*This post is in collaboration with Let’s Go Tees Valley*
Over the past 4 weeks I have been pushing my butt right out of it’s comfort zone and getting on the saddle. I am a girl who is not a fan of exercise (even though I really should be). I am a little scared of cars and roads and traffic in general and to top it off an ultimate bike riding beginner. So come along folks and welcome to My Cycle Journey.
I am going to be brutally honest with you. I am seriously unfit, I eat well (or so I like to think), and enjoy being outside but my stamina is poor as heck. I needed to grow my bike riding confidence and this was the perfect way to do so alongside having fun, meeting new friends and exploring what is right on my doorstep.
First things first, safety. I needed to make sure my bike was in good health before I went off exploring. I headed down to Stockton Hub for my first maintenance session. I learnt how to check my bike over and change an inner tube, that made me feel like a kick ass boss. With various bike shops and active travel hubs offering free bike MOTs and maintenance courses across Teesside, visit the Let’s Go Tee’s Valley for more information.
It was time to take my safe bike out for a spin. I booked onto some Wheel Women Bike Rides to boost my confidence and meet like minded people of all different bike riding levels. My first ride was Albert Park to Stewart Park and who knew you can cycle AND chat to your friend at the same time. I was nervous, I am not going to lie but our bike hero Kevin soon made those nerves disappear. With a 5 mile round trip for my first outing I think I did pretty well. I still had a lot to learn but this girl was loving her bike riding life.
With this new found confidence I was able to pop my bike out of the house and ride to the village on a lunch time without a care in the world. With the wind in my hair, Linthorpe Village was my oyster. Cutting fuel costs and exercising is a win win in my eyes and swapping out my car journeys I was able to cut my fuel costs by 25%.
My next challenge was getting myself to work. I live in Middlesbrough and work in Stockton which is quite the round trip. I booked my Bike Buddy Sessions with Kevin and he picked me up from home and planned my route so I now know my way. Bike Buddy Sessions are in demand this summer so make sure you get in there fast. There is also information on bike riding routes and walking routes in Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Stockton, Darlington and Redcar & Cleveland that can be found at your local hub.
Now I am equipped with maintenance knowledge, confidence, a bunch of new friends I am able to whizz off on a weekend and bike ride until my hearts content. I was able to meet Beth from My Cycle Journey on my first Instagram Live. Beth is fearless! My aim is to get on the saddle and follow in Beth’s footsteps. Head up to Scotland and off I go. Not only have I found cycling a great experience it has also been great for mind and really makes me live in the moment and appreciate life so much.
So what has 2021 got planned for me? I want a new bike that is for sure, I just don’t know what I want yet. Scotland is right up there on my 2021 list but I am a little nervous so I may need to get that planned out to a tee before I go. Exploring what is on my doorstep is what is up next. There are plenty of Wheel Women rides and family rides over summer that I want to get involved in. I want to create some bike riding memories and who knows, I might be able to encourage some friends and have a ride on a tandem.
And there you have it. My Cycle Journey. Have you got into anything out of your comfort zone this year? Go on, tell me. I am one nosy girl.