“So excited to bring you yet another #OneInaMillion story. Read Haddi’s story about her comeback through cycling from injury…Elle, keep it simpElle
I swapped to cycling after repetitive injury put away all my dreams of being the fastest runner I could be. On my 18th Birthday I got a bike and about nine months later I stopped running completely and began to pedal instead.
From Running to Racing…
I fell off nine times learning how to use clip-less shoes and then raced my first women’s race after about four weeks of training. I was lapped four times yet despite the reality check, I had fallen in love with cycling. It was a sport that enabled me to be challenged; where I could push myself to the limit without fear of the dreaded injury returning. In my first full race season I managed to pick up a number of top tens and a third place at the same race I had previously been lapped in. I was really chuffed to finish the season as a third category racer.
But the highlight of the year was to come in September when I raced Ireland’s international premier, 5 day 6 stage bike race, The Rás NamBan. It was probably the hardest physical challenge I have ever done. I was not even close to the calibre of the other riders; lining up on the start line next to TeamGB and professional cyclists was such an experience and I am proud to have finished the race.
All The Adventures…
Two wheels also give me adventure opportunities. In my first winter of training, I rode from my home in the Midlands to Amsterdam and back; solo, with just my bike and rucksack. It rained, snowed heavily and I punctured twice but it was an escapade I relished. There are more planned…
I really want to encourage other girls to ride and race so I share my story through videos on YouTube and daily stories on Instagram. You can watch all the times I get dropped, the challenge of racing men (women often have to, due to poor racing opportunities or lack of female riders) as well as my successes and adventures on the bike. I don’t hide anything and hope to reflect the true trials and tribulations of being a female cyclist trying to become the best she can be. Having found the sport I love, I hope to inspire others to find a passion in whatever they do too.
My Love of Cycling
In case you have any doubt, I really love, love, LOVE riding my bike. For me, there is nothing else. Recently, I crashed and chipped two teeth but I didn’t let it put me off. I’ve been dropped and lapped in races more than keeping up but I just keep racing. Cycling gives me a way to better myself physically and mentally. Also, there is a genuine comradery in the sport; I have made so many friends of all ages. You get out what you put in and that makes all the heavy legs, early mornings and hard sessions worth it. The progress and feeling I get from cycling is addictive, I’ve completed rides and races I’d never even dreamed of doing… and I wouldn’t have it any other way.