Bicycle Network: Women's Cycling
Running the global guidebook company Lonely Planet hasn't dampened Judy Slatyer's sense of adventure. Instead, riding to work has become part of her journey
How did you get into bike riding?
Twenty-two years ago, when I met my beloved Pete, he had the best, most expensive, brand-spanking-new gear and I had a clunky old bike. I can remember once riding up a mountain with him twiddling along behind me as I struggled. He said something like “Jude, all you’ve got to do is spin”. I stopped, got off the bike and suggested he spin his way up the mountain on it. He took on the challenge but only lasted about 100 metres before we swapped back. Two days later I got home to a brand spanking new bike which felt, quite literally, like it flew.
How far do you ride to work?
I ride from Aberfeldie along the Maribynong River to our offices in Footscray. It takes about 20–25 minutes.
Does Lonely Planet encourage riding to work?
Yes, we have a lot of bike racks in the garage, good showers and bathroom facilities. We encourage a big turnout for Ride to Work Day. We’ve also entered a few teams in a few bike-related events over the years including the recent Mark Webber Challenge in Tasmania. Most excitingly we’re entering teams in the Tour de Afrique bike race next year from Cairo to Cape Town.
Do you ride other than work?
I try to do one ride on the weekend out in the bush somewhere. Luckily, where we live I can ride up the river be away from suburbia in about 10 minutes – birds, trees, smells. It’s great. We also use our bikes on holidays.
What is your favourite bike accessory?
My bell – after I was knocked unconscious by another cyclist a year ago and ended up in hospital. Other than that, I love the smooth gears which respond immediately and my lights in winter.
Please describe your bike
She’s quite sleek and very light. She’s a sophisticated grey colour. She’s super responsive but also easy to dawdle along on if I want to. She’s happy with day-to-day commuting or a month of touring in the French Alps with panniers.
Interview by Megan Hallowes. This article first appeared in Ride On, June–July 2008