I didn’t pick up cycling until I was about 24 years old, my family had always been into cycling and I always found it weird when my dad would put on his lycra and head out the door in the freezing cold. Now I am not happier than when I am out on my bike in my lycra, even happier now that I am rocking my Toot kit. I made the decision to start cycling when I returned to England after living in Australia, living the travellers lifestyle I had put on a lot of weight and wanted to lose it. Dad had a spare bike so I hopped on that and things have never been the same again. After this one ride I was hooked, dad then set me a challenge to do the local ‘come and try’ time trial. This was a 10 mile time trial. I was super nervous when I arrived at the race, there were heaps of people on their fancy bikes with their funny helmets on and there was me on my dad’s bike, with trainers and a bowel helmet on my head but I had the most fun.
After this race that was it, I was addicted on cycling, after a few months of riding dads bike I managed to get myself a new bike that I was very proud of and then it was time to start using the dreaded clip in shoes. I spent a lot of time falling on the road and in ditches. I now teach people when they are starting out riding and tell them how bad I was but I am sure they do not believe it but I was terrible.
I then kept time trailing with my dad in England which was so fun, we went everywhere together. Cycling seriously changed my relationship with my father and this is amazing.
I then decided to go travelling and ended up in New Zealand, and from there I have got more and more addicted to cycling. I have been very lucky to have created an amazing cycling group called the ‘Hotties’ a women’s only cycling group which has gone from strength to strength. With lots of ladies joining us for weekly rides, sometime out numbering the guys. I am also very lucky to have an amazing boyfriend Logan Mort who has a cycle coaching company and he has always supported me with the goals I wanted to achieve.
My main goal is to inspire riders (male and female) to push their limits and try things that they think are impossible. If you would have seen me on a bike 6 years ago you would have never thought I would have been able to achieve what I have so far. Work hard, have ‘grit’ and determination and you can achieve anything.
In 2014 I did my first ever Taupo Challenge, this was a terrible experience. After two punchers and they almost giving up I made it around in 5hours 35 minutes and swore I would never do it again.
In 2015 with everyone talking about doing Taupo Challenge, I decided to up the challenge and take on Taupo Enduro, this was an amazing experience. My first lap was faster than my 1 lap the year before and the second lap was only 10 minutes slower. I loved every moment of it. Coming over the line as first female rider.
So what next….. in 2016 it was time to try Taupo Maxi Enduro, this is 4 laps on Taupo. Sadly this year wasn't my year for the Maxi Enduro. A good friend Alistair told me two laps is fun and 4 laps is hell. He sure was right. lap 1 I felt good but then had some mechanical issues and the wind was pretty strong. Second lap it was raining so hard I could hardly open my eyes! I got so cold I had to take a break and have a shower to get warm!! And change multiple times on the course. This is when the melt downs started. Third lap I can not explain how hard it was, I broke down emotionally a few times and really tried so hard not to give up! After another break I started to feel ok again but that didn't last long! I started the last lap feeling ok but my legs gave out at 500k!! I am still proud to be the only girl on the start line and to know I really did give it my all!! This was honestly the hardest thing I have ever done! I would never have got this far without the support of my friends and family and will forever be grateful.
My goals for 2017 are the World masters games and you guessed it I will be taking on Taupo Maxi Enduro again.