Zest's Deputy Art Editor Erica finds some friends to go for a ride
I love my bike! I’m really enjoying taking it out and things that I’d found difficult in the past seem so much easier. I went out on a 15 mile route this weekend with sections that I had cycled last year, involving a couple of hills, and found it went really well. Where I had to get off and push last time, I managed to carry on (at a snails pace but still!) and reach the top still in the saddle. Even though I’ve been working out in the gym over the past few months to try and improve my strength, I’m not sure I can totally take the credit. I think having the right bike has made all the difference.
Most of my rides have been on my own but this weekend I went out with my new cycling buddy. Its been great to have someone keeping me company on my rides and we can motivate each other to go further and push harder when we might want to slow down.
I have also been on a few rides organised by a local cycle group (Spokes in Watford) and have found it beneficial in a number of ways. Firstly, there’s the social side of it - it’s a great way of meeting up with like-minded people and having some company on a ride. It’s good to have other people to get advice from and to give encouragement and a push when you need it. It’s also good to get used to sharing the road with other cyclists. I received my membership pack from them this week and was really excited to see that they’d provided me with a book of suggested rides around my local area. I can’t wait to give them a go!
There are a number of companies running group rides around the country. CTC (The UK’s National Cyclists Organisation) have a list of cycling clubs on their website so that you can find one in your area, and British Cycling offers many SkyRide events and has the Breeze initiative to get more women into cycling. Action Medical Research also have a forum for their rides where you can get together for training rides.
For more information on the Women's Only London to Paris Ride, call 0870 333 1662, visit Action Medical Research or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Erica is riding a 2011 Ridgeback Radium road bike (RRP £799.99) For more information, visit www.ridgeback.co.uk or join the facebook page, facebook.com/ridgebackbikes
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