I suppose my story starts at a point before I started cycling.
The reason for this is that I think I have always wanted to cycle but the idea of choosing and buying a bike with no knowledge of the sport seemed impossible, I was also scared to go out on my own and joining a club as a complete novice seemed not just intimidating but almost undoable.
A colleague at work had told me about “some women in your area that you could ride with” and that is how I came across a community of cyclist called BellaVelo. In August 2017 I bought my bike, and it looked lovely sitting in the bay window where it lived for the next eight months. It was in May 2018 that I finally braved up and joined a beginner’s ride. To put this into perspective, at this point I had never pumped my own tyres on my bike, let alone changed one.
I signed up for Ride London for many reasons, but it always seemed a bit unreal. So, in spite of all the training and preparation, there was a definite feel of 'how did this happen' as I cycled up to Richmond station at 5am.
The Olympic park was buzzing but dry and the forecast of day-long drizzle seemed, thankfully, to be wrong - for long enough for some riders to leave their jackets on the kit bag lorries. Unfortunately it turned out to be incorrect in totally the wrong way. The rain started soon after the loading pen closed and we started moving round the park - by the time we reached the start line and were being asked to choose our starting music it was getting pretty wet and I was shivering, even with a jacket. This was more than just drizzle.
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.
Denise Quinlan has written an excellent, detailed and informative log of her Ride Across Britain, read all about it on her website here.
By Helen Sharp
So, it's done. My incredible journey from Land's End to John O'Groats is complete. 984 miles over three countries, 23 counties and with 50,401ft of climbing. For perspective that's over 13 times the Alpe d'Huez and twice the height of Everest. I’ve burnt 32,837 calories and hate to think how many I’ve taken on-board...