Back in the saddle
When describing herself as an 'accidental cyclist', Fabiola is not referring to the unfortunate incident 5 years ago where she came off her bike and ended up in hospital.
The injuries she sustained nearly put her off cycling for good, and were it not for a conversation with a fellow colleague at the University, she may have given in to her fear and never got back in the saddle.
Her colleague introduced Fabiola to Co-Hop to find a mentor and encouraged her to attend the Ride2Work Day at the Uni. She used the app to search for fellow cyclists and it brought up a number of matches in her area including Andrew Abela, an experienced cyclist working at Cochlear who lived 3 blocks away from her home in Annandale.
Andrew responded immediately and they arranged to meet up at a nearby cafe. They spent over an hour chatting, reviewing the route to Macquarie Park and planned to ride together the next day.
They met early (5:45am) to avoid traffic and so they could take things slowly, with Andrew patiently waiting, sharing safety and signalling tips and explaining the rules of the road. Despite the slow pace they were still the first to arrive at Uni at 7am.
There are many benefits to cycling to work besides saving on petrol and parking permits according to Fabiola, "my job is very sedentary and on the days I ride I'm not as exhausted, my energy levels and mood are better and I don’t feel like eating bad food. I'm also a lot fitter".
A year on she now rides the 36km round trip from Annandale to the Park a couple of times a week and has even signed up to mentor other cyclists such as Jason Ford.
If this inspires you to start riding to the Park you can find a cycle mentor using Co-Hop.