Cycling with Makeup

I’m a complete make up novice.  Some how, when learning about all that stuff in the teenage years, I completely missed the boat.  So, now as an adult, I’m fudging my way through.  I don’t typically wear make up in my day to day life but there are certain occasions when I felt it would be an appropriate thing for me to do.  I’m sure many others have successfully tackled riding with make up but this is my take on it.

I had a friend’s wedding coming up and so, as not to look like a clown or like a child who has gotten in to the parents’ stash, I decided to do a few trial runs putting on make up and wearing it to work.  As many of you know, my trip from home to work is about 8km of fairly flat riding.  Of course, when I decided to do this trial, it had to be one of the most rainy (100+mm) and humid (most days over 80%) weeks my area had in ages.  Temps were around 25°C mark.  So, I felt I gave the make up a good longevity trial!

The findings!

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What’s the difference between all those different kinds of bikes?

Have you looked at all those different kinds of bikes out there, and wondered what the difference between them all was?  I mean, road bike, downhill bikes, hybrids… what are they all?

Drop bar Road bikes

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These are bikes for riding road (fancy that).  They generally run skinny tyres with minimal tread and have big wheels so they go pretty quick. They are happiest going straight on smooth roads.  The rims are generally not designed to roll over dirt or pot holes.

As they are deisgned to be pretty quick, they are generally all about aerodynamics – drop handlebars to get you down lower, and low handlebars make you more streamlined, but have the consequence that the riding position is quite hands heavy.

Most road bikes also don’t have braze ons for attachment of a rack

Flat bar road bikes

These bikes are like road bikes (skinny tyres, 700 wheels) but have flat handlebars for a more comfortable riding position.  They are very popular commuter bikes.

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Hard tail

A hard tail is a mountain bike with front suspension only (hence the ‘hard tail’).  They are quite versatile and are used for things such as racing (lots of the fast people use them for racing as they are super quick over dirt compared with a duallie, but you need to be a comparatively better rider to ride one than a duallie as it has no rear suspension to soak up the bumps). People also use them for commuting (you can also replace the tyres with slick tyres so they roll faster).

They have 26 inch wheels and flat handlebars.


These bikes are for mountain biking.  They have both front and rear suspension (ie dual suspension mountain bike).  They are better for rough riding than a hard tail, as the front and rear suspension soak up bumps better, but are comparatively slower.

They generally have 26 inch wheels (but 29 inch wheels are starting to become quite popular)


These are made for one thing, and one thing only.  Going downhill and doing it fast.  They have a lot of suspension both front and rear.  They are best suited to going uphill via a truck or chair lift.


These are a combination of a mountain bike and a road bike.  They generally have mtn bike sized wheels (26 inch), and may also have some light front suspension, but generally run skinnier, smoother tyres than a mountain bike.  They are popular for commuting

Other types


Two people… one bike… need I say more?


These bikes let you sit and pedal in a super comfortable position.  They can be great for people that have back problems or hand/wrist problems that don’t allow them to ride a traditional bike.  You can get them in 2 wheeled or 3 wheeled versions, with different kinds of wheel sizes.

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Cargo bikes

Need to move house?  This is the bike for you.  These bikes let you carry stuff – lots of stuff.

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Magpie Season

After getting swooped twice on the way to work this morning, I guess it is Magpie season.

For those who don’t know, the Australian Magpie is a medium sized, black and white, predominately insectivorous bird who nest in spring.  A small number of nesting individuals rigorously defend their nesting territory and swoop intruders – predominately cyclists seem to be the prime, but not only, target.  These birds often do multiple swoops, beak snapping and, in rare occasions, make contact.  Swooping is most active in September and October.

BQ has a great article with tips on avoiding a swooping magpie and includes the most important tip to always wear sunglasses to protect your eyes.  Especially, after the tragic sight loss reported in the news last week.

There is conflicting evidence over what will actually prevent an attack so best to just avoid those routes where birds are active if possible.

DIY Panniers

I’ve always thought our panniers really let the team down on the fashion stakes.  They always seem a bit utilitarian rather than a nice stand out piece.

Now there are quite a few companies that make nice pannier bags as can be seen on our Stylish Bike Gear page but some can be a little pricey.  Wouldn’t it be nice to actually convert your favourite bag in to a pannier?

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What to put in a saddle bag

I don’t always ride with a saddle bag.  If I have panniers, I prefer to use them to carry stuff.  Also, when I’m commuting, I rarely use one because I don’t want to leave the bag on the bike if I lock the bike up somewhere and someone help themselves to the contents.  So, I mainly use the saddle bag for longer rides where the aim of the ride is just to ride.  I guess a training ride or just a joy ride.

What you put in your saddle bag is up to you.  But here are some suggestions and ideas as to what will fit in a saddle bag.

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Free bike courses – Sydney

Just having a browse around, and I found out that Sydney runs free bike courses!  There’s a 2 hour course on bike maintenance and a 4.5 hour cycling confidence course looking at how to ride in traffic and practicing drills to help improve cycling confidence.

The bike maintenance course helps you to do a bike fit, fix a flat, and also do some basic preventative maintenance.

All for the very reasonable price of… free… 🙂