Although my journey on a road bike started just one year ago, I suppose my cycling story goes back to my teenage years. Back then I spent all my time in the pool! I trained up to 8 times a week (three mornings before school) and reached a respectable county / regional level. Exams took their toll, and sadly I gave up, but I guess my passion for competition and sport never died.
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.
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.
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.