I have always loved riding my bike. The freedom, the rush and the convenience - why would I not love it?
I started riding to the bus stop when I was six. It was more fun than walking and I would always beat my older siblings who walked.
I will never forget trying to ride up the hill in my first Bendigo triathlon on my heavy, clunky bike. I was quickly convinced to get a road bike - and then it began. Up early chasing the sunrise most mornings and enjoying a long scenic ride over the weekend.
When I was pregnant, I was proud to take my baby for a leisurely ride. I would often sing and warn her about any bumps whilst riding the Back Creek path.
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Once I became a mum, I never realised how much my favourite activity would come under siege. And it definitely never occurred to me that the hardest thing about riding would be ignoring the evil, creeping 'mum guilt' that accompanied every decision I made.
Mum guilt is that horrible and nagging little voice in the back of your head that says you are not a good mum if you even think about doing anything that doesn't involve your little one. It's the voice that says you're selfish if you want to do something for yourself, like riding your bike.
Sometimes I do feel guilty, but it's important to find time to exercise, get out in the fresh air and clear my head. Just because I'm a mum doesn't mean I can't ride my bike and exercise. It is harder to balance, but it can be done.
If you are constantly running around after family and don't take time for yourself, you are unintentionally teaching your children your needs are less important than everybody else's.
If you make time to exercise, you are showing your children you have respect for yourself and your body, and that a healthy lifestyle is for everyone. It's also a beautiful chance for my daughter and our family to build their own special relationship.
I always come home from a ride refreshed, energised and ready to be the best mum I can be. I am also very lucky to have a wonderful supportive group of women: the Thursday JoyRiders, who I can always rely on for a ride or coffee catch up.
My first time back on the bike was when a TJR friend said to me, 'You should go for a ride!' and took Audrey out in the pram.
I felt nervous but excited and soon enough I was out enjoying the sunshine and my first ride as a mum. Audrey and I have been for a few rides together, although I had to wait until her head was big enough to fit into a helmet.
Audrey sits in her little WeeRide bike seat in between my arms so I can sing to her and we enjoy calling out to the birds together.