I realised that in the whole excitement of setting up my new blog that I never actually did a full introduction on my story, why I’m doing this and how I got here! There seems a lot to cram into one post, but I shall try and not go on too much!
It all started a year ago, and my lovely friend from university, Bryony suggested that she wanted to take part in a charity challenge. I had been mentioning for a while too that I wanted to do something as well, both as a challenge event and to raise some money too. We found a charity challenge event in Snowdonia National Park, incorporating a 18km bike ride, climbing Snowdon and then a 3km kayak. I’m not quite sure what we expected! I had at university been very active, being a keen committee member for the Equestrian club, playing badminton, occasionally riding my housemates old bike along the river Trent or cycling to lectures, the occasional run, but mostly partying hard and having a brilliant time. University times for me were very good times, and many of my university friends are still my closest friends, despite being dotted around the country.
Three years on, the activity levels had dropped a little and I was probably the most unfit I had ever been. Having the previous year come out of a long term relationship I had gone through a miserable and depressed patch. I knew I wasn’t myself, I know friends and family were worried about me, and I am very lucky to have such brilliant friends and family. I had to do something to sort myself out anyway and 2014 really was a turning year.
So the training for the unconventional triathlon began! I hit the roads on a really old heavy mountain bike, and anyone that says Leicestershire doesn’t have hills needs to come visit! I remember doing a ten or twelve mile ride and thinking it was such a long way, I remember thinking some of the hills were impossible to cycle up. I loved it though. It was great getting out on the roads in the evening, just being out in the countryside. The old mountain bike was soon replaced with a light weight second hand hybrid bike and with that I was off. I should have been doing other training too for the charity event but I was enjoying what I was doing far too much. The hybrid soon got upgraded to a road bike and slowly I was evolving into a cyclist! I went along to different groups and every time met so many nice people with so much friendly advice and great tips. Going along to groups is great, not only to meet people but to give yourself a push.
Cycling can be whatever you want it to be; social, challenging, competitive and actually just none of those things too. There is so much I love about it, and I’m pretty sure my enthusiasm to some people is tiring. However for every negative person I meet on the topic, it only makes me want to go out and prove them wrong. I just feel like if you want to try you can do anything, and the sense of achievement you can get from something like this is such a great feeling. I truly cannot imagine not doing this now, and it’s made a big difference to my life which I why I want to share my experiences so much.
I look back and think what a way I have come and there is only more to continue with. For example this weekend’s Leicester to ‘Skegvegas’ 100 mile ride. That’s all fine, we have a nice tail wind on the way there. I just now have the added challenge of cycling back again the day after. Wish me luck 🙂 – will update you on how that goes!
Must be mad!