Faz Zamani -
Lawyer & PhD Candidate - Road & Triathlon
So funny story! Did you hear about that girl that only started riding about a year ago and is now so obsessed with cycling that you can't separate her from her bike? So she used to stick to the flattest routes possible but now she's a bit of a mountain goat! You give her a wall and she'll climb up it on her bike. I kid you not! She's that in love with the two-wheeled world that all she wants to do is share the joy of cycling with everyone - especially women. Apparently one of her favourite hobbies is to travel and discover new roads and mountains on her bike. She recently went to Portugal, Netherlands and Berlin and pedaled her way around each country. Her future is pretty exciting – cycling in the Lake District and Scotland, a marathon in Chicago and something about the entire three peaks series in Australia (oh holy molly!). She’s a nutter but she likes to make people smile when they are on their bikes.
Laura Harris -
Yoga teacher - Road, Touring and soon Mtb
My first intro to cycling was 4 years ago and is deeply steeped in belonging to a tribe and with an 'anything is possible' attitude after my friend organised a 3 day charity bike ride in memory of her fiancé that had recently passed away. We were a mismatch of people (of all abilities), all cycling in memory of this most awesome human being and in any way possible (be it on a roadie, mountain bike and cruisers). There was blood (I fell 3 times in quite dramatic fashion), sweat and a lot of tears! Since then I've figured out how to un-clip and I moved into triathlons and half ironmans, but it wasn't until I decided to quit my corporate career and travel did I decide to really get to know my bike and cycle 9,000km across Africa! I love being in nature, moving my body and finding peace in my mind on my bike. There is nothing like feeling your body fully alive and listening to the birds....or your friends chat away. If I'm not on my bike I can be found on my yoga matt and I love showing fellow cyclists the joys and benefit of taking time out to find peace and freedom in their body and mind. This year I'd like to get into mountain biking and I'm working to help raise the profile of women cycling in Africa as a way to help empower women, the way my bike has empowered me. www.teamafricarising.org
Executive Manager/ HR - Enduro & Downhill Mountain Biking
I started riding and racing bikes when I was very young, and travelled Australia and the world competing in BMX when the sport itself was very new. As I got older, I found the pressure to keep winning at an elite level was too much, and I quit the sport angry with myself and vowing to never ride a bike again. When I had my son in 2008 I gave up the motorbikes and was at a bit of a sporting crossroads. I then decided to try road cycling, which I hated, and BMX again, which I struggled to reconnect with. My coach mentioned that he thought I would enjoy downhill mountain bike riding. Well, you can say the rest is history! I love the challenge of a long climb and the reward of a fast and flowy descent. I’ve loved reconnecting with a sport that was such a huge part of my life, and realising that at 40, and as a mum, I can do a hell of a lot more than I thought I would be able to – from jumping gaps and navigating drops, to hitting huge speeds and keeping up with the boys. I love that my son, now 7, thinks it’s ‘so cool’ (he has been known to steal my gear!) and that age is absolutely no barrier to riding downhill.
Indoor cycle instructor, Writer, Trainer - Road, triathlon, indoor cycling
I am an indoor cycling instructor, triathlete and Ironman finisher - and I am passionate about connecting with people, bringing out their strengths and challenging their ideas of what they think they can achieve - which gets them coming back and then the changes begin. I teach over 14 cycle classes a week around Melbourne and also train with heavy weights, swim and run. I love to share my weightlifting stories with you all as I think women lifting weights is incredibly empowering. I want to support and encourage women to be strong and set new limits for themselves and lead by example. I am very approachable and have been there, struggling to find time with little kids.
Project Manager - Road, Time Trial, Commuting & now Mountain Bike!
When I was 22 starting my first professional job I got an itch to give a triathlon a go. I mentioned it at work and before I knew it my boss had lent me his multi thousand dollar carbon road bike for the summer. I went out and bought myself a pair of knicks and clip in shoes and that was it, I started rolling around the tennis court holding on to the side to learn to clip in and out! First ride on the road and I didn't know how to change the gears (they weren’t required on the tennis court!) so ended up in the hardest gear with no idea how to change them, heading up a steep hill. With a sprained wrist and grazed knee it was back to the tennis court for some more practice! Six years later and I am a complete addict. I have been through 8 bikes, raced and trained all across the country, gone on overseas cycling holidays, qualified a number of times to represent Australia in AG World Championships, broken bones, lost teeth and most importantly seen some of the most amazing terrain and made the best of friends. Whilst I love competing, training hard and setting big goals, cycling offers me a freedom and happiness like no other. You can learn new skills, make new friends and see new places all on two wheels. What could be better?
Medical Scientist - Road, Triathlon & Commuting
I bought my first bike when I was about thirty years old, christened myself a ‘commuter’ and started riding to work. Aside from commuting, I bought the bike to give my knees some relief after spending the previous couple of years running half-marathons and my first ever marathon. Somewhere in there I also started swimming occasionally, then all of a sudden I was doing my first triathlon! Starting with the sprint distance, then moving into Olympic distance, all of a sudden I found myself racing a 2/80/20 and swearing blind I would never, EVER do an Ironman – those people must be INSANE! Of course, famous last words, and in 2013 I raced my first Ironman in Melbourne. 2014 saw me race my second and final Ironman in Cairns, and I was sworn off triathlon from thereon. The spark for training and racing all three disciplines had well and truly fizzled out and I needed a new adventure. Enter a brand spankin’ new road bike and a cycling coach with a sensational track record of getting weekend warriors like myself through Peaks Challenge Falls Creek and oh look, here I am riding every hill in South East Queensland every weekend! Somewhat jumping the gun, I entered Peaks Challenge Gold Coast – I mean, its local so it’s a no brainer right? – before I even finished Falls Creek. The first thing I wanted to do when I crossed the Falls Creek finish was sell my Gold Coast ticket! But, as we know, time heals all race day pain, and sure enough I lined up and completed Peaks Gold Coast in the middle of last year. Bicycle Network then dangled the carrot of a special kit for anyone completing all three Peaks Challenge rides in 2015. Anyone who knows me, knows my obsession with all things bike kit…so the prospect of a rare kit as reward for all the hard work was too much to pass up and I signed up for Peaks Cradle Mountain as well. By mid-November 2015, I was a ‘Peaks Elite’ rider, engaged to my wonderful, incredibly patient partner Calum, and well and truly sick to death of riding up hills!! In amongst this year of ‘vehurtical’ and long, long distances, came new work stressors and some family issues; illness and death, which weighed on me heavily. I experienced my first true brush with ‘the black dog’ and reached a point where I was just not coping with the every day. With the help of an incredibly good GP and a rediscovery of yoga, my anxiety levels came down, my happy returned and I found myself in a much better headspace, able to deal with whatever life threw at me. 2016 is a reset year. As much as I thought my endurance event background would see me bounce back from a big 2015, I found quite the opposite. My level of fatigue was bordering on narcolepsy most days (Zzzzz….) and it was clear I just needed time out. Time away from structured training and long slog rides eating up my weekends. I went to Adelaide in January to ride for a week at Tour Down Under; quite possibly the most fun week you’ll ever have on a bike, highly recommended, and that’s about as excitable as I’ll get riding-wise this year. I’ve hooked up with a great cycling club, strictly as a social member, and typically my length of time at the coffee shop outstrips the length of my rides. My Strava account is incredibly boring this year! As it should be sometimes. I’m loving riding just for the fun of it. For the friendships, the fun, the laughs, the coffee, and to justify that kit habit…