30 Days of Biking begins tomorrow, so I thought I’d share a little bit more with you about myself, and my bike.
I wanted to start this blog for a couple of reasons, but the biggest one was to prove that you don’t have to be super-fit, experienced or the owner of an expensive bike to enjoy cycling and see its benefits.
I’ve had a couple of bicycles over the years. My last bike that I have any memory of was a hand-me-down from my mum: it was 20 years old when I inherited it, but a nice old bike nonetheless. It had a basket on the front and I used it for my weekly shop. Shortly after moving to a new flat in Brighton, some nasty bugger stole that bike from the railings it was chained to (lesson learnt: keep your bike inside if you live in the city).
A family friend gave me an (old, rusty) bike to replace the stolen one, which I was very thankful for, but did not enjoy riding. After a few months of riding the rust-bucket, the gears had given up. The final nail in the coffin was when my boyfriend at the time rode it through a muddy field and got the chain stuck…permanently. Once again, I was left bikeless! So, naturally, in this time of need I turned to Twitter…
After my friend Mark (_BLIXA_) retweeted me, the wonderful Kim Piper replied to say that she had a Claud Butler road bike sitting in her shed, which she would happily give to a loving home free of charge. Claud (as he will now be known) had been Kim’s first road bike, and she’d cycled London to Paris on him. I drove to Kim’s work place, and took Claud home in the back of my car. The next day I took him to be serviced by the lads at Future Cycles in Lewes, and rode him proudly home! The rest, as they say, is history.
So now you know a little about Claud, allow me to tell you just a bit about myself.
Before March of this year, when I started some training for the London to Brighton night ride, I had never cycled more than 10 miles. Ask any of my friends about my ‘hobbies’ and I can absolutely guarantee that anything sport, exercise or fitness related will not feature. Up until fairly recently I didn’t even own a pair of trainers, let alone any lycra!
That should have you convinced that I am neither experienced nor particularly fit. I still regularly feel like I might die when ascending a steep hill. All that said, it gets a bit easier every time I ride, and you learn to love the hills (no, really, you do.)
Words can’t quite portray the feeling of riding a bike. All your senses are heightened, and you notice things that you would whizz past without a second thought in a car. You can stop, just to take it all in, still sat on your top tube. And the satisfaction of covering distance on two wheels is infinitely more than on four.
I think I have fallen in love with cycling. If I still feel that way after the next 30 days, then it must be true love. Watch this space!