What started out to be hobby, with an occasional solo ride here and there, is now something that I miss if I’m not riding more than once a week. It’s not just getting from A to B, but seeing and enjoying everything in between. Along the way, I’ve discovered the benefits of riding in a team and being supported by a group of fun people. I’m learning all the time and I know I can help others too.
Favourite place to ride?
Tuscany, I’ll be back and I’m bringing the B’s with me
Up or down mountains?
Although crashing the first time I met the B’s, this was actually a surprisingly good experience. People helped me up and took care of me, so that I wanted to get back on the bike right away. And I did, after I had the okay from Lowell and the team. I suffered a couple of weeks of pain in my right hip, but it didn’t stop me running my first half marathon in May 2018 a couple of weeks later. I also was now determined more than ever to improve my bike skills.
Probably anytime I go out, especially on early weekend rides, when you stop at the traffic light and chat to the other cyclists heading out, too. Cycling unites people, I love that about this sport. A big part of cycling is social for me, it motivates me to do things I otherwise would never have done and enables me to experience my surroundings in a way that is unique. It makes me get up early in the morning and enjoy the outdoors more often.
I’ll get by with a little help from my friends
A London-Brighton ride that turned into an attempt to do London-Brighton-London. Having enjoyed the ride to Brighton and feeling still strong after good burgers for lunch, we attempted to go back as well. We made the mistake of trusting Google Maps to get out of Brighton and back to the Ditchling Beacon and back to the route we had taken to get to Brighton we ended up going up a path that would have been challenging on Cyclocross bikes, leaving one of us with a broken rear derailleur hanger.
Although I knew my friends had planned on going back to London as well, I hadn’t. Being relatively new to road cycling and especially long distances on the bike, I just wasn’t prepared. I hadn’t brought enough water (bottles) nor food. Even though we did stop for water, on the way back I ran out of both food and water. A big mistake. My mood got worse with every kilometre that I was now suffering rather than enjoying the ride and I demanded to go to the next train station to get back by train. The next station in reach was still 20 kilometres away at that point. Again relying on Google Maps we ended up on a sand track for horses until we decided to only take main roads, which let us on double lane roads, which was better surface-wise but meant aggravated car drivers passing in high-speed, not pleasant at the least. Having made it to the train station we ended up on a packed train with intoxicated travellers that came back from the Derby. We had to stand the whole way to London Bridge but I was happy not to have to ride anymore.
How long does it take you to change a flat?
For ever, but I hope to change that.
Advice to a new cyclist?
Keep riding. Everything is possible. Also, use chamois cream.