Your Best Experience on the Bike?

What was your best experience cycling?

I find mine hard to choose because there are so many different possibilities. And it’s hard to compare suffering up a hill climb to a leisure ride through the Yorkshire Dales in the height of summer. But, these are a few memorable rides which stick in the mind.

Learning to Ride a Bike. This is probably one of my earliest memories that I can still recall. I just remember finally letting go and being able to do two wheels without falling off. Quite a memorable event.

Cycling outside Village. For the next ten years of learning to ride a bike, I never ventured outside the village. It was just riding up and down the street and going round in circles. When I finally made it to the next town, I realised the bike gave you great freedom and there was no limits to where you could go.

Here comes the sun...
Ribblehead Viaduct by: chantrybee – quite a sight to cycle past.

Cycling Yorkshire Dales. As a budding club cyclist we were spoilt for scenery. The Yorkshire Dales can be a cyclist paradise. Interesting roads, nice cafes and breathtaking scenery. These were the days when I cycled to enjoy the scenery and not worrying about racing. Often 100 miles to Hawes, Clapham, Ribblehead Viaduct, with an average of two tea stops per ride.

First 100 Mile Time Trial. My first 100 mile time trial was quite memorable. Somehow I managed to finish fourth in the National 100 mile TT breaking 4 hours at the first attempt. Everything seemed to click on that day and have struggled to go faster ever since. At 50 miles, I thought I was going to blow up, but after a few energy gels, I could get into a really sold rhythm from about mile 60-95, you just felt you were in some kind of ‘flow’ and cycling seemed a very natural movement.

National Hill Climb 2010. A rainy day, and four minutes of severe pain cycling up a hill, not everyone’s idea of fun, but it was good to finish fourth and felt quite an achievement.
Queens Lane Blossom

If only all roads were like this….

Cycling in Oxford. Commuting to work is a great in Oxford because there are some bike paths which are really great for cycling. Actually they are not bike paths but proper roads closed to traffic.

Apart from these, certain rides stick in the mind. I remember taking a ‘well-built’ friend for a 70 mile ride over the hilliest possible course in Nidderdale. We were completely untrained and couldn’t move our legs for a week after, but the relief on getting back has never been matched. I also remember going on a family cycling holiday in France, aged ten. I was the only person to get a racing bike. I used to ride up and down the road waiting for my family to catch up. It gave me a tremendous sense of being the fastest cyclist in the family, an achievement that doesn’t seem so impressive now, but when you’re ten it was good.

What was your best experience cycling?

9 Responses to Your Best Experience on the Bike?

  1. Tacky May 3, 2011 at 2:38 pm #

    I’ve just come back from my first cycling holiday in Majorca. I’m going put the calobra pass as one of my all time best rides. 10K of descent and a 270 degree hairpin made it worth while a visit!

  2. tejvan May 3, 2011 at 7:20 am #

    Hi Lewis,

    Yes, that’s the great thing about cycling you realise what becomes possible.

  3. Lewis May 3, 2011 at 12:18 am #

    Hi Tejvan. I wish there were some sights near me as beautiful as the viaduct you’ve posted above. I’m only young and though I’ve always enjoyed cycling, I’ve only been serious about it for a couple of years. I don’t have too many experiences, but my best experience was probably last year when I cycled to the reservoir near me and went around it again and again until my phone/Mp3 player/GPS Cyclemeter ran out of battery, then I cycled home. I saw the same people walking each time I went round and it was invigorating to know that I was going quite fast and covering some distance. By the time I was home I’d done about 40 miles, which isn’t too much, but then it was a realisation of the scope of what I could achieve on my bike :)

  4. tejvan May 2, 2011 at 6:49 pm #

    Hi Lee, great to hear. Cycling can be a little addictive, but it’s a nice addition to have!

  5. Lee Hall May 2, 2011 at 8:27 am #

    Tejvan I used to be a runner and only just took up cycling, I have just completed my first 100 mile ride, I have been training since Oct with the training books you suggested. When I did my first 50 mile before training I got up really early one Sunday morning, had a good breakfast, prepared all my sports drinks, carb loaded the night before. I set off at 06:00 did my 50 miles and was back by 09:00 and had another breakfast with the wife I had no idea how i would get addicted to cycling. Now I do 50 on a midweek training ride. 6 Sportives this year, Seriously considering Audax next year. Thanks for your blog its inspiring and entertaining, Thank you.

  6. tejvan May 2, 2011 at 8:05 am #

    Sounds great experience. I’ve cycled upto Eiffel Tower on a French hire bike, but not the same sense of achievement to cycling all the way from London!

  7. Mike Smith May 1, 2011 at 8:25 am #

    Hi Tejvan
    The best experience I’ve EVER had was arriving at the Eiffel Tower in 2008 after cycling from London on a Macmillan Cancer Support fundraising ride.
    I’d only taken up cycling (after a 25 year gap) eight months before, and was still very overweight. At Dover at the end of the first day, I just wanted to get a train home. With the help and support of my new friends on the ride, I made it to the hotel in Calais, and on to Paris. The sense of achievement reduced me to tears (not a pretty sight in a 57 year old fat feller), and I’ve never felt quite the same sense of pride on any charity endurance ride since!


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