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Cycle Derby

More ladies rides planned for New Year and here's just one reason why.

Me and my Bike by Jill Hyde

I’ve always had a keen interest in cycling, mostly watching the Tour de France and Tour of Britain on television.  My Dad, Graham Woodings, has always cycled; he used to compete in amateur races when he was young, along with his elder brother, who still races now.  In fact Uncle Derrick is now in his mid 70’s and still winning races.

When my youngest daughter started school I decided I’d like a bike to be able to get around to the shops and library etc quickly and easily, as I don’t drive.  My parents offered to buy me a bike, which is where it all started!  My Dad chose me a Raleigh Pioneer 1, a ladies touring bike.  I thought it was fantastic.  I’ve used it a lot, mostly for shopping trips, short bike rides with my daughters to the park and visits to my parents a couple of miles away.

Sometime in Spring 2013 I discovered the Breeze and Sky Rides.  I was a bit nervous about booking one but decided to take the plunge!  My first ride was a short 6 mile Breeze ride on Sunday 19th May led by Anne Staley. It was a lovely local ride, down an old railway line, now a cycle and walking path. My eldest daughter Emily came along, and her friend Flynn and his Mum Tracey.  We had a lovely time, beautiful warm weather and a well-deserved cup of tea at a café.

This was followed by two more Breeze Rides in June. My third ride was the ‘Council to Castle’ ride led by Tracey Fletcher from Cycle Derby.  I really enjoy this ride, altogether it makes a nice long 20 mile ride as I cycle 5 miles from home to the start point at the Council House in Derby City Centre.

Over the summer I took part in 8 more Breeze and Sky Rides.  The furthest ride was 30 miles.  I began to realise I was getting fitter and lost weight without even realising and not a trace of a diet! 

It was after the last Sky ride of the year, called ‘Heading for the Hills’ in October that I realised my trusted Raleigh ‘shopper’ wasn’t really fit for purpose.  This 20 mile ride around Derbyshire, taking in Kedleston Estate, Windley, Duffield, Little Eaton and Allestree was really tough! My Dad came along too and he knew I’d find it difficult.  I couldn’t get up a lot of the hills and was reduced to walking while everyone else pedalled on.  The great thing about Sky Rides is that it isn’t a race, no one minds who is at the back, and everyone waits for you.  But even so, I felt pretty awful!  It was decided that I really needed a new bike!! 

Thankfully Mum and Dad came to the rescue with a very early and wonderful Christmas presents in the form of my fantastic Specialized hybrid bike.  My new bike is much lighter and has plenty of gears to choose from!

I’ve continued to do Breeze Rides throughout the autumn and into the winter and am looking forward to more Breeze and Sky Rides in 2014!