When I look back at the season I’ve done, I’m proud of what I’ve achieved and how I’ve coped with so often being out of my comfort zone. But now I firmly know that I don’t need to race bikes to feel like I’ve achieved something.
The more of us that say, 'actually yes, I can', the better. It doesn’t matter if you get dropped. It doesn’t matter if you drop out. But it makes a helluva difference if you dare to try.
Fast-forward a month or so and I am being entered into the 3rdround of the London and South East Cyclocross League at Leeds Castle (Kent) – purportedly a particularly technical and challenging course. The excuse being that photos of my bike/me doing CX were needed for the purposes of social media content for work. I was literally going to be doing it “for the ‘gram”.
The idea is simple, complete as many laps as you can in the space of 24 hours. As a soloist or pair, in fours and eights; female, male or mixed teams.
It has been a REVELATION. I love it. Ten miles of uninterrupted SLOG. I just put my head down, get into my drops and pedal until my mouth tastes like metal.
I was suffering from Marathon Madness, OK. In my mind, all these things seemed like fine ideas. Logical even.
If females portray themselves to be motivated by physical aesthetics rather than physical capability, or only riding to see a nice view, but let’s go the flat route, then we can’t really blame others (read, men) for assuming and saying those things either.