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 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.