Back on the Bike

May 16, 2016 | Back on the Bike

As some of you will know by now, I have finally got back into the saddle after many years of not cycling. I have decided (after a little nudge from some helpful folk!) to share my journey and experience with you all. I am going to share with you the ups and downs, tears and smiles. How I use the tools, tips and knowledge that I have picked over my years of practising as a life coach and supporting people to achieve goals.

The goal that I am working towards is:

To complete the British Heart Foundation Norwich 50 mile ride on 5th June 2016

Back Story

My childhood was very much spent on a bike! I remember taking part in my first cyclo cross race when I was about 7 years old, after watching my brother and his friends taking part. I remember getting my first road bike with ‘dropped handle bars’ and gears for my 7th birthday – and falling off on my first ride on it! No surprises there!

My parents ran a cycling club at the local high school for more years than I can now remember. My poor mum, who qualified as a cycling coach, got roped in to teaching cycling as part of the PE curriculum, because I wanted to ride my bike round the cross country course rather than run it! She was still teaching long after I left education!

My real love became sprinting, especially hard track racing, but there aren’t any very near to Norfolk, so I spent a lot of time grass track racing and circuit racing. I spent several summers, competing in Holland, until I crashed badly when I was 12 years old and broke my collar bone, suffered concussion and a neck injury and spent most the week in hospital. This was pretty much the end of my cycling career. I lost my confidence in racing conditions, having fallen in a race. I then suffered with glandular fever and experienced a long spell of bullying. All of this led to me losing my confidence, energy and cycling mojo. To be completely honest, I remember knowing that it was going to take so much effort to get back to the level of fitness and ability, and that there would be results I wasn’t proud of, and just couldn’t face it. I successfully denied all of this until two events in my adult life. Firstly, watching the 2012 Olympics and seeing Nicole Cooke and Victoria Pendleton do so amazingly. They were my peers and we used to fight it out on the track and the road. Why did I give up so easily? Secondly, 2013 saw my brother complete a ride from Lands End to John O’Groates. He had the cycling bug back, and I was envious.

Baby number 2, and 7 months later, I decided I needed a bike to get some exercise into my life again.

Progress so far….

From June 2015 until February 2015 I managed to ride my bike on average 2 or 3 times per week (apart from December when I did no rides! ooops!). I bought the bike as a way to get me some exercise that didn’t require me going anywhere to access a class, a gym etc. I needed something flexible and time efficient to have any chance of me sticking at it, amongst our busy lives. I began with 4 or 5 miles, with the odd 8 mile. And 6 months later I was still at the same level, having reduced my time, but no longer getting that burn after!

In January 2016 I began to feel the need to set myself a challenge. Initially I thought about doing 25 miles as part of Sport Relief. My parents suggested looking at the BHF Norwich ride and I then took the plunge and went for the 50 mile option. I thought carefully about who’s opinion I asked, as I knew that could affect my success. I asked my parents who know what I have been capable of in the past, have experience cycling as adults; my brother who again knows me well enough but has also started from scratch and achieved phenomenal results whilst working a demanding job and being a dad, husband etc; my husband, who needed to be on board to help my training.

At the time of writing this blog I am just over 3 weeks away from the big day, and my husband is going away for 2 weeks, and my mum is unwell (part of the inspiration behind doing the BHF ride), so my childcare options are limited. So I am now needing to plan my time and resources carefully to ensure I keep on track for completing the ride.

I have written some blogs along the way to share my journey so far, and you can see them all under the ‘Back on the Bike’ blog category.

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Sam

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