MONDAY JUL 4 / 2016 / by Andrew Talati

In the beginning

Daniela Mollica Riding across Australia

It all started with racing mountain bikes back in the 1980s with the Fat Tyre Flyers (I actually raced with them - Ed).

During this time Daniella rode around Australia around the Birdsville Track bike touring which was her love. She came back to Melbourne to study (as a chiropractor) followed by some more action packed activities in the Blue Mountains; rock climbing and mountain bike riding. While staying with Meg Carrigan, an accomplished mountain bike rider, she met her brother James Broadway, a road cyclist who suggested taking up road cycling.

Moving to Italy

Daniella Mollica Top of Stelvio

At the ripe old age of 28 Daniella moved to Italy in 1999 and as a cyclist took her bike across to a small town called Luca outside of Florence in Tuscany.
The most memorable moments were doing these massive 150km training rides through the mountain passes followed by finding a local restaurant and enjoying a meal together.

Living the dream

Daniela Mollica Team Figurella

Then a women’s team, called Team Figurella, on the local Pro circuit invited her to join and race with them before being picked up by a bigger team called Aliverti. Unfortunately Daniella had a massive crash and broke her arm in 14 places and part off her spine.

Back to Oz

Two years later and riding again, Daniella returned back to Melbourne around 2003/2004 and began riding with the homicide squad doing the fun rides such as the Port to Port and Murray to Moyne fundraising rides.

After falling pregnant with her first child she stopped riding, which had always been part of her life, but she wanted to give time to her kids and have balance in her life.

Recently Daniella’s cousin is on the board of the Amy Gillett foundation and has been hassling her to do the ‘Share the road’ tour. So, after talking it over with her husband she hopped back on the bike after 8 years in late January and is absolutely loving it again.

She never regretted the time spent raising her family but “geez if feels great to be back on the bike and at the end of the day I realised that I love it, whether it’s a mountain or road bike, racing touring, just being on a bike in all of its form”.

What I love about cycling

Rediscovering the love of cycling Daniela MollicaPhoto by James Broadway Photography

“I love the competitiveness, the racing (recently participated in the local Northern Combine road race is Gisborne) but also the freedom of being on a bike.

I cannot understand why people go to the gym to exercise, for me exercise is about being outside, whether it’s going for a run or a ride, you can cover distance, you can see things and I love the camaraderie.” 

The magic, I’m just a cyclist

‘When you’re on the bike you can talk to people, you are not anybody’s mum, or anybody’s wife, I’m not someone’s practitioner (Chiropractor), I’m just a cyclist and there with a bunch of other people who are also just cyclists.”

“When I get home from riding, my kids (5 and 7 years old), did you like your ride mum, did you have a good ride. My littlest, at 22 months, says “bike, mama.” It’s great for children to see that you have interests in sport, being active and being a positive role model.”

My regular bunch

Daniela Mollica and The Squirrels

‘I have joined St Kilda Cycling Club (SKCC) and join them 3 days a week including the ‘Secret squirrels ride’ with the St Kilda group.

More women riding

“When I started out you knew all of the girls, there were only half a dozen but now there are so many women riding bikes and so many initiatives and people like Alison Raaymakers and Lisa Bryne who dedicate their time to helping girls riding in a  bunch.”

“It’s nice to be on the bike and help other girls.”