A while ago my Mum asked whether I wanted to join her work team to complete the British Heart Foundation London to Brighton bike ride. My response was definitely, sign me up.
Then I remembered that the only bike I have access to is a very dilapidated, gear-less bike that my Mum owned in the 80’s (or maybe even 70’s?). It gets flat tyres as soon as it sees a pothole, and could not be less comfortable to ride. On the plus side, it hasn’t been stolen, or even attempted to be stolen. In fact, when thieves broke into our block of flats with their eye on some top notch cycling equipment, they moved my bike out of the way to steal the better bikes.
I know that I need to buy a new bike, but I am doing some searching, price checking and review reading in order to find a bike that is comfortable, light weight, not appealing to thieves and above all, within my price range. Bikes are so expensive!!
With only 6 weeks to go until the London to Brighton challenge, I have had to adapt a training schedule that works without owning a bike. Here’s how I am doing it….
|I promise I do normally wear a helmet!|
1. Taking advantage of London’s Boris Bike system, with bike docks all over the city (except West London- looking forward to the expansion!) these are great for exploring the city, commuting and for cycle training. The bikes are pretty heavy but they are very sturdy. They come with a space at the front to store your handbag, automatic lights and 3 gear settings. Check out my post on Boris Biking here.
You can sign up to get an unlimited pass, pay for a weekly pass, a day pass or two hours and only need a bank card to sign up. If you dock your bike back within half an hour, it is totally free!
I hired a bike from Hyde Park on Wednesday after my Nike ‘Train to Run’ session with Elle Magazine, and cycled through the park and into Kensington Palace Gardens to meet up with Tom.
I’m not a very confident cyclist, so try to stick to parks and cycle lanes as much as possible. It was slightly scary venturing down High St Ken, without the cycle lane, and Tom said I checked over my shoulder for traffic far too much, but I did enjoy it. I only cycled 5K but after my bootcamp and #30dayshred, my legs felt that was more than enough!
The only downside to Boris Bikes are that they don’t come with helmets and reflective gear, and most people don’t carry that kind of thing in their handbag. I felt slightly nervous cycling without a helmet on Wednesday night, and certainly would encourage people to wear them at all times, particularly when cycling on the road!