Only Girl In The Club

My cycling life

As my alarm went off at 06:00am we pulled back the curtains to discover the forecast for heavy rain was showing itself on this summer Saturday in June. A wise man once told me your skin dries but the fabric of tights might leave you feeling cold so despite the seasonally low temperature I took …

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A DNF (Did Not Finish) is a bitter pill to swallow; it’s one I’ve never tasted before. In the past I’ve always found a way to recover and fight back no matter how bad things have become. Despite putting on a very brave face the experience knocked my confidence and I was shattered. I’ve sat …

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The girl said drive your car to a town called Ardrossan and leave your car there, go over on the ferry as a foot passenger with your bike. When you dock on the island turn left and just keep riding, you can’t get lost. You’ll be climbing hills all day, you’ll love it. I was …

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After last weeks long ride I couldn’t sleep, I felt like I’d drunk 5 cups of coffee and I stared at the ceiling all night. So I’ve spent the past week asking questions, reading and researching alternative ride food. Thank you everyone for getting in touch with suggestions and ideas. I’ve been eating gels and bars …

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I made a big cycling purchase a few months ago, after my bike it was the most money I’ve spent on a single item related to cycling. I thought I was in the market for a new turbo trainer, something that would give me feedback, show me how I was progressing and get me motivated …

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When I finished the Prudential Ride London event last August I wasn’t sure I could do it again. The event clashed with the tail end of hurricane Bertha, heavy rain and strong winds were forecast but it wasn’t the weather that put me off. I’ve taken part in the event in 2013 and 2014 and …

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There’s something I’ve wanted to do on my bike for a few years now. The time hasn’t been right in previous years, I was pregnant, on maternity leave or just not in the right place. I’ve been thinking about this challenge a lot recently and after my Grandad passed away this June it felt like this would be my year to enter L’Étape du Tour. My Grandad, Jules Tur was born in Casablanca, Morocco and raced with great success on his bike in the 1940’s. As a Frenchman, Le Tour de France was something he spoke of with such enthusiasm and high regard.

So I’ve got my registration confirmed and I’ve booked my accommodation in La Toussuire. My Mum, Dad, Savannah and I will set off on a road trip next July 2015. I will follow in the iconic wheel tracks of Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome with a summit finish in memory of my Grandad.

It’s going to be a long, hard winter of tough training but that’s the bit I love the most. My cycling club has started a weekly night ride, we ride with lights and high viz. I hope to get out on that as much as possible and we still ride every Sunday whatever the weather. If I can keep up a few miles a week then all my hard work this year will set me up well for this challenge but I’ve never climbed a real mountain. I climbed to 902m recently on a club holiday in Portugal, Mt Foia but this is going to the next level and beyond. 142km and 3 mountains.

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A copy of my Grandad’s cycling club membership card from 1940 – 1941

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My Grandad lined up with his cycling team mates in Casablanca

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Cycling through the streets of Casablanca in 1941. I might be the only girl happy to inherit her Grandad’s legs.

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AVC nightriders winter training

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Sunday club ride to the Hub in Redbourne, Herts with AVC

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Getting ready to climb Mt Foia in the Algarve

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The 14% steep cobbles back to our villa in the Algarve

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Cooking up porridge for the boys (and me) each morning in the Algarve

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It was very cold on the way down from Mt Foia

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Climbing all day long in the Algarve

November 18, 2014