Australian Cycling Federation

05/13/2019 | News release | Archived content

5 Quick Questions with Peta Mullens

Which bike/discipline did you start riding first and how did it feel?

Well I was a triathlete, so my first bike was a road bike with clip on bars. I remember I used to ride with toe clips and sandshoes and I could never undo the toe strap when stopping at the lights so I'd topple over on the spot every day for weeks! But I loved the freedom and the speed. I loved that it took me further than my feet could. And as I got into different facets of the sport I grew to love the drafting and tactics and now, for the few times when riding my bike doesn't give me the enjoyment I need, I'm lucky I love the people I've met and the places my bike has taken me.

When did you start to switch 'sides' from one bike to the other and why?

Well I only raced triathlons originally, but at 16 I went and raced the Victorian Road Champs and finished on the podium in the road race and the time trial, so they invited me to a track 'come and try' day. Three months later I was on the U17 IP podium at the National Track Championships. I raced the Junior World road and track championships but as I stepped out of the junior category my main focus became road, but after a few seasons in Europe with the AIS, and an U23 National Road Title under my belt I decided to 'retire' at the ripe old age of 21. That was when I found MTB'ing. My boyfriend was into it and I gave it a try and fell in love with the dirt. After I raced the Commonwealth Games and failed to make it to the Olympics, I ironically came full circle back to road again! CX was a natural progression from MTB and although I love the idea of it, my schedule only allows me to dabble for a few months of the year.

How did you make riding both disciplines competitively work?

Well I'm not so sure I ever did! If I had good form for MTB'ing then that would translate to good road form. I used to do a lot of double sessions on the MTB and that kept my weight down so I would naturally climb a bit better on the road through those periods. But good road form never translated to good MTB form for me. MTB'ing requires really specific adaptation and super high intensity sessions that I just can't sustain all year round, so jumping between the two is really tough for me.

As an elite rider, coach, home renovator... , have you got any tips as to how to juggle so many hats?

Sleep less. There really aren't enough hours in the day! I definitely wear too many hats in my life but YOLO…

Favorite post ride meal?

Pasta and cheesy garlic bread. All the carbs.