The goRide women profiles tell stories about everyday women who ride bikes. These stories will connect you to real women and perhaps spark an idea about what you could achieve with your riding or remind you what you have done. We are all on a journey, regardless of whether you are beginning or an experienced rider, so be open and curious and see what happens. Lets begin to build a stronger you and a stronger riding community. Enjoy your reading…
RIDING WORD – ALIVENESS
When did you learn to ride and why do you still ride?
My first set of wheels…when I was 5 years old my school had a raffle for a secondhand red tricycle. I went home to explain that I needed threepence to enter the raffle for the red tricycle that I was going to win. And I did win! An early memory of riding is dragging a 3 geared Raleigh up a grassy hill at the back of Portsmouth to speed down to the villages behind. That was the start of a love of downhills. I still ride because I want to live life to the full and be as active as I can for as long as I can. I love the speed of biking, walking can be a bit slow and in a car you are too enclosed everything goes by too fast, you don’t get to engage the senses, be with nature and the environment.
What kind of biking do you do…mainly commuting with the occasional fun ride in the hills thrown in when I have time. I commute to and from work. I have a bit of a rule as long as I can fit it on the bike then I ride. That is, it needs to fit into my two panniers. Sometimes you just have to take the car and that helps to keep the car battery working so you don’t end up with a flat battery like I have now. I often change the route that I commute, add in a few hills, a change of scenery. It just keeps it interesting and keeps me fit.
Your Favourite Piece of Bike Equipment. My bright yellow slap bands. They are VISIBLE and keep those trouser legs under control and away from the chain on those winter commuting days.
Do you have a biking tip or piece of advice that you would like to share?
I often walk a trail first before I ride it. That way I get to enjoy it from a walkers perspective and I can decide whether I want to ride it. I can answer questions like can I be safe on this trail, do I have the skills, will I enjoy it?
There are downsides to riding when you start out – you’re uncomfortable, tired, or there may be a relentless headwind. There can be tears, frustration, fear but all these things means you are rewarded with stamina, endurance, perseverance, achievement and resilience.
What, if any, are your frustrations with riding? Personally and generally.
Equipment. Just not understanding equipment enough to put things right myself and back wheel punctures. Also having the strength to get the tyre over the rim and back in place . Arrhh (through gritted teeth).
What is your favourite ride now?
Usually, on any ride, the special moments you get. The exhilaration of riding downhill like on the railroad reserve on my commute to work.
What is your favourite ride from the past?
I get moments of inspiration from every ride. Some memories and moments that have stayed with me.
- On a trip in England, it was getting late, I was unsure if I was on the right route, riding through a tunnel of trees – quite beautiful
- A borrowed bike and riding trails in Tanzania and Kenya.
- A six week bike trip of the South Island, the need to get to Franz Joseph, I was tired, the hills, the undulations, the windiness, the scenery, the whooping descent into town. Wow.
Do you have a riding goal at the moment? (think equipment, skills/technique, rides)
Now: Keep riding, keep fit and active
Future: I want to do more rides, just not sure what at the moment, so as long as I keep fit and active my options are wide open.
Thanks for reading. Used together our stories and resources support you to achieve and develop as a rider.
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