Why did you decide to sign up for Vélo Birmingham in 2017?
I decided to sign up to Vélo Birmingham as I constantly like to challenge myself. A 100 miler is the marathon of the cycling world, so it was just something on my bucket list to complete.
How experienced were you on a bike before signing up to the event?
I would say I am a fairly experienced cyclist but by no means a pro! I am definitely a fair-weather cyclist and try to venture out at least once a week if it’s not too rainy or windy. Before I took part in the event I had never cycled further than 60 miles!
What, if anything, were you worried about ahead of the event?
My background is in running and the maximum amount of time you spend on your feet is about four hours. With a predicted time of 6-7 hours I was worried about ‘bonking’ or running out of energy. I took plenty of food on the ride with me and also topped up at the feed stations, so at no point did I feel like running out of energy.
How did you train for Vélo Birmingham?
Living in London and having a busy lifestyle means that often fitting in time to train was difficult. I made sure my training regime consisted of variance and enjoyment, which meant I mixed long weekend rides, with week day spin classes and the occasional run.
How did you prepare on the day of the event?
I like to make sure everything is in order the night before to ensure I have the maximum amount of time in bed! I made sure my bike was race day ready, my kit was laid out and my morning porridge was all ready to go. This meant all I had to do on the morning of the event was wake up on time and get to the start line with plenty of time.
What was the best thing about the event?
The best thing about Vélo Birmingham was cycling through some of the villages and being cheered on by the thousands of spectators lining the streets. That, alongside with cycling on completely closed roads, made me feel like a real pro!
What is your favourite thing about cycling?
One of my main passions in life is travelling. I love that you can take your bike anywhere across the world or even in the UK and explore new places.
What was the hardest part of the event?
The hardest part of the event was the rolling hills. I made the mistake of only focusing on the total elevation and the big climbs, but the slow inclines definitely started to catch me out from 80 miles onwards.
What advice do you have for other riders looking to sign up to next year’s event?
My main piece of advice for other riders is to sign up with a group friends. Having someone to encourage you when you are finding things tough and to share your achievement with is priceless.
How did you feel after crossing the finish line?
Once I crossed the finish line I felt a strange wave of emotions. Overwhelming joy after finishing 100 miles for the first time paired with the realisation that my body was going to feel very sore the next day!
How did you celebrate after completing the event?
Nothing can beat celebrating with a Pizza and a nice glass of wine!