My name is Diana and I’m a cyclist and a Mummy.
I’ve been a cyclist for as long as I can remember. I remember the first time I rode a bike without stabilisers (before my older brother managed it, despite what he may say). I remember the feeling of accomplishment and the feeling of freedom.
When I went to college to study for A-levels, I started riding for transport. This was mainly due to a deeply ingrained antisocial / shy streak (which I still have, if I’m honest). No more school buses, but I had to get the train in to college every morning – the same train that everyone else going in to college got, and that meant having to chat. I’m not great in the mornings and I’m not great at chatting. Cycling took not much longer and was my antisocial dream come true.
By my mid-20s I discovered road cycling. I’d been doing a bit of running (I hate running, but you can’t beat how simple it is and how quickly it can get you fit) and I entered a duathlon which was the big thing in the area I lived at the time. From there, it was a slippery slope to training camps abroad, distance events and ever more sophisticated ways to measure speed and distance.
In my 30s, I had got distracted by running again and then I met the man who would become my husband, Martin.
Also a lifelong cyclist, Martin’s words; “you’re a better cyclist than a runner” led to my giving time trialling a go. Turns out I’m pretty good at it (more later on ‘pretty good’ – suffice to say I’ll never make the Olympics!).I also gave road racing a (very brief) go – turns out I’m pretty bad at that.
And then, I became a Mummy. This story is much shorter. As of 2016, Danny is 4 and Ellen is 2. I stopped work after Ellen was born with a career break following maternity leave. When we decided to have kids I remember saying that I was happy to put cycling aside for a while, that this was a different phase of my life now. I really believed it at the time. But I struggled to lose the baby weight and I struggled to find my new identity and I gradually found ways to get back on the bike. A cargo bike became almost as big a blessing as the children I cart about in it. Martin and I found ways to coordinate getting an hour each out at the weekends. I have great plans for time trialling again next year (this is not the first year I have said this). And one of my daughter’s very first sentences was…….
……..”Mummy’s gone a cycle.”