Bree Higgins - Track/Road Cycler - Victoria, AUS



 Your Age: 22

Your Location (where do you ride mostly): Victoria Australia

Weapon(s) of choice: 2016 - 2017 Season brands. Track - Avanti. Road - Fuji

What’s an average day for you like? During the week, either climbing one of the local mountains or a run. perhaps gym (never miss leg day). 2 - 3 times a week I'll head to the local track/velodrome for a training session (3 hours). During racing season heading to either a regional club meet around Victoria or heading to Melbourne for racing. And probably another casual ride with a couple of others that I train with.

What is the most difficult part of your activity/sports for a beginner? The easiest? Most difficult - building strength and developing tactics, working on fitness, and remembering that you can't stop peddling! The easiest - meeting the people and having a supportive environment, heaps of people to learn from.

What is the best and worst thing about being female in your sport? The guys are really supportive of having more women coming into the sport, but of course there's always a few guys that don't accept women, and really really don't like being beaten by girls!

What would you like to see change in your sport to make it better for you and other female athletes? I'm currently involved in a really great club with a large junior program where I enjoy working with the junior females encouraging them to attend more programs and helping to develop them as cyclists and the future!

What are your favorite brands/designers for your sports apparel and for stepping out? 2xu, having cyclists legs, its hard to find things that fit so I love compression tights. They're comfy and they fit! Alot of the cycling brands are great; there's not many brands I won't wear.

Let’s hear your thoughts on how important looking good is to feeling good. “Being” your personal best? To achieve greatness there are so many more elements than what first appears. After dealing with a lot of sickness this year, making sure I'm not only physically fit and healthy but also mentally ready is a big deal. There's no point training if you're not in the right head space. Having something to push for, a new kit, or a new piece of equipment is always a positive and helps with self motivation.

How dangerous do you really think it is compared to what people do in their regular activities? Broken bones and patches of skin missing left right and center. Track cycling is actually really dangerous. If there is someone new on the track and they move up or into your line, chaos is inevitable. The speeds we reach, the slightest miss calculation, and bikes and people go flying. There are so many YouTube clips of 'track cycling crashes' where bikes are split in half, people fly thru the air  and blood everywhere. We don't have any brakes, so can't just stop!

I bet in your experience you have seen some crazy crashes. Describe one. Personally, I once hit a motorbike: flipped over my bike, smashed my face into the ground (still to this day we don't know how i didn't break my neck), smashed my teeth out, fractured my wrist, and lost skin off my face, shoulders, both arms & both legs. Then got ran over. I then raced state level 3 days later in a team and we won!

What usually gets people hooked on your activity/sport? The adrenaline, dropping in from the top of a track and the speeds we reach. Also the people and the race tactics, knowing when to attack and when to leave someone to break away.

What is your favorite trick? Currently working on my track stand being able to balance on a bike and hop the back wheel to stay on the same spot, but without brakes, and being on a slope.

Do you own any other toys? My life has always been around bikes. I own a heap of different types of bikes and always seem to be adding to the collection.

What gets you pumped up for the day? Music! On race day, I'm not great at controlling my nerves and often feel sick and without being able to eat, so music is what I turn to. A great pump up tune to keep me distracted and get me ready to race.

What are three things you could not live without? My bike: a great way to escape after a stressful day, Music: fixes everything, and friends: great social groups, being able to go ride with friends or just hang out.

What are your expectations for this activity/sport? I'd love to be able to bring home a few more wins this season and advance thru the grades. My aim this year is to become competitive in division 2 state level.

Who have been your biggest supporters in getting you to where you are now? I've done a lot on my own getting to where I am now, but at the club I'm with I have a coach who is always helping me and pushing me harder and harder. Sometimes he knows my limits better than I do, knows when I'm not working hard enough and when I've got more to give. He has great knowledge, tips, and tricks to help me improve and find new gains.

Who’s your favorite rider/shooter (photo/video)? I get goosebumps watching Annette Edmonson. Her power and knowing when to use it is unbelievable.

What do you do in your spare time when you’re not riding/shooting/competing? I love to explore, climb mountains and go 4WD. Especially in places where I'm not meant to be and finding new trails. Finding waterfalls and climbing around them, going places where most others don't go.You never know what you will find.

How about in the off season to stay in shape? It's bulking season right? It is sometimes hard to actually find an off season with cycling because as one discipline finishes another starts and then it's back into preseason. I often take a few weeks over christmas/New years to just have fun. I've just started running more to help with cardio, but my main events are sprints so it's all about power, leg day at the gym and climbing always helps.

What is your biggest goal to accomplish this/next season? My aim this year is to become competitive in division 2 state level. Also to attend the meets I went to last year and improve on my results.

What do you do to prep for a competition? A lot of rest. There's nothing worse than over worked legs, but it's also a fine balance to having your legs ready. If they're too relaxed you have no power! Getting ready is all about finding the right head space and making sure you re as calm as possible.

What competitions and other awards have you won? Include your non sports accomplishments also. 2015-2016 elite women track championship for ballarat.
2015 24hour womens endrance event
All female multitrack distance world record, distance covered in 24hours (from what I remember appx 992km)

What’s your favorite “way” to ride? Track/velodrome sprints - 200m fly, flying lap, 600m, 2000m handicap, pursuit, team pursuit.

Favorite conditions? There's nothing worse than really dry air and the hotter the track the faster it is. Although, I struggle a bit in the heat. For training I love the cold, but it has to be a dry track otherwise things get messy!

Where would be your biggest dream place to ride and why? I'd love to ride in the austral, or the Melbourne cup on wheels. People come from all over the world to compete and normally it's a part of 4-5 days of racing. People like Anna Meares and other world and Olympic champions come to race.

What song(s) do you listen to while riding that puts you in the zone? Anything that I can sing to (massive fan of the lion king), where I can shout as loud as I want in the car on the way to racing. While warming up at the event I really enjoy club beats, something with heaps of bass that really gets you dancing and the heart pumping.

What turned you on to your sport? Mental health and school.

I first started riding when I was about 9 for a school sports team event (which I'm still involved with 11 years later and I actually run part of the event). And from here I found a whole new escape when struggling with mental health. I found freedom getting out on my bike and riding into the middle of no where. Living in rural Victoria there was plenty of empty country roads with low traffic and great views.

Even now if I have a rough day, I love to go to the club rooms and jump on my bike and have a solid sweat session and ride until I'm exhausted. Nothing feels better than being so stuffed that you can't walk.

Any new tricks you’re working on? Currently working on my track stand being able to balance on a bike and hop the back wheel to stay on the same spot, but without brakes, and being on a slope.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever done in your sport? I think the world record was pretty cool. I'd love to try it again to beat the record from last time.

What other extreme/action sports are you into? At the moment I'm thinking about moving to Canada, working on the snow fields and taking up snowboarding!

If extreme/action sports didn’t exist, what would you be doing with all the free time you’d have? Ahhh, probably being bored. I used to play netball, but I can't now after breaking my ankle so many times.

What’s your favorite board/bike/sled to ride and why? Each bike has pro's and cons.
Something that's strong enough to be able to take the power load, something stiff that won't bend when you wind up and put the power down. Something light.

What’s the trick to riding features and not killing yourself? Confidence and knowing where other people are on the track/velodrome. Not making stupid moves and cutting others off but being able to hold your own and not be pushed around by other riders.

How would you describe your riding style? Sprinter, aggressive, powerful. I have no endurance but I can wind up a heavy gear and sprint.

What would you say is your signature trick? Sprinting, coming out of no where and being able to be 'in the hurt box' to take out a race, being able to hold my own space and not get scared with others trying to push in for a better spot.

Favorite drink of choice to refresh yourself after a long day of riding/shooting? Coke on a hot day. An instant sugar hit after the amount of work that goes into each race. Being a typical cyclist I also love coffee. And after a big event nothing beats sitting around with everyone enjoying a cider.

What do you want to be when you grow up? Happy. Happiness is the key to everything if that involves bikes, bonus! I believe it will because I find so much happiness and freedom in pushing myself.

Any of your own web pages or social media buttons you want links to? Instagram : breehiggins64. Facebook : bree higgins (this may change, I'm known for changing its to silly things)