Clare Holdsworth, Director of Wide Open Road Cycling tours, got a great little article published in the Australian Financial Review weekend newspaper "Pedal Power" Column! Read the full story....
Name & Position
Clare Holdsworth, Owner and Director of Wide Open Road Cycling Tours
How did you get started as a cyclist?
Spin classes at the local gym inspired me to buy my first ever road bike about 15 years ago. I couldn't believe that I somehow ended up spending close to $2,000 for a shiny blue Avanti Kona including accessories. Soon after I was signed up on a 1000km, 2 week cycling holiday across France from Bordeaux to Alpe d'Huez and I was hooked! Now I own the cycling tour company and cycling is a major part of my life.
How many bikes and how do you know when you have too many?
Three. As well as the Avanti, I own a custom built titanium road bike with Ksyrium wheels and a fairly old set of Ultegra/Dura Ace running gear. The bike is strong, tough and a joy to ride - being titanium it is relatively indestructible so perfect for travel. It also has in-built pannier lugs for multi-day journeys, so I can carry a tent, change of clothes and a credit card! I also own a very old third-hand mountain bike 'banger' that I use for trips to the shops/pub. I’d like more but have no where to put them.
How much did they cost?
Well $2,000 doesn't seem expensive anymore. My titanium is worth around $5,000 new. My 'banger' cost me $50 from a friend.
What kind of riding do you do, when, and with whom?
I commute 20km most days (fair weather) and go on longer (100km) rides on the weekends but tend to choose a destination to inspire me. A favourite ride for my group of cycling friends is 80km from central Melbourne through rolling hills to the Yarra Valley wine region for a long lunch, a glass or two of wine and a train ride home. We make sure we climb 1000m altitude to earn our lunch!
Any tips for cyclists wanting to be better riders? If you want to get fitter, you need to ride up hills! It's too easy to hide in a pack on the flat and get sucked along. Climbing is sweaty, painful, hard work. But it's rewarding, will improve your cycling on the flat and you feel a sense of achievement at the top of a climb.
How many kilometres per week? 0km on a cold wet week in Melbourne to 500km when in Europe riding on one of our cycle tours.
Who would you most like to go on a long ride with? Tracey Gaudry is an inspirational advocate for cycling and women. I think I would have a lot to learn from her from a business perspective, also.
Favourite refuel station? Cavallini in Clifton hill do a great ricotta cannoli to go with quality coffee.
What is your favourite piece of cycling gear? I love collecting cycling kit when overseas - it's an unnecessary obsession. I have a beautiful Lago di Como long-sleeve jersey.
Favourite ride? Riding Alpe d'Huez just before the arrival of the Tour de France is something special. The entire climb is packed with crowds, tents and vans all camping out awaiting the arrival of the race. "Dutch Corner" is like cycling through an outdoor festival on the side of a mountain! Whilst counting down the hairpins and the history of the Alpe itself are awe inspiring, the arrival of the Tour de France adds another element all together. If you get the chance, it is the most memorable experience.
Crashes? Catastrophes? Catharsis? Un-cleating embarrassments and Melbourne tram-tracks in the early days are unfortunately de rigueur!
If you could improve one thing about the world of cycling what would it be? My hope is that Australia will be a world leader in cycling infrastructure, safety and respect between road users. Despite cycling all over Europe, cycling daily around inner-city Melbourne is sadly where I feel the most vulnerable.