There is no doubt about it, cycling in the UK is the fastest growing sport for both men and women. In fact, we’d go as far as to say that cycling is the new golf! Apologies to any golf-loving cyclists reading this.
The following (true) story will also make you realise that anyone can get into cycling and regardless of your age. Meet Elise Barker, 44, who works for The Office of Fair Trading and lives with her husband Mike in Bolton. They have two children (boy and girl) aged 19 and 23. Elise tell us…
Through the years I’ve dipped in and out of exercise classes without really getting into any of them. If a friend was going to yoga or step aerobics, I’d tag along but never got the real bug for anything. That is until a year or so ago, I had a go at a spin class and loved it. I’m normally someone who crawls out of bed, but I actually started going to spin classes before work!
My husband is keen road cyclist and he persuaded me to get a second hand bike to get started and see if I liked it, with the added bonus that we could go out together. I spent around £250 on a Giant road bike and after our first ride out together, I must admit I didn’t really enjoy it. I didn’t feel safe and couldn’t see me doing more than a couple of miles – it was a heck of a lot different from my spin class! Then a work colleague posted on the staff intranet about a Beginners Cycling Challenge for ladies, aimed at people such as myself, with the challnege being to get everyone who signed up to go from the armchair to 30 miles in 12 weeks.
I gave it a go and the road cycling bug bit me – much to the joy of my husband. Going out in a group of cyclists with the same ability as me, gave me confidence encouragement to get stuck into the challenge. I’m delighted to say that everyone who got involved, completed the 40-mile ride and now we regularily go out as a group at least two times a week.
An added bonus us that I’ve also lost about half-a-stone in weight and toned up my legs (and buttom!) considerably – I now even wear the dreaded lycra without hesitation!
So remember that no-one is ever too old to learn to ride a bike, whether it be for the first time or getting re-acquainted with this ever popular two wheel mode of transport.