I was lucky enough to grow up in a quiet estate where there wasn’t a lot of traffic around so I had a bicycle from and early age. My first memory of riding my bike was a large three wheeler. I really resented that other kids were about to ride two wheeled bike and I wanted to be like them and I also had a bike with stabilizers. I eventually got my balance learned to ride a two wheeler like everybody else. I remember going for short cycle runs when I was a teen, or just using the bike a lto for getting around on.
I went for a number of years without cycling at all. I didn’t ride when I was at university partly because I had just learned to drive I think. Although I cycled a little back and forward to Uni in Manchester, but the roads around there were so busy, it didn’t last long and I went home one weekend and got the car.
I started cycling again in 2009 a few weeks before I was due to go to France for a skiing holiday. I was remembering how painful and how tired I got during my previous trip and wanted to try and avoid all that agony by getting fit. I went along to the Edinburgh branch of the national Cycle Touring Club (CTC) and spent a day with them. I really enjoyed the freedom of being out on my bike again and continued to join them after I returned from my holiday.
I had been in contact with someone from the Edinburgh Road Club (ERC) for about a year before I finally plucked up the courage to cycle with them. I went along to their development run where they teach you the skills involved in group riding. I really enjoyed in and have now been cycling the ERC for about a year. I regularly cycle in club rides and with individual members and an feeling fitter now than I have ever been.
Over the last year I have started to take my cycling a lot more seriously and this is due to my involvement in the ERC and because I have been working with a coach. The coach has inspired me and become a great friend. As a result I am now training with a heart rate monitor, setting goals, recording my data in a training diary and attending regular classes at the gym. I am hoping to start taking part in competitive time trials. I am also training with Scottish Cycling to be a level 2 coach. I help out with the junior section of the club while completing my level 2 practicals and I’m hoping to the complete level 3 where I will specialise in Road Cycling.