Living in the city makes finding the time to ride much harder and all the more valuable. Here’s how to become adept at fitting in quick escapes from city life, and finding the importance of riding for yourself.
My routine is this: I get woken up by my housemate who comes looking for a good gossip, so we sit around and talk about the ins and outs of work, the goings-on of our friends, the art world, politics, what have you. Then I’ll quickly cook up some porridge and get my kit on, and all my housemates will say, “there goes the queen of lycra,” then I’ll head out to the park on my bike.
I’ve fallen into quite a nice pattern of riding. Wednesdays are normally spent with the Rapha Condor Club who go out for a long ride past North London. There’s the ‘Gents’ ride on Friday, which is full of Londoners trying to pretend they don’t live in London for a couple of hours by getting out into greener pastures. I also ride with a group of women who meet up at the Cycle Club, and we’ll head out once or twice a week.
If I can, I nip off to Regent’s Park before or after work. I went last night and rode around the park clockwise so no one would get on my wheel – sometimes it’s nice to be in your own company, riding for yourself and remembering why you do that. There’s not much natural light around at those times of day, so I’ll often wear something with high-visibility details and flashes of bright colours, like the Women’s Brevet Jersey and Gilet.
Last year I was all set up to race for the first ever time – I was with a team, we had sponsorship from a local shop, we’d made plans for the season – but then I had to have my appendix out, which took me off the bike for a while. It was more than a bit of a downer, but I reset myself for Rapha’s Manchester to London. I’m not sure what I’ll be up to next year, but I know I’ll be out for a ride tomorrow.