April is a strange time for me as a cyclist. Apart from not having a clue what kit to wear on the bike because of the unpredictability of the Great British Spring, it’s a month I find myself thinking back to what I was doing this time a few years ago. I find myself thinking about how much my life has changed because of cycling.
April 2014 – At this point in my life I wasn’t a cyclist. I played netball and went on the occasional jog, I’d always liked being active. But by the time April came around in 2014 I’d been pretty much immobile for months.
by Holly Seear
There are lots of minor reasons why you should keep away from the curb, such as;
For All the firsts …...cycling is the one.
I’ve been cycling properly for almost 2 years exactly. Prior to that I had owned a road bike for about 6 months but not done more than my 3 mile commute or the odd lap of Richmond Park. 50 miles seemed incomprehensible – even though it was a distance I had previously run, the thought of cycling it, blew my mind.
Over the past 2 years I have experienced so many firsts. From my first ride with cleats (around the bandstand on Clapham Common) to my first “cleat fail” as I collapsed into a heap at some traffic lights after failing to unclip.
by Lisa Tolley
Why did I decide to ride ‘Chase the Sun’? I think, I just liked the title, it seemed really cool, so I signed up and didn’t really think about what it might entail.
I was into mountain biking until my early thirties, then 6 years ago, after having kids, I bought a road bike and since then I just keep looking for the next challenge. “Chase the Sun’ seemed unique; ride across the country from the Isle of Sheppey to Burnham on Sea, in one day, coast to coast, east to west, dawn to dusk; cycling a total of 330km.
By Relve Spread
This was my first cycling trip with BellaVelo or, indeed, any cycling club. For lesser mortals, the coordination of thirty women of varying ages, needs, and abilities to the New Forest would have resulted in sheer terror, panic, denial. For others, like our awesome trip leader, Lottie, it was deftly executed with German like precision.
by Esra Parr
Having only started riding my road bike again a year ago after about 30 years of pottering about on a hybrid with regular pedals, I started riding with BellaVelo last July. I enjoyed the regular rides and the social evenings, but it was with some trepidation that I booked on to their training camp to Mallorca. I was very much encouraged to do it, and was told that all abilities would be catered for and that I’d be ‘fine!’. Isn’t that what everyone says?...
A RIDE TO THE NEW FOREST WITH RELATIVE STRANGERS
Being a relatively new cyclist, I agreed to sign up for a challenge without thinking too much about it, and put my name down for Mallorca 167 in early autumn. As the realisation of what I had committed myself to settled in, the days were already getting shorter and the temperatures had significantly dropped. I knew it would be hard to find opportunities for long rides, and decided to try out a ladies group riding at Richmond Park that I had heard of before. Hence the beginning of my BellaVelo adventure…
By Clare Price
What is Adventure Road-Biking?
It’s a mind-set. You can be an adventure road-biker on any kind of road bike, although you may wish to exclude using your top of the range Pinarello (should you be lucky enough to own one)! It is about focusing on going somewhere you have never gone before, on road surfaces that challenge your bike handling skills; it’s about accepting a higher level of risk and uncertainty, and enjoying that aspect of it. The level of adventure is in your hands and can be anything from cycling across Asia to exploring your local canal tow-path, and the specifics of the bike you do it on are far less important than you might think...
By Tharina Cronjé (TC)
In March 2015 I saw a tweet about a new cycling shop for women that opened in Surbiton. They were hosting shop rides every two weeks.
My very good friend that I always cycled with on the road moved back to South Africa and I seriously lacked some riding partners with the same ability. Coming from a mountain biking background and not familiar with riding in big groups I stepped out of my comfort zone and joined BellaVelo for a ride. I met the lovely Belinda with her radio voice and many other ladies. After that initial ride I dragged my friend Liezl along.
I’ve met the most lovely and diverse group of ladies since I’ve moved to this country 13 years ago. The friendship, banter, encouragement and camaraderie is second to none and it is with pride that I tell others about our cycling community/cycling club. Every ride leaves me with a smile on my face and reminds me of how it all started.
By Lena Austen
I first heard about Breeze Rides about 7 years ago when I saw a small poster in a bike shop in Sussex. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but followed the link on the poster and booked my first ride. When I turned up at the designated car park I met my 2 leaders and several other women; some had ridden with groups before, others were local park riders, but the range of experience in the group was never a problem...