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    News

    Tomorrow

    Tomorrow

    Tomorrow we are doing our photo shoot for our sister brand, Designs by Tribal. And it got me thinking about how long I have worked to get here. And where my journey started.

    It was 4 years ago when I was cycling across Africa that I decided I wanted to have an impact. To have a job that had purpose. And I wanted it to be in the cycling industry. What led me to this thought?

    Let’s take a few more steps backwards. I decided to cycle across Africa before I actually took up cycling. I was “googling” (as you do when you hate your job), looking for an adventure. And I came across Tour d Afrique. A 12,000km ride covering the entire length of Africa. Cairo to Cape Town. And at that moment I thought yes! That’s what I want to do. Rang my mum and told her that I was going to ride across Africa. She mentioned that this would be a little hard considering that I didn’t even own a bike. Small detail I said.

    It took another 4 years till I actually got there. And I when I  turned up for the start in Cairo, I  was a very unfit cyclist. I had mostly ridden from St Kilda to Mordiolloc and back. A reasonably flat 50 km. Twice I did 80kms. And once I managed 140kms. So, all in all, I was ready for my 12,00km journey, right?

    As you can image when I was getting ready to leave for my trip, I had many people tell me that I wouldn't make it. That I had no chance of coming close.

    Well, I did it!  In 2013 I cycled from Cairo to Cape Town. It brought new meaning to the word hard and gifted me with new beautiful experiences and strength I never knew I had. Rode through the desert, climbed many mountains, rode through amazing landscapes, experienced riding in 51 degrees Celsius,  through a sandstorm, torrential rain, a fly plague, cried, laughed, rode naked through the desert and sat around many fires sharing stories with amazing people from around the world.

    This experience made me realise that if I listened to the doubters in my world, or my own self doubt, I would have missed out on so many amazing experiences. I decided then that I wanted to start a business that would inspire other women to not listen to those around them or their own fears. So that they could too experience their world to its fullest and hopefully I could inspire some of them to pursue their dreams, no matter how big or scary.

    And so from this trip, Tribal Cycling was born.

    I always wanted to run rides where women could connect with other women who share their love for cycling and the outdoors. I wanted to support women with knowledge and skills. And hopefully empower them the way I had been empowered. But I had also wanted to design a line of cycling apparel that would make women feel fierce and confident for whatever adventure they were going on.

    Since then I have worked in cycling apparel, worked in athletic apparel, bought kit and samples from more brands than I can list. I have gone crazy trying learning weights and the makeup of different fabrics.And  I have collected a million fabric colour swatches! I did an online graphic design course, learnt how to build a website with an eCommerce platform. I have run surveys on what women want from their garments, held market research groups at my house. And annoyed my cycling friends with many questions.

    The process has been a lot harder than expected. I have come very close to a final product 3 times. I have gone through three manufacturers. I have spent more money than I ever though this process would require. Have had many midnight and early morning Skype calls dealing with people around the world. Was meant to launch last October. And I could have. But I just wasn't happy with some of the details of some of the garments. So back to the drawing board. Two months ago there was another error. Small. But it wasn’t right. It was at this point where I questioned throwing it in. It had been two years dealing with the manufacturing and design process. But I went back one last time.

    Well, tomorrow is the day I have been dreaming of for 4 years. Tomorrow we have our photo shoot. I get to see the product in action. All the hours, all the details, all the conversations, tears and pennies. Tomorrow is the day!

    Follow us on Instagram for behind the scenes and first peeks of our new range. @designsbytribal  

    I can't wait to share this project with you!

    x Tracy

     

         ................................................................................................

     

    Some moments from my trip.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Riding through the Sahara Desert.

     

    Children in Malawi.

     

    Markets in Ethiopia.

    Amazing climb at sunset in Ethiopia.

    Top of the world in Tanzania. 

     

    Time to recharge

    Time to recharge

    So I have spent the day trying to figure out what I need to do, what to say and what to tell my friends and my tribe.

    The last year has been very eventful. My life has had many changes and challenges. Starting a new business at the same time has been beyond challenging. Many times I had no idea how I would overcome challenges thrown my way. But I did. And then another, and another one. And again. And again.

    And I am proud to be where I am. Proud to have overcome most things thrown at me over the last year. But it has come at a cost.

    The truth being the last week  I have come to realise that I am not okay.  I am not coping. Most days I am a mess at one point or another. I feel like I am on an emotional roller coaster. And some days I am really bad. The days challenges or tasks overwhelm me and I can barely comprehend how to get through the day, never mind the week. I have pushed myself physically, emotionally and mentally and as a result found myself in a place where depression and anxiety are yelling loudly. Truth be told I have forgotten how to put myself first. To look after myself and even lost track of what I want from my days.

    And so I have made the decision to take a step back for 6 months. To put some projects and events on hold. To put myself first. To invest in me so that I can be the best version of myself. And I can come back stronger to continue my goal of supporting others.


    What does this mean?

    It means that Tribal Cycling won't be;

    • Running social rides as regularly.
    • Running our Mtb Weekend to Derby.
    • Running our weekend of Cycling and Surf to Noosa.

    However will still;

    • Run a limited calendar of skills clinics
    • Only a few private clients for skill development and training
    • And we will still launch our cycling kit at the start of June. But for pre order only.

    I want to thank our amazing community for all your ongoing support. And to everyone who has and continues to support me, and the goals I have for Tribal Cycling.


    I am looking forward to some time to recharge and do some exploring of my own.

    x Tracy

    Tribal Lycra Party at SKCC Crits - 12th Feb

    We have partnered with St Kilda Cycling Club to bring some fun to women's crit racing!

    Join us on the 12th Feb for a fun morning of racing!

    If you are new to crit racing or just want to join us for a fun morning out, then this is the crit to attend! Its a chance to try crit racing with other women who are out to have some fun.

    We will bring the tunes, fun and support on the day, as well as a gift for anyone who is taking part in the Women's C Grade crit.

    Enter here: https://entryboss.cc/calendar/skcc

    Don't have a race license? You can buy a 3 Race Licence here; https://eventdesq.sportstg.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=RegisterAdd1&EventDesqID=14967&OrgID=4912

    Tribal Cycling Crit Skills Clinic - 4th Feb

    So you want to try your first crit? Or you want to work on the different skills that make up crit racing? You currently do crits but just seem to be following everyone around for the whole race? Want to learn new skills and techniques that will have you feeling more confident and safe? Want to improve your results?

    Then our Crit Skills Clinic is perfect for you. We will be running this the week before our Lycra Party. Details here.

     

     

     

    Racing just for the fun of it

    At what point did we get so caught up in the "racing" that we forgot the reasons we started cycling in the first place? For many of you, being tangled up in pressure, competition and race fever may not be something you're familiar with but at some points of the year, I have struggled with it; the pressure I might put on myself for no particular reason at all.

    Over the winter I had a few things on the go that wittled down my immunity, leaving me unwell and fatigued. Some motivation faded, my physical health wasn't 100% and yet I was still forcing the racing. Sure I enjoyed it but there was a point in time in which I reflected on the months that had passed and couldn't remember a time which I'd been a participant in a race, purely for enjoyment and involvement, as opposed to a competitive athlete.

     

    Not too soon after, a dear friend of mine invited me on a weekend away to do a MTB race as a team. Turns out she was injured and couldn't "race" but wanted to be involved in the great event. And just like that, we were road tripping up the coast. The car full of bikes and gear, delicious portable treats I had made and two singing their hearts out to bad pop songs. It was an entirely different feeling than usual in the days leading up to the event, and most noticeable the morning of. We were there to have fun, enjoy some sweet single track and be a part of the awesome MTB community. I did double laps for the day and can sincerely say I enjoyed every moment of the race. The sun was shining, I played around with skills and lapped up the freedom. The day was spectacular and my cheeks ached from smiling so much. How had I left it this long since enjoying an event without the pressure of racing?

     

    I guess this was a lesson I could take for my racing and training in the future. It is so important to remember the reasons why I cycle. Sure I love setting goals and pushing myself mentally and physically, but there's so much more to it; the freedom, the friends, the opportunity, the clarity and the coffee. Grab a friend, grab your bike and hit the road or trails for the pure joy it brings.

     

    Meg Gillmer

    The Wholesome Athlete

    You can't stop a dreamer!

    Tomorrow Adelia Neethling will be attempting to set the hour record behind the Derny. This is the first time that any woman will attempt this record. Here is her story.

    Born in South Africa and immigrated to Australia just over four years ago. Adelia, now calls Australia home. Working full time for a software company, has her constantly on the road travelling. However this hasn’t stopped Adelia from fitting in the training that she needed to chase her dreams.

    She has loved sport from a young age. Her first event that she competed in was a  5 km fun run at the age of 4 years old. After a serious bike accident at the age of 14 her parents decided that canoe triathlon will be a safer sport as drafting was illegal at the time. She was part of the South African junior and in the later years senior national team and held the national champion title.  At the age of 20 Adelia did her first Iron man. Due to personal circumstances she left sport behind and focused on a career as Estimator.

    Three years ago after 16 years away from cycling. Adelia was introduced to track cycling in Perth at a ladies track night. She immediately fell in love with it! She was literally coming "off the couch" unfit and overweight. Adelia was fortunate enough to get a coach to help her chase her goals. Breaking a world record was always a childhood dream to her. Even after being out of the sport for so long it felt like she got a second chance to make dream a reality.

    A year later she succeeded in breaking the one hour woman's world record in her age group after participating at an event locally hosted by H02max called the November hour of power - inspired by Jens Voigts hour. The distance for this event in November 2014 was 40.920. This was however not recognised by the UCI and she had to apply at the UCI to do an official attempt.

    She got her chance and did this at Masters track national championships 2015 hosted in Sydney, and broke the official record (then held by American athlete Jacquie Lockwood  at 40.766km). The distance she travelled in March 2015 at the Syndey Velodome was 41.386 and was recorded as the new official record for the one hour woman age 35-39.

    The next goal ahead was world championships in Manchester during October. Unfortunately she was taken out by another rider during training three days before the championships and her dreams literally came crashing down on the concrete apron head first! Luckily she didn't break any bones and could get back to training two weeks later. In November she decided to do the hour of power again and set a distance of 42.337.

    As before this was a unofficial and I applied at the UCI to do another official attempt in January 2016 in Perth. Unfortunately it was smoking hot on the day and conditions was just too dangerous to complete the attempt. Having broken the record three times in one year after just starting cycling a year prior is a big ask for anyone. And to she took a much needed break and regrouped on the way forward.

    After talking to her coach about how much she loved training behind the motorbike. She asked, is there a record attempt to be made here? Adelia started to do research on this record and discovered that there is only a men's record currently. Max Stevens from Cycling Australia contacted the UCI and requested if she could set a record for the woman. They finally agreed under the condition that it must be behind a Derny and further than 48km in one hour to be ratified.

    So the search for a Derny in Australia started. Most clubs not having a Derny, they finally found Northcote Cycling Club's Craig Neiwand who agreed to assist in this attempt. It was very challenging for her to travel to Melbourne, from Perth, for coordinated training sessions with Craig and Kate, whilst still working full time. But as a team they managed to fit a few sessions in behind the Derny in preparation for tomorrow's record. The rest of her training was in Perth with Terry Skinner behind the motorbike, which is quite different than training behind a Derny. But she was determined to make it work.

    Adelia will be attempting the hour behind the Derny on Sunday evening. This is the first time that any woman will attempt this record and she grateful to be granted the opportunity by the UCI to set this record.

    Since Adelia set the hour record in her age group, it has since been broken by a British athlete. And since Adelia isn’t one for quitting, she will be doing an official attempt to reclaim this record on the 12 November.

    Her father always told her that one of the most important things in life is to have balance. Working and cycling is a good work - life balance.

    “I'm just an ordinary woman chasing her dreams. It is not easy but if you really want to do something you can. Never give up on your childhood dreams. Don't listen to what other people tell you - when I started cycling people told me it takes 5 years to reach the sort of goals I'm chasing - follow your heart. You will experience failure and disappointment in this journey- learn from them get up and just give your best. We are all just human and can't every race and every day perform tops. Keep on training even if you are going backward - in the end hard work pays off. Most important - have FUN! I love what I'm doing and are having loads of fun are extremely grateful for all the blessings and opportunities I've been given. Hopefully this can inspire others to reach inside themselves and JUST DO IT!”  

     

    We can't wait to watch Adelia chase her dreams tomorrow! Feel free to come watch her tomorrow night at 6pm, at DISC Velodrome, in Melbourne.