Women & Cycling pt1
Hello! Jane here. I’m taking over the blog for a little while to shine a light on a specific group of our customers. This is going to be a multi-part blog series, as the title suggests, all about women and their cycling journey. I often refer to myself as the NorthRoad Novice when it comes to cycling. I don’t race. I don’t do massive miles. I don’t do multiday bike packing adventures.
I like a day on the bike, flipping between different terrains, feeling the wind in my hair (and the resort shirt of my choice), laughing and chatting, occasionally swearing my way up the hills Ian has forced me to climb and stopping for coffee, cake and views. For me it’s a tool to access adventure with my partner in crime.
My favourite part of life at NorthRoad is getting to be part of the adventures other bike lovers are participating in. And whilst I love hearing about everyone’s adventures I can’t help but connecting a little more with our female cyclists bike based stories.
There are more and more reasons in our modern world for everyone to get on a bike – it’s freedom in motion, a chance to reconnect with the outdoors, time to reflect and de-stress. But I wanted to know what makes cycling appealing (and sometimes not so appealing) to a selection of our female customers.
First up is Carly. She’s my cycling role-model. Great on road and gravel and quietly determined and focused on reaching her cycling goals.
I’m Carly Skellern, I am a Product Specialist for a Healthcare IT company. My favourite type of cycling is road cycling, going as far and as fast as I can.
Q: How did you get into cycling?
A: Since I can remember I’ve always had a bike, starting out with a care bear tricycle (cool, I know). My dad is a big fan of the Tour de France and I can remember watching it every year from a young age and thinking it was amazing that these people could ride their bikes so far for so many days consistently. Growing up in a small village meant that bikes were a great way to get out and about without having to rely on a lift from your parents.
Q: Any barriers to biking?
A: When I first started cycling I found riding on the roads very daunting, but the more I did it the more comfortable I got. I would also start with a loop close to home and extend this out as I got more confident. I’ll also admit to being a fair weather rider which means living in the UK limits the amount of outdoor cycling I can do. If it’s raining I’ll avoid going on the roads. If I’m already out when it rains then I push on but I wouldn’t choose to ride in the rain!
Q: Your cycling highs?
A:I can’t answer this without mentioning my ride up Mont Ventoux. What an experience and achievement, it was great. But I also enjoy exploring lots of new places closer to home. I live close to the Peak District and I’ve had so many nice rides finding new places here, I love to find the quieter roads where it’s often just me and my bike.
Q: Cycling lows?
A: All of the rides where I’ve tried to go further than my fitness was capable of. Also any time that I have to cycle in a busy city.
Q: Bike adventures
A: My first experience of bike packing was the best adventure I’ve had so far, as it was amazing to carry all of my kit on the bike and find somewhere to sleep for the night. This is a totally different style of cycling to what I’ve previously done. I’ve got All Points North in my sights, this would be my first self supported multi day race.
Q: Top tips for on the bike?
A: Always make sure you’ve got enough fluids and food for your rides. Most cyclists will probably experience the “bonk” at some point in their life and it’s not fun. If you can’t carry it all on you, make sure your route passes a few shops to top up.
Q: Comfort and cycling – any advice?
A: You can’t go wrong with a good pair of bib shorts! Although some of the best can be expensive, it’s money well spent and your bum and bits will thank you. On long rides try to stretch your legs and neck when you take a stop, one of my favourite stretches is for the hip flexor but that might look a little weird in the coffee shop!
You can follow Carly’s cycling adventures here: https://www.instagram.com/ces_cycling/
On the roads Carly rides one of our original models but it’s latest iteration is the NorthRoad iO.
On gravel, Carly loves her NorthRoad Grav-i-Ti titanium bike.