No one knows me better than me, right?! And if I’m honest, I was kinda sure I was gonna quit cycling after riding from London to Paris in July. I mean, I even joked about it and as they say, many a true word is said in jest.
This is how my journey into running started after-all; I’d run a race then have a “break” for six months. Running now has a permanent place in my heart though and I pretty much think that cycling has found its place in there too. Here’s why I’m not about to give up cycling anytime (too) soon:
For The Community
Commuting on your bike is one thing but taking it one step further and getting involved with the community has been one reason to love cycling even more. Back when I was “just” a commuter in 2014, I entered the VeloVixen competition to find their Next Top Model and only went and bloody won!
Taking part in the shoot for their marketing materials was the first time I’d ever been on a road bike, ridden with other people and clearly it must’ve sparked some sort of interest. The next year, I joined them to work on their stand at the London Bike Show where I got to spend a whole weekend surrounded by people who love bikes.
I even rode with one of my stand mates from home (in Oval at the time) to the show and hung out with boys on bikes with sound systems (don’t ask). At that show, I also met Eola, who happened to live close to my actual home (in Essex) and we planned to meet up to ride when I moved back in the coming months.
I did end up meeting up with Eola and some awesome ladies for my first ever long ride and got a real initiation to my local Essex hills. Since then, I’ve literally ridden with so many amazing groups including Breeze rides and the one time I made it to a Dirty Wkend ride out east.
Most Cyclists Are Friendly
I do love being out on a Sunday morning, passing other riders… and acknowledging them with “the nod”, “the wave” or an actual “morning!” …cos you really don’t get that with running especially in London.
If you’re in the City, there’s sometimes a quick chat at the traffic lights or just the team spirit of warning other cyclists of upcoming danger like potholes. Now don’t get me wrong, not all cyclists are friendly, but the ones who are make up for the ones who aren’t.
It’s Very Much A Team Thing
Sure you can ride alone, but really, what’s the fun in that?! I actually got out on the road and trained for the London to Paris ride because I had a groups of friends to do it with. Other than commuting, I never rode alone. I guess this then is the social aspect which kinda also feeds into the community thing…
You can meet up with friends for a ride, stop for cake / coffee / chats and kill two birds with one stone in that you’re also getting your workout in. It’s also inclusive in group rides when you don’t get dropped (left behind) and is a great way to meet like minded people.
|Photo Credit: Prudential RideLondon – Coryn Rivera of Team Sunweb celebrates her victory in the Prudential RideLondon Classique 29/07/2017|
All The Gear…
I’ve managed to accumulate a decent Lycra filled wardrobe specifically for cycling so I’d hate for it to go to waste. I am a little fussy though and love to have my kit match as much as possible including socks and cap. I’m quite the fan of the monochrome look recently …to the point that if (when) I get another bike I’d love for it to be either black or white. Yup.
You Get To Know Your Cycling Buddies Quite Well…
After numerous long rides with my #3PTsToParis crew I think we learnt quite a lot about each other. Although you can’t chat too much while you’re actually on the road you can chat when you stop for coffee / cake / food or are making the journey home after a ride that finishes at a destination.
The last time I’ve had that much time to get to know people was when I was training for my half marathon and doing my long runs with Bethan while she trained for Paris marathon and when we also led the lululemon run club and ran at party pace!
I Get To Eat A Lot Of Food…
…yaaaaas, yes I do. And it doesn’t always have to be “healthy”. I distinctly remember being told by a nutritionist not to worry about eating veg before we left for Paris (too much fibre isn’t a good thing at that stage). I’ve never been afraid of carbs but having a good excuse to eat them, and eat extra is definitely a great reason for me to keep pedalling.
To be honest, although I’ve taken the “no veg” thing a little too seriously, I have been eating well and just enjoy a treat every now and again. Just like endurance running though, when my mileage decreases I’ll have to make sure it’s balanced out in my diet…
I’m Signed Up For L’Etape London Again…
YES! On the 24th September I’ll be taking part in L’Etape London again. This sportive in 2016 was my first ever and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
There was a distinct lack of female participation though so I’m pleased to see Human Race has introduced a Cycletta wave (women’s only) at the event which I have entered. Check out the event details and if let me know if you’ll be taking part too; the more the merrier!
Who’s keen to get themselves a bike now?! …if you’re already a keen cyclist, what inspires you to keep it up?!