Michelle Ferris – Virtual Bike Mechanic

* Full Name: Michelle Ferris

* Preferred to be called: Ferris

* Preferred not to be called: Slow!!

* Occupation: Sales & Marketing for Shimano Australia

* Location: Sydney, Australia

* Greatest claim to fame: 2 x Olympic Medallist in Track Sprint cycling (1996 & 2000 Olympics)

* Greatest claim to fame outside of sporting arena: Being a Mum? My partner Kylie and I have a 2 year old daughter Paige.  – She is the best

* What got you into triathlons: Started running to get some weight off. I wanted to do something different after all my years riding bikes. Tim Ahern, who was an Ironman himself, also works for Shimano and started helping me with my running. From there I decided to do a Half Marathon with a friend. I was training with Tim’s squad APT and started to become friends with a few of the team and they said why not try a Tri, so I thought why not.

* What are you qualifications to be the witup.com virtual mechanic: Over 20 years involvement in Cycling and currently working at Shimano Australia

* Why have you decided to be a part of  WITSUP.com: My main reason would be because its female based.  Over the years I have found that most cycling & Triathlon media focus on males, not intentionally but that is what happens. Men make noise, they are active and speak up.  I have a passion for encouraging females to stand up and be heard – we train as hard as the men, spend as much money as the men but seem to be left behind when it really counts.  I truly believe that at times females tend to deliberately take a back seat, so I feel that getting on board with witsup.com I can encourage and motivate women of all ages to stand up and take a greater role in their sport and organisations. To make a difference we need to make it happen, it won’t happen FOR us.

* What’s your 3 best pieces of advice to those getting into the cycling side of triathlon:

Ferris after her first Half Ironman

1) Get a bike that fits you

2) Take your time, work your way into the sport

3) Have Fun

* What are your own training/racing plans for 2012: Currently trying to improve my swim, it’s terrible so that’s my main goal for 2012. I want to do a few races this year also, but haven’t really picked any races, so might have left my run a little late.

Follow Michelle on Twitter