The dilemma for most of us working long hours is trying to balance work, family, fitness, friends and sleep and I’ve realised you can only really do three successfully. Personally, I focus on work, family and fitness. With three children and family nearby hoovering up a huge amount of time careful time management is needed if I am to squeeze in any fitness! I try to visit the gym three times a week plus one hot yoga session during the winter months. In Summer, the bike comes out. My love of cycling began at an early age with my first bike when I was 10. Now my garage contains the following inventory (don’t ask)!
1. Titanium Road Bike – my regular steed for my daily commute. The 11 mile trip only takes me 35 minutes so in a week I can reach a total of over 100 miles! At the weekend, I occasionally go on club runs with Brighton Excelsior CC covering 50-80 miles.
As for longer distances, I have done several end-to-end cycles within European countries. To date I have cycled the length of Italy, Spain, Slovenia and France and also ticked off several famous Cols such as Mount Ventoux and others that feature in professional races. My recent challenges have been cycling coast-to-coast from Seascale to Whitby and riding 100 miles solo for the charity IntoUniversity from Oxford to Cambridge.
This year I’m off to Majorca with my cycling club and then off to Cyprus with the family where I’ll sneak in one day to do a ride and then the big one this year is the London Revolution - a 300km loop around London! Can’t wait.
2. Carbon Road Bike – I keep this in the stock room at work and use it to take around Preston Park velodrome on my lunch break, weather permitting!
3. Mountain Bike – Not used as much nowadays but I’ve had plenty of fun on the Downs, Wales and the Alps over the years. I have a baby seat fitted to the cross bar so I mainly take my son on it for jaunts round town usually ending up at a café.
4. Scooter – I have three ride alongs! A vintage red Triang from the 1960s, a modern one from Decathlon and now a new electric scooter from China. The family can share all of these when we promenade on the seafront!
Although not classed as a dangerous sport, cycling does carry risks. I have been lucky to have had only a few injuries. My worst was in 2017 when only five minutes from leaving my house in the morning a car suddenly came out of a junction, forcing me to hit the side and sending me flying over the bonnet and onto the tarmac. Concussed, bruised and with a fractured wrist I lived to tell the tale. I now take the cycle paths wherever possible and have front and rear lights on during the day so hopefully I will be less likely to come a cropper on my commute. My long term aim is to enjoy a safe family cycling holiday where we can all enjoy the fresh air together! Any suggestions?