I will start at the beginning. So I was ready for my first event. Well I was not ready but I had signed up for it with a number of people and it was for charity so there was no backing out of it now!
In February 2014 I took part in my first cycling event – a 25 mile cycle ride for Sport Relief. Having a husband who is part of a cycle club helps as we are surrounded by so many lovely people from the club and everyone is more than happy to help newbies like me! I wasn’t sure if I would be able to finish the distance and was grateful to be riding with some lovely people as the ride was actually fun, though I am sure I was probably a grumpy old cow on the route if the members of my group were being totally honest with me.
We set off from the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford. My husband had set off with a friend earlier for the longer 50 mile route and we would meet at the finish line so I would have someone cheer me on rather than me cheering someone else, which would be new for me!
As we cycled one lady with our group, Lisa, sang a lot of Prodigy so that made it fun! Another lady with our group, Sophie, is a whippet and would speed off up hills as I huffed and puffed my way up them trying not to die from an asthma attack (I don’t have asthma but that is how I feel when cycling up a hill or in fact any sort of incline). At the top of one hill I wanted to take my jacket off as I was getting hot and so our group stopped by the side of the road and one of the guys in our group, Nate, made me laugh as I had taken off the jacket and was oblivious to the fact that my cycle jersey was unzipped so I was completely flashing him my chest! Little things like this with lovely people make any event fun ( not that I plan on regularly flashing people on events!) and so we set off for the finish line – me more red than usual from just exercise as I was also blushing.
Nearing the finish we got stuck at some traffic lights and a lady cycled up next to me and started making friendly chat asking me how the ride was and what distance I had done – 25 miles of course as 50 miles to me then seemed an impossible thing to attempt! Midway through talking to her I realised she was Victoria Pendleton and so in my true stupid form pointed at her and said ‘Oh my god you’re Victoria Pendleton’ because of course she needed to be reminded of who she was! I should point out I can be dim but when people are in full cycle gear including helmets and glasses you don’t often recognise them instantly. At this point my husband had caught up with us and started cycling with us – us being me and Victoria Pendleton! He has a crush on her so that was hilarious pointing out to him who she was and his voice getting progressively higher as he more or less squeaked hello.
We finished and I got my medal and then to top it off I got a photo with Victoria Pendleton!
Ride complete and medal earned!
One happy lady on a bike!