cuffs;
    • Number of zip ties worn by the rider in their helmet (generally seen around springtime but consideration will be given to riders sporting a helmet echidna all year round);
    • Individual performances in cross-dressing (judged as the wearing of multiple pro team kits simultaneously); and
    • The rider's peripheral vision, demonstrated by their ability to subtly check out the commuters they've just passed through a slight sideways tilt of the head.

3. National Coach's Choice

One position on the final Olympic team will be decided by the National Coach  based on the best pain face demonstrated by a rider on Melbourne's Eastern Freeway bike path travelling:

  • in an easterly direction;
  • between the hours of 6 and 8pm; and
  • on a gradient of no greater than 5%.

4. Selection Schedule

  • 21 September: Long team announced by CA
  • 30 September: Closing date for appeals against non-selection into the long team
  • 2 October: Selectors submit final team selections for endorsement by CA CEO
  • 5 October: Final team announced (UCI entry cut-off date)

New Year's Eve Tips For The Romantic Peddler

[There's not much connection between the cover pic and this week's post, but who doesn't like a good Skinsuit Sunday shot??] Ride Happy has over the years proffered advice on a number of topics, from Jersey selection for the recreational cyclist to whether to disown your son over poor bike taste and how to handle office douchebags. Sometimes this advice has been well-received. Sometimes not (hello triathletes! I love you deep down, really).

I apologise first of all for the back-log of emails asking for Lisa's Mum's advice that I have yet to get to. I always love getting them and my responsiveness does not reflect my enthusiasm for reading them. Please keep them coming. Send them again, if you could. I would love to get to them... I just need a prod sometimes.

Now that it is almost 2013, my thoughts turn to New Year's Eve and the veritable treasure trove of romance that awaits the drunk and opportunistic. Being now a single lass, I see New Year's Eve through different eyes... those eyes being slightly blurry and prone to distraction. However, having been out of the game for 9 years a while, I felt in need of a strong guiding hand in the romance department.* And so it was with a steady hand that I unlocked the cupboard under the stairs and thrust a steaming mug of Earl Grey into the hands of a dusty and neglected Lisa's Mum.

Lisa's Mum is a well-recognised authority on romance, having married 5 times and ghost-written the bestseller Fifty Millimetres of Sock Height, a racy novel enjoyed by cyclists in private around the world. Her thoughts on romance are so advanced that it is said that even Mario Cippolini himself would consult Lisa's Mum prior to any romantic encounter during Grand Tours (a practice that coincidentally coincided with the introduction of Telekom Italia's maxi-cap mobile plans). And so, with tea freshly brewed and pen poised, here are Lisa's Mum's tips for navigating the peloton of love this New Year's Eve:

  • Make sure you have a pre-race strategy: There is nothing worse than being the sucker who goes on the attack too early. This is the Paris-Roubaix of romantic nights: you have one shot at it and you need to get to the Forest d'Ardennes ahead of the bunch. Remember, everyone is twitchy; just keep your head and don't be the one who brings the whole bunch down.
  • Course selection: A one-day classic requires a different approach to a Grand Tour. Both have their merits. But consider: are you a sprinter or endurance romantic? If you like a one-day race, New Year's Eve is for you... but you had better be sure you have a fast finish on you. No one likes a choker.
  • Keep it realistic: There is no point if you are a punter to be aiming to win the Tour de France. Keep your sights within reach.
  • Get a good domestique: A domestique, or 'wingman' in layman's parlance, is worth their weight in gold. Practice a few moves together and make sure they know how to lead you out and how to deliver you to the line when you need it.
  • Equipment selection: Give all your equipment a good wash. That's what the pros do, and they do this all the time. Make sure all your gear is in good working order. I've been beaten by players with lesser machinery, and it hurts.
  • Stay off performance-enhancing drugs: It will cloud your judgement and you won't respect yourself in the morning.
  • The best time to attack is when your opponent is distracted: Maybe they're in the toilet. Maybe they've ordered another beer. Get your domestique to do some blocking moves so that you have a clear run at the prize.
  • Above all, learn to Sit In: Girls, you should NEVER hang out in the wind. Stay tucked in and don't be the one leading the charge. You'll need to conserve your strength for later when the real race starts.

Good luck... and may all your efforts end with your arms in the air.

Ride Happy.

*Those who are in the loop on Target 30/30 - the most awesome new year's resolution of all time - will agree with this. 

BASE Camp March 2012

Most of you will know by now that I am a big fan of pilates. I go to Marcus Speed's classes at Perfect Pilates in Brunswick as often as I can (which is never as often as I'd like!) Marcus is a cycling guru and his classes are nice and specific for me... none of that 'saluting the sun' malarkey; it's straight into the hard ab-crackers. This is an unashamed plug for a training camp that Marcus is running in Beechworth, VIC on the March long weekend (10-12 March 2012). Why? Because I like to support the people who support me. And also because I think he would run a kick-ass camp.

Here's the lowdown on BASE Camp: For 3 days you get all the cycling and multisport training you can handle, including... wait for it... a follow vehicle for all your rides! So PRO! More details are below, or you can go to his website.

Want to take your riding to the next level?
Or just feel like a weekend getaway?
Then BASE Camp is for you! 3 days of cycling and multisport training in beautiful Beechworth in north-east Victoria.
All rides have full vehicle and mechanical support, as well as feed stations and hydration.
No traffic lights, no traffic, no hassles!
Your investment is only $275, including breakfast and evening meals!
Accommodation is available from $43 per night, or you can organize your own if you’d prefer.
For more information contact Marcus from Speed Cycling Systems on 0413 579867 or by emailing

And, just so you know, Marcus is a really cool guy. His expertise, energy and optimism has helped me through more than one bad injury patch over the years. If his classes are anything to go by, the camp will be awesome.

Tell him Lisa's Mum sent you...

Unbelievable bike skills

Today my mate Marcus sent me a link to a video featuring THE BEST BIKE SKILLS I HAVE EVER SEEN. It's pretty short - around 6 minutes.* I couldn't get the video to embed here, so here is a similar one below. But I really recommend just clicking on the link above because it will blow you away... especially considering the riders are a couple of chicks! And junior chicks at that. *If you are a lawyer this amounts to 1 billable unit. Code it under Client Development and put Lisa's Mum in the narrative. I dare you.