BIKE RIDING ENTHUSIAST
Riding with like-minded people is a great motivation to look after yourself. When the people around you are training and keeping fit, it’s only natural to want to keep up. Just ask Allison McKay, who is a member of several Townsville biking groups.
“The biking community in Townsville is huge,” Allison says. “There are large groups and then little groups formed from the large groups when people find things in common. Often it can be different start times (not everyone loves getting up at 4am), training for different events, girls only groups, boys only groups, mixed groups, triathletes, seriously fast roadies… the list goes on.”
Allison says She Spoke, where she started out, is a great grounding group for female cyclists but she also really enjoys riding in mixed bunches as the banter is fun and the speed pushes you to go a bit harder.
“The boys get out the front of the bunch when the dreaded headwind comes along, which is handy,” Allison says. “Chivalry is definitely not dead with the male cyclists in Townsville always ready to help change a tyre.”
“Having someone to train with makes you get up and get going and you push each other all the way.”
If the lights are on past 9.30pm in the McKay household it’s very unusual. Allison and her husband Bob and son Connor all ride and run and her daughter Eliza is a dancer. “Our children are watching us and copying what we do. We have an obligation to give them the best start in this world we can,” Allison says. “A healthy lifestyle is so important for just getting through the busy-ness of life in general. Often when we get busy the first thing to drop is exercise and I’m no different. I use the excuse of having a late night not to get up and then spend the rest of the day regretting that decision.
“Regular bike riding makes you fit fast. You notice immediately when you’ve been putting in the kilometres because you can keep up with the speedy people and the afternoon nap isn’t quite as long! The kudos you get from your mates is also seriously satisfying.”
In Allison’s group there are many accomplished cyclists, mountain bikers, runners, swimmers and triathletes, so there’s always someone to train with. “Having someone to train with makes you get up and get going and you push each other all the way,” Allison says. “There’s a lot of talk about ‘What are we doing tomorrow?, Who wants to go for a trail run on Sunday?, Are you coming to yoga?’. All of this activity with people you love spending time with makes healthy living more of a side-effect than a strategy for me.”