How my love for cycling has grown!
I’m often asked how I came to be a cyclist.
There is plenty I am still to learn (like how to use a CO2 canister or change the bar tape) about bikes. Plenty of ‘rules’ I break unknowingly by wearing the wrong length of socks or kit combos. I don’t mind.
What I love most about cycling is the freedom and travelling opportunities a bike opens up to explore and create adventures and boos your mood.
I would quite happily (and often do) spend an entire day on a bike on my own exploring new roads, pushing my body to new limits. It clears the mind and gives you physical, mental and emotional strength.
Whenever I’ve had a rough day or feel stressed, I’m drawn to get outside and pedal it out.
How my cycling journey began
While I was in London briefly I started riding to get between my house and uni to save money on the tube. I was on an absolute beast of a mountain bike so a 6km journey took way longer than it should have. But it got me from A to B.
Then four years ago I decided I wanted to buy a decent bike. One that was a little bit lighter, but could still go on dirt roads if needs be.
I needed help, but the problem was that whenever I went into a bike shop I either got ignored altogether, or made to feel inadequate as a woman.
Until I visited Giant Liverpool that is.
The manager greeted me immediately and happily chatted with me (and not my partner) about bike options. There was no pressure, I was never made to feel like an idiot for not knowing ANYTHING about bikes (it hasn’t changed much) and he helped me choose a lovely hybrid bike (the Escape) that suited me perfectly.
I have been a loyal Giant (and subsequently Liv) customer ever since, trusting them with for their advice, mechanical skills and more.
In fact I’m at the shop so often that I was recently mistaken for a member of staff and asked for advice about mountain bikes! I currently know NOTHING about mountain bikes (although I’d love to give it a try one day).
It’s not easy as a beginner cyclist (or female cyclist) to enter a male dominated sport. I mean it took me nearly 3 years to be convinced to even TRY cycling shorts. I’m still yet to be fully convinced of the merit of cycling socks. Maybe one day!
Having bike brands that are open and welcoming to women at all levels, particularly those new to cycling is so important to get more women on bikes.
To say I’m a bit of a fan of Liv as a brand is probably an understatement. I have a bit of a Liv collection.. one that has grown over the years as my cycling has developed.
Why do I need 4 bikes you ask?
In my defence, each bike has a different purpose and I ride almost every one on a weekly basis.
n+1 and all that…
When I began racing triathlons and training in chain-gangs I decided that a I wanted to buy a TT bike. I didn’t even know what a time trial was at that point!
As a result I bought The Green Machine, (Liv Avow), the first female specific triathlon bike brought to market. My pride and joy.
I remember my first shaky ride around the park, terrified that I was going to need to brake and fall off!
My original hybrid bike was my trusty daily commuter getting me all across the city of Liverpool and occasionally beyond.
It was a sad day when it got stolen. The guys at the Giant shop gave me a great deal on Violet (Liv Avail), who used to be part of their hire bike fleet before the days of city bikes.
Apparently TT bikes and big hills don’t go so well together. With it being my best bike, I was riding it all the time but was being held back on some of the hills.
The day came where the guys I ride with gave me an ultimatum. Until I got a proper road bike, I wasn’t allowed on the hilly rides anymore.
This is when Bullet (Envie Advanced) entered my life.
This is a brief intro into my journey towards becoming a cyclist.
If you hadn’t gathered, I absolutely love cycling, love what Liv represents for the female cycling industry and am extremely proud to call myself a Liv Ambassador.
I want to share that passion for cycling with others, encourage more women to get out on their bikes and become stronger.
Keep an eye out for ladies specific nutrition events and rides that I’ll be leading around the Liverpool area and North West.
My first event is a 100km all womens ride for International Women’s Day on the 4th of March with Liverpool Giant and Liv UK.
Hope you’ll join me!
Until then, happy trainig