“Because every story I share is only one in a million, it means there are plenty more stories even to be found, and then to be shared! Here is the next, from Bridgette…”Elle, keep it simpElle
Do you enjoy the idea of wild unpaved routes, to explore the intriguing areas where few tourists stumble upon, discovering and admiring both cities and nature, while keeping fit and having fun all in one amazing bundle? Well, I definitely do! And for me, the answer is cycling; being out along scenic rocky routes, through dense forests of ridges and roots, tackling deep, slippery sand, braving high coastlines and open barren landscapes. These are the adventures I delight in embarking upon whenever I travel to somewhere new. At times it has certainly been challenging, testing not only my physical abilities, but my mental strength, willpower and teamwork. However, couple this with the excitement of new territories, stunning scenic views and the peace which takes over your mind – there is no question as to if I will do it all over again on the next journey to a new destination!
As most things in life, everything starts from somewhere in childhood. I still remember the day when my sister and I got bicycles for Christmas, I was 9, she was 7, and there was such excitement and joy about the idea of the fun and freedom that awaited us. My parents always encouraged both of us to cycle everywhere: to school, to our friends’ houses, to sports games and to the shops. Not only was it good for our health, but obviously they didn’t have to spend their time driving us around everywhere. Luckily for them, we loved it!
Fast forward to my adult years and my love for cycling has only grown, whether that be explorative mountain biking, loud exciting spin classes or high-speed road biking. I certainly enjoy sending my legs pumping, my heart pounding and my brain into a whirlwind of happiness.
Cycling has become a great hobby of my partner and mine, to the point at which whenever we travel somewhere new, we aim to fit in one day of cycling.….somewhere, anywhere. So, before each new trip, we choose an exciting location, with a range of landscapes and scenery that we can enjoy and challenge ourselves with for the day out. I also aim to be well organised before a trip out, by pre-making many snacks such as cookies, protein balls and easy to carry lunch boxes, along with water, fruit and nuts to keep us going for the day.
As exciting as a new country is for everyone; with all the food, scenery, history and shops, and as much as I enjoy all those things about travelling, it is the idea of an upcoming cycling trip that draws the most excitement. Nothing compares to being out in the landscape, breathing the fresh air, admiring the local plants, animals and attractions, and not knowing what lies ahead – well except from having some kind of route planned out for sure (which seldom goes as planned).
When I’m not travelling to a new country, I love to choose cycling as a social activity with friends and family, as there are endless route options for all levels of fitness, and it’s a great way to bond, over fun activities, and picnics somewhere beautiful. I have noticed, however, that when I meet people who enjoy cycling, or when we go out as a group, it is mainly all the guys, and only a couple of girls. This has made me realize that not many of my female friends do much cycling, I think many women see it as a men’s activity, and may feel quite intimidated to give it a go, without realising how much fun it is and I love to see motivational female cycling out conquering the world!
I do feel like something is missing when I go long periods without going out for a bike ride, and the solution to this, is I now have a road bike, which has allowed me to slightly switch up my daily commute of driving to the train station to cycling instead. Just this small change a few times a week really puts me in a great mood; racing the wind, speeding along the cycle path, music on and legs pumping!
I truly enjoy sharing my stories with everyone, and would love to encourage as many people as possible to give it a go, but don’t forget, an essential investment is a good pair of padded cycling shorts and a helmet. Whether you already love cycling or are new to the sport, grab a few friends and find somewhere new to explore, because from my experience, everyone who tries it, always loves it!
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