It’s around this time of year I’m itching to get back on the bike but I’m in need of some motivation from some awesome people who know their stuff!
First up is Lucy Life and Bikes who turns out is only up the road from me! (Yay).
Chelsea: Hey Lucy – tell me ALL about you, how long you’ve been cycling and what’s its big attraction???
Lucy: I’m a North Wales based cyclist and have been cycling for around 4 years now. I originally started off with just MTB, but I’m concentrating more on road and TT’s at the minute. I use to race downhill, but having just completed my first Time Trial it put the biggest smile on my face!
Cycling has always been an escape for me. It takes me into the hills and down country lanes. I can go out with friends or by myself and it still gives me the same satisfaction. Sometimes I might get the urge to go and explore a forest too and other times I can go up some hilly lanes to find a great view at the top. There’s always more places to explore, and that’s what always brings me back to cycling.
Chelsea: yes self-achievements and exploration are certainly added benefits of getting on a bike! So…. If you had to choose between road cycling and mountain biking which one and why?
Lucy: Ha, this is a tough one! My friends could take offence if I chose one or the other and I get so much joy out of doing both. I am enjoying the country lanes at the minute though…
Chelsea: There’s something very peaceful about those country lanes. I’m just about to upgrade my bike, How do you choose the right bike?
Lucy: After just getting a new road bike myself, I would say bike size is crucial. I’ve dropped two sizes in the frame and find I’m much more comfortable on the bike now. Your local bike shop should have the expertise to sell you the right size bike. Some bikes also fit certain people better than others, so it’s worth trying a few out before you buy! My local bike shop, Alf Jones Cycles, have got a big demo coming up for that!
Chelsea: Yes I think those independent bike stores have a lot more in-depth knowledge and expertise so it’s a case of always try before you ride. For those just getting onto a bike for the first time what’s your advice?
Lucy: I would say just enjoy it. It might sound a bit cliche but it’s true! It’s so easy getting wrapped up in the idea you need all the posh kit to get started in cycling, but you really don’t. As long as a bike fits you and suits what you wish to use it for, you’ll be doing just fine. Obviously, don’t cut corners when buying a helmet, but with another kit like cycling leggings, you don’t need the most expensive one to get started. Just get out there first!
Chelsea: That’s such great advice. I know so many people who obsess over the type of bikes others ride because it’s deemed not the most fashionable – who cares?! To be honest, I salute anyone who’s got the confidence to get out there… So, for those getting back onto a bike after a long time, what’s your advice?
Lucy: Definitely make the jump into getting back onto the bike. I stopped in high school but got back on a bike during my A-Levels and it was the best thing I could have done. Initially, I was doing mountain biking and downhill and through the uplift days and rides I did I gained so much confidence. I became a lot more of a sociable person, although I can still be pretty quiet at times! When I’m on the bike, however, I tend to be opposite to quiet!
Chelsea: So this answer certainly applies to be – less thinking – more doing. Now for the bit, I don’t like – maintenance – do you have any bike maintenance tips?
Lucy: Make sure you dry your chain! It’s so easy to put your bike straight in the garage after a wet ride, but it’s just as easy to run a rag over it to dry it and stop it going rusty! Keep the WD40 away from the squeaky brakes! It might stop them from squeaking, but it will also stop them from working…. If you have anything you’re unsure of, take it to your local bike shop for a check over. You’ll gradually gain more knowledge as you go and make sure it has a regular service at your local bike shop to keep it running well!
Chelsea: Oh dear I’ve done none of those things and I wonder why my bike is in need of a service. You live and learn. Ok the fun part, tell me about a trail you’d love to do or have done?
Lucy: A trail I love to go back to is the World’s End / Panorama area near Llangollen. If you manage to get there on a clear day, or near sunset, the views over Llangollen are breathtaking.
Chelsea: my inner Chelsea cries at how steep that area is – I’ve yet to walk it completely but never imagined biking it. I’ve got a feeling I’d have to take a tent…. Do you have any WOW moments that stand out whilst biking – tell me about it?
Lucy: Gosh, there’s so many, but looking back through my blog posts going down a slippy road with a 25% gradient (so pretty steep!) on a road bike in Dolgellau with Ryan last year! He had to catch me at the bottom so I didn’t go straight into another road…I’ve never laughed so much!
Chelsea: Haha that sounds scary and fun! Do you have any recommended reading for those wanting to get into biking more?
Lucy: I’d like to say here is, we’ve all got to start somewhere! Cycling is becoming more and more popular everyday meaning there are plenty of clubs out there where you could meet new cyclists and get more involved in the sport together with. If you like the idea of something, like a race, then have a go! I’m sure your local cycling club could show you some amazing routes or good races to enter if you’re starting out. Just make sure you’re enjoying every pedal stroke.
I’m always posting about my rides and races, as well as other things, so feel free to have a nosy through my posts.
Here are a few of my favourite posts:
Bikes & Brownies
For me, cycling is more than just a sport I participate in. Encouraging girls to enjoy being active and being outdoors is just as important.
So I actually got round to riding a bike in a forest again today rather than on the road!
The reason I got involved in mountain biking was …
Thanks again Lucy. I’m going to at least clean my mountain bike now…. Readers, I’d love to know what you thought of this interview and has it inspired you to get back on or give biking a go?