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The first ride…

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The first ride…

Brand ambassador Andrea gives us an insight in to her journey into the cycling. We all started somewhere...

I love cycling, not just a little bit, but a lot. I ride my bike two, three, sometimes four times a
week (over and above the daily commute). I think endlessly about my performance and pour
over my Strava statistics like a tipster studying the Grand National form! I also spend far too
much money on bikes and cycling kit and I invest endless hours planning routes. I am,
admittedly, obsessed. But it wasn’t always like this, two years ago I was a complete novice -
flat pedals, badly fitting kit, poor lung capacity, limited stamina and zero knowledge of bike
maintenance. My first bike ride, having just bought my shiny new road bike from Decathlon,
was a 10km circuit around the outskirts of Sheffield. Full of optimism that I would soon be
winning the Tour de France I tackled Roper Hill on the outskirts of Fulwood, a short but
discouragingly steep hill with 15%+ gradients.

Halfway up the hill the gradient kicked in and I slowed to a snail’s pace. In an effort to
maintain forward momentum I got out the saddle…just like the pros do! Unfortunately, my
foot immediately slipped and I scraped my shin on the hard metal pedal. I wobbled, I maybe
swore but managed to stay upright, and after a short walk to a flatter section I remounted and
dragged myself through another few hundred metres of painful pedal strokes to the top.
Shaken, nauseous and desperately sucking air into my lungs I felt both exhausted but elated at
eventually making it to the top. Blimey I thought, cycling is harder than I remember but after
the exhilarating descent back into Sheffield I knew I was hooked…

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