I am a 35 year old mother of two small boys, living with my partner in Surrey. I work 5 miles from home and prefer to ride to and from work as it’s faster, cheaper and gives me extra calories to spend on MyFitnessPal.
I started riding properly at the beginning of 2012. I was working in London and my commute consisted of walking to the station, taking the train into London then battling my way onto the Underground to travel across London. At one point I sat down and worked out how much my Underground tickets were costing me and discovered that, as I was on a short term contract and therefore buying monthly tickets, it would take me less than six months of not making Underground journeys to pay for a nice little folding bike.
After procrastinating for a couple of weeks, I bought the bike in a flurry of impulse, secure in the knowledge that it was a fad which would last anything up to a week before, terrified of London traffic and traumatised from hours of wandering the backstreets of London, my sense of direction left behind at London Bridge or Waterloo East, I would move my beloved folding bike (Joel) to the back of a cupboard where he would glare at me in recrimination any time I reached for the vacuum cleaner or a badminton racquet.
Instead, I surprised myself. I found I enjoyed the fresher air of the roads than the armpit-mustiness of the tunnels; the freedom of pushing my legs over the restriction of being wedged between a thousand other anonymous commuters; the guaranteed seat on the train, even if it was my own saddle. My boyfriend had helped me research the routes between the stations and I printed them off and studied them on the train on the way in until I was finally confident enough to start exploring potential short cuts.
Finally we come to the reason I decided to start writing this blog. A lot of my friends, especially those who have known me for a few years, are impressed (and not a little surprised) at the way I have taken to cycling, but it makes me sad when I hear my girl friends append their comments with “but I’d be too afraid to cycle on the road”. When someone commented to me yesterday that after his spin class he’d overheard four ladies discussing cycling and all four of them had agreed that riding on actual roads was too frightening I decided that something had to be done. Someone had to address this issue. Then I realised if that someone wasn’t me it might end up being no-one.
So here I am, a Girl on a Road Bike. I’ll share my thoughts and feelings about what I do. If you have any questions, ask me and I’ll answer as best I can.