Below is the extract from the Geelong Advertiser regarding Tina Stenos
Geelong cycling: Tina Stenos finds new passion in road racing
DAMIEN RACTLIFFE, Geelong Advertiser
March 1, 2017 12:00am
A DECADE ago, American-born Tina Stenos would never have been caught riding a bike.
But the 52-year-old Highton mum and business woman has not only fallen in love with race riding, she’s now an advocate for female cyclists.
A knee injury curtailed a passion for running about nine years ago, and it was her husband who got her to switch her energy to the bike.
“I was never sporty, I didn’t have that competitive edge or white-line fever. It was always about having a bit of fitness,” Stenos said.
“My husband bought me a Kmart bike for my birthday. We live in Highton, and he took me down this one road called Watersedge Terrace.
“It’s actually like a really steep downhill. I went down this downhill … and that was the last time I rode the bike again. I was that terrified of going down the hill, because I had to come back up that hill.”
But it wouldn’t be the last time she’d ride again.
“When I finally did address it three years later, I actually enjoyed it,” she said.
“We were just doing rail trails and things like that.”
Tina Stenos, 52, a mum and business woman, is part of the Geelong & Surf Coast Cycling Club. Picture: Christopher Chan.
A poster in the mail invited her to a women’s class, and that further sparked her interest, giving her a social group to ride with. “I met some people and we started riding on the roads,” she said.
“I was never going to get on the road, it was always going to be on the bike paths … and I got a little bit tired of being beaten all the time by these men on road bikes.
“So I bought a road bike, slowly went into that.”
That then led to Stenos joining the Geelong & Surf Coast Cycling Club and taking up racing.
“Racing has showed me you need to have a bit of balls,” she said, adding: “I’m competitive, I don’t like to lose.
“It was probably a nine-year journey before I got there. And I would have never raced; my husband laughs because he’s like, ‘I can’t believe you’re the same person who would ride on the bike path.’
“I would say to him, ‘Get away from me, don’t even be close to me,’ and now I can race with quite a few people and have people around me, and it’s not as intimidating as it was in the beginning.”
Geelong & Surf Coast Cycling Club, continues to grow and is hoping to attract more women to the sport.
Stenos said road racing had made her a stronger person.
“I think the thing with women is the path is different and a little intimidating,” she said.
“When you’re in cycling clubs it’s all men — there’s not many women. So you have to be strong-willed to be able to go out there to an environment that is male-dominated and try and compete with them.”