Today I am handing over the reigns of the blog to my husband Simon to tell you a bit more about how he got into mountain biking and the difference it has made to his life . . .
A bit about me
I have always been a sporty person and for the majority of my teens and twenties I was a keen hockey player, playing at National League level and for my County Cambs. As is often the case, the larger our family became, the less time I felt could be spent on team sports and so hockey fell by the wayside. Sabina and I are both very active and before getting married we spent a lot of time at the gym and running around after William. We took up kick-boxing as a family hobby with William but then Sabina fell pregnant and I hurt my back so that was another hobby which crashed and burned.
New pace of life
When I joined my current workplace in 2015 I couldn’t help but be drawn into the stories of my new colleagues who have a keen enjoyment of mountain biking. I don’t just mean popping out for a leisurely ride on a Sunday, I mean travelling up and down the Country to find the best mountains (there aren’t many in Lincolnshire and Rutland). We are lucky enough to work close to the peninsular of Rutland Water so it’s the perfect excuse to get out of a lunch time, burn off some calories on and off road and take in the beautiful scenery.
It wasn’t long before I was looking to upgrade the mountain bike I’d owned since a teenager, so I popped into my local Halfords bike shop where I received expert advice on what I would need to get started. I finally decided on a Carrera Vegeance Mountain Bike to take me on the next leg of my mountain biking journey. A few months later, we went back as Bina got the biking bug too and decided to get her own mountain bike for her 40th birthday, a ladies Carrera Crossfire hybrid bike.
Working in a company where so many of the staff are sports-minded and active means there is always someone to motivate you on those days when you’re not sure you can be bothered. It is because of their persistence with cycle to work days and my lunchtime training sessions that I decided I could take on a greater challenge. My Dad was diagnosed with Parkinsons with Lewy Body Disorder a few years ago and I wanted to do something for him so I signed up to the Solstice 100 Mountain Bike Sportive to raise money for Parkinsons UK.
Taking on a challenge
The training was hard but with my families support and the growing donations I pushed through and put in a lot of hours on the bike at evenings and weekends to build up my legs and stamina. On 24th June last year, Dad’s birthday, I took to my bike along with a couple of my colleagues, who were riding for their own charities. Together we completed, what ended up being, the 117 mile ride 50% off road with a few falls, a bee sting to the mouth, and a puncture to add to the entertainment. I completed it in just over 10 hours riding time and in total I raised well over £2,000 for Parkinsons. Obviously I know that it won’t make my Dad better but it will provide help and support for other families in our position.
I love cycling and both Bina and I are actively bringing the kids on as quickly as possible so they can share in our enjoyment and we can have more adventures as a family. If you fancy giving mountain biking a go then check out the Halford’s Beginners Guide to Mountain Biking.