Hi Maido. Thanks for talking to us, please can you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about you.
I am Maido Tsenoli, aged 42. I am also a wife and mother to two gorgeous girls, and a nurse by profession. I love running and call myself an athlete, although I run seasonally (Summer and Autumn). I am now also a cycling enthusiast!
Amazing! So we hear that this time last year, you couldn’t ride a bike! What was it that made you want to learn?
My husband taught my girls how to cycle, and they managed to stop using stabilisers in a day! I vowed I would learn how to cycle as well so that we could go out on our bikes together as a family. It was a dream come true when I finally managed to be on my bike and I am looking forward to more family fun filled cycling trips.
Great news, do you think the Women of Velo campaign is helping to inspire people to get on their bikes?
Personally, as a woman I find it really encouraging to see that others had cycled 100miles- if they can do it, I can do it too! So I think that definitely helps to inspire others.
It’s amazing to hear that other Vélo Birmingham & Midlands cyclists are inspiring people to get on their bikes. So can you tell us a bit more about your story?
Well, I started cycling on the 3rd June 2018. We have a family friend (Julian Hunter) who is an enthusiastic cyclist. I told him that I would really like to cycle and he donated a foldable bicycle to me. That was in 2016 but I couldn’t start then due to (mainly) procrastination and a bit of a backache. My vitamin D was very low and I was scared that I would be susceptible to fractures if I fell off.
My husband said he was willing to teach me but I was too scared of falling off. In 2018, I decided to get adult stabilisers – which he was adamant I didn’t need, however I insisted. We then went out on a Sunday afternoon in our local park with my stabilisers on and I was super excited that I could finally ride! My husband insisted that I couldn’t return home before I managed to cycle without stabilisers, so I practised on my daughter’s bicycle without stabilisers on the same day…and the next day and the next! And then finally there I was – cycling without them. I should mention – but keep it quiet – I have had two falls! Only small trips which resulted with a scratch but no a broken bones.
Brilliant, a very inspiring story. What was the hardest thing about learning to ride?
Balancing was definitely challenging, I should admit that my training was intense as I wanted to get it right. So I practised every day for six days and my trainer didn’t take a no for an answer – he pushed me to my limits. I will always be thankful for that!
So now you can ride a bike what do you enjoy most about it?
I have inspired my friends who also had the same passion for cycling. We have already organised two cycling BBQ events during the summer. I am excited that I can keep fit and enjoy what I always loved to do. I no longer have to run when my family cycle – we can all go out on our bicycles together, as a family!
Great! we know that Vélo Birmingham & Midlands is a daunting ride for some people but what was it that made you want to cycle the elusive 100 miles?
It’s to prove that women are indeed capable of cycling too and can join any sport they like. Most people say I am crazy when I tell them I will be cycling 100miles. I think it’s a one in a lifetime experience.
Amazing – how can people support you on your journey? Are you raising money for charity?
Of course, I will be raising money for charity. I had a few charities I was thinking about but came to the realisation that the 12th May will be International Nurses Day! So I think this will be the best opportunity to support a charity that looks after nurses. There is a few of them so I will just pick one. Happy Nurses Day for the 12th!
Finally, for other people who are little nervous or first-timers, what advice would you give them?
I learnt that training will help anyone achieve anything they want in life. So train and train, practice and practice. Stay focused and you will just be fine. Don’t focus on the 100 miles but on riding at 10.5miles per hour and you will not freak out because that feels more achievable.
Brilliant, Miado, thank you so much for your time and we can’t wait to see you on the start line!
Thanks, see you then!