today I cycled with 3 amazing women who are strong mentally and physically and there’s no way I’d have got through today without their support so a massive thank you to Charlie, Elaine and Vanessa. It was brutal today 44 mph winds and the rain lashing down all day – 76 miles of torture but we worked as a team and got through it. I’ve so many people to thank but can’t name them all but have to mention the support of Philip, Linda and Felicity thank you so much.
We cycled from Great Yarmouth to Kings Lynn but took an inland route as the forecast was horrendous which was a wise choice
we finally made it to our destination. I can’t say much more but hope that’s the last I’ll see of wind like that.
I’m about to take on the biggest challenge of my life.
As many of you know Breeze has become a very big part of my life over the last few years. Breeze is British Cycling’s programme to get more women out cycling. Since Breeze was set up in June 2011 british cycling have trained 2000+ women to lead free, friendly bike rides for women of all levels from just a mile or 2 on a traffic free ride around the park to rides of up to 100 miles. Breeze is all over the UK.
I trained to be a Breeze Champion in June 2014 and have been the Area Co-ordinator for Breeze in Hertfordshire since September 2015. I have made so many new friends and met so many amazing women who say Breeze has changed their lives – it is a really wonderful thing to be part of. If you’d like to know more about Breeze here’s a link to their home Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/HSBCUKBreeze/
So my challenge is to cycle round this beautiful country’s coastline representing and promoting Breeze as I go particularly in places where no one has heard of Breeze and knows nothing about it.
I’m setting off from Stevenage near where I live on Saturday 28 April and cycling down to Ipswich where I’ll set off around the coast in an anti-clockwise direction. I plan to return to Ipswich on Sunday 1 July so taking a little over 2 months to cycle 4100 miles. Hopefully having lots of adventures on the way and meeting lots of interesting people.
Ive so many people to thank who’ve inspired and motivated me to do this.
My wonderful husband Dennis who will be supporting me as I go driving our Beastie vehicle with all my luggage., spare bike and lots of spare parts.
I’ve had a lot of support from everyone at British Cycling and without their help I wouldn’t be able to take on this challenge.
I’ve had lots of help from some very dear friends who believe in me and that’s kept me going
All the women Ive meet through Breeze – fellow champions and the wonderful participants who come on the rides you are all an inspiration and I’m doing this crazy thing for all of you.
So what can you all do to help me succeed in this challenge? Please share this with
all your friends it would be great for all women to be aware of Breeze and just how great it is.
I’ll be doing this for charity – details of which I’ll be posting in a few days and I’ll set up a virgingiving account so if you can spare a few £s please sponsor me.
Any of you who live near the coast if you can give me any advice of any roads I need to avoid please let me know or if you can offer myself and Dennis accommodation for a night that would be fantastic.
For those of you who would like to follow me on my journey I will be writing a blog as i travel around the country.
Maybe you’d like to join me on my journey for a day or 2. Here’s my schedule if you would like to try to join me.T
On Friday 8 March I went to the awards ceremony held in the Stevenage Arts and Leisure Centre as I was short listed in the nominations for ‘Services to Sport’ category. I was in the same category as some really inspirational people so you can imagine my surprise when I won. ‘
I had a catch up and a bit of a spin with Rona today. Look what she made me. They were delicious
It’s been an action packed year for me this year. My big breeze adventure was so amazing. I met such wonderful people and saw such beautiful places. I cycled slightly under 4,200 miles in 60 days. This year in total I’ve cycled over 10,300 miles and climbed 492,848 feet which is the equivalent of going up Mount Everest 17 times. My longest ride was 127 miles which was a wonderful Audax in Suffolk on the bank holiday weekend in August.
I can’t ever imagine I’ll be repeating all these stats again in a hurry.
If anyone is interested here’s a link to my Strava year in sport.
See you next year
We Had a breakfast of free range eggs from Sophie’s chickens said goodbye to the dogs Jasper and Cooper then set off towards Greatstone where Sophie was cycling with me to.
We had a couple of climbs from Hastings then stopped at Camber Sands for an ice cream.
We then continued on to Greatstone where I said goodbye to Sophie. Thanks for cycling with me Sophie it was great fun. Enjoy all the adventures you have planned and do get in touch if you need any information.
I then met Dennis in Dymchurch for some lunch and continued on with a big climb out of Folkestone but was rewarded with great views. I then had another climb out of Dover and again had some great views.
It was all down hill from there to Sandwich where we were staying for the night st The Kings Arms and had a wonderful dinner.
This has been absolutely awesome. First of all what a remarkable thing Breeze is and anyone who is involved with Breeze do you really know just how amazing it is? The Breeze network is something so special every single one of you are incredible and we all have a special bond, you can go anywhere in the uk and it’s truly amazing to belong and be part of this Breeze family. I’ve met and spent time with fabulous people I can’t begin to tell you how great you all are. Thank you British Cycling and Breeze for being what you are and supporting me during this.
I’ve seen some of the most spectacular views, we live in the most beautiful country in the world we really do. It’s so diverse, so lush, so colourful with beautiful blue seas, golden beaches, beautiful flowers, amazing wildlife and spectacular views
We are a wonderful nation full of wonderful people- this adventure has really restored my faith in humanity
I know I’ve been incredibly lucky with the weather, had no mechanicals, no injuries or illnesses – I feel someone somewhere was looking after me.
I can’t list my highlights there are far too many but seeing the beautiful wild flowers and wild life was pretty amazing in particular seeing an otter in Lochinver whilst eating my dinner after a particularly tough day has to be amongst the highlights
I can’t thank everyone the list would be too long but thank you everyone you all know who you are you’ve all been part of my fabulous adventure and I couldn’t have done it without you. Those of you who accommodated us, cycled with me, came out to see me on my journey or sent me messages of encouragement – it all kept me motivated.
Not for one second have I regretted doing this and not for one second have I thought about giving up, it’s been truly fantastic I’ve loved every minute. There have been times when I’ve struggled and times when it’s been tough but the rewards have outweighed any suffering I have had.
I really don’t want this adventure to end it’s been so incredible however it must.
I’m taking a break a lovely long weekend chilling with my husband and friends in Northumberland – hubby needs a rest he says he’s tired he’s driven over 6700 miles and I couldn’t have done this without his support he’s been my rock throughout.
I’ve not seen tv, I’ve not listened to the radio, the only way I heard of any news was either from someone telling me or Facebook but I’ve not really had much time to look at social media – it’s actually been rather refreshing.
I reached 1000 miles in Portsoy Scotland cycling with Rona – and Fiona was there to meet us
I reached 2000 miles in Kippford, Galloway, Scotland cycling with Kate, Simon, Breeze champion Charlene and Hannah so a celebration was required.
I reached 3000 miles just in Wales before crossing back into England cycling alone
And 4000 miles in England just after meeting Jacqui in Tilbury
I did a Survey of drivers attitude towards cyclists best and worst – this is very general and of course there are always exceptions to every rule so if you fit into one of the following categories please don’t take it personally
Generally worst are taxi drivers and drivers of sports cars
Best drivers are lorry drivers closely followed by bus/coach drivers
Worst nationality – Germans
Generally women are more considerate whilst overtaking
The worst area was in Essex particularly near Jaywick.
Generally the further north I went the better drivers were although now there is the NC500 up in Scotland there were a lot of sports cars going round in packs using that beautiful coast line as a race track – such a shame I feel it is ruining it.
All this said most drivers are great but it’s the few that give all the others a bad reputation. The same can be said of cyclists too I know. It’s all about being considerate of each other and to learn to share the road. Drivers please be patient of cyclists we will try to be considerate and move out of your way if there is no chance of you getting passed us but bear in mind it has a big impact on us to stop and get off the road. Please give us lots of room when you overtake us and if you slow down that is even better.
Thank you for reading this – the adventure is over but you never know I might have another one up my sleeve.
We had an early breakfast so we could get on the road by 8.30. Alison – Breeze Area Co-ordinator for north east London turned up for breakfast too as she was joining us for the ride back to Stevenage.
It was a very hot day and we would soon lose the sea Breeze. We set off and we were making great progress.
We stopped in Thaxted for some lunch and then continued on through the beautiful Essex countryside into Hertfordshire, I was getting closer to home.
We stopped off at Trax in buntingford to pick up John but had whizzed home so quickly it was too soon for John to cycle back. So we set off back towards Stevenage knowing John we use catch us, he did just before we go back into Stevenage.
We stopped off at the Emperors Head for a black currant and soda then continued on to the new Cycle Hub where I was greeted by lots of friends. Thank you everyone who came to welcome me it was so amazing and really great to see you I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that.
So I’m home I can’t believe it and it hasn’t sunk in yet what Ive just done. I will reflect on it over a day or 2 and summarise my thoughts. I’ve so many people to thank for their amazing support I just don’t know where to start but of course Dennis, my husband, has just been an absolute star.
Thank you everyone who has been part of my adventure- I lhave vex you all. Xx