Rider Interview: Michelle Brideau
Our most recent interview is with Michelle Brideau who has taken part in some awesome long distance bike rides such as cycling across Canada. Shes a fellow Rutland Cycling ambassador, has an awesome youtube channel (Ride on Cycling) and shares a little more about herself below. Enjoy 🙂
How long have you been cycling for and how did you start?
I stopped cycling as a teenager because I was too old ride on the sidewalks and couldn’t fathom mixing with cars. I started cycling again 4 years ago as a way to fit exercise into my life. I had no time to go to the gym so I made my commute my exercise, cycling was as quick, and sometimes faster (and more reliable) than taking the train.
Biggest / best cycling achievement?
My biggest achievement is cycling across Canada, but it’s a close second to getting through that first winter of commuting (I started cycling in November!).
What you most like about cycling?
I like that cycling can be transport, exercise, sport, a social or solitary activity and you can always find a challenge to keep it interesting. What I like most is that it keeps you in the moment. It’s meditation on wheels for me, I’m terrible at traditional meditation but cycling calms my mind and keeps me in the moment.
What do you do when not riding your bike?
I make videos about riding bikes. I had a lot of questions when I started and luckily I had people around I could ask and cycled with people who were very encouraging. Not everyone is so lucky or as as many options as I had in London. I hope my videos will be of help to those starting out and perhaps provide inspiration as to what is possible to achieve for those. who like me, aren’t terribly athletic or sporty.
Where is the best place you have cycled?
That’s a hard one, Canada had lots of beautiful places, and the UK as well, there is a lot of stunningly beautiful rides here but I would have to say of the places I’ve cycled so far the French Pyrenees Mountains was the best place because of the combination of amazing scenery, roads in good condition and drivers who are so respectful around cyclists, I can’t wait to go back one day.
My dream bike is a custom build (titanium or stainless steel) with an endurance geometry and enough tire clearance in the fork that I can swap out the wheels for some bigger ones for off road riding.
Favourite Café Stop:
I’ve just moved to Bristol from London so still working out my favorite local one but the best one on all my rides was the crêperie at the top of the Peyresourde in the Pyrenees just knowing crepes (12 for 5EUR!) and a cold drink was waiting at the top was all the motivation I needed to get up that mountain.
Best training ride:
My favorite when I lived in London was the Surrey 3 Hills, a great ride with a variety of climbs including the lovely Box Hill as the third and final climb with a cafe bike shop that has great coffee and cakes to fuel the ride back into London. I’m looking forward to finding my new favorite routes here in the Bristol area, there is some stunning scenery, beautiful villages and lots of hills and the roads are so much quieter! If you have any recommendations do let me know in the comments!
I have an incurable bowel disease called Crohn’s and after cycling for 6 months I realized cycling was keeping it in remission. If I go for more than 5 days without cycling I get symptoms of the disease. It’s the best medication ever with some pretty amazing side effects 🙂
For 2019 I have 2 challenges lined up. The first achieving Super randonneur status, I just joined Audax UK and the status is achieved by cycling the following Audaxes in one season, 200km/300km/400km and 600km. Then in September I’m signed up for the GrandFondo Whistler, riding the beautiful Sea to Sky highway from Vancouver to Whistler on closed roads, fingers crossed for some clear skies so the views can truly be appreciated.