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Pretty Gritty Inspiration...The Way of the Roses

One of our Pretty Gritty athletes, Lindsey, recently cycled The Way of the Roses along with Alex and Dairine. This ride is a popular ‘coast to coast’ route, taking you between Morecambe and Bridlington, covering 170 miles including The Lune Valley, Yorkshire Dales and Yorkshire Wolds.

We are very proud of Lindsey; her cycling goes from strength to strength as she throws herself from one adventurous challenge to another! Only a couple of weeks prior to this she completed a tough 75 mile sportive, The FLAB Fullock!

Here is what Lindsey had to say about this recent cycling trip and other pearls of wisdom…

Lindsey, firstly, a huge well done from Katie and I on your recent Way of the Roses tour! How was it?

It was a fantastic 3 days. I was lucky to do it with my regular cycling buddies Alex and Dairine, and Andy my husband was our support crew, with Kip the dog for end of day motivational cuddles. The route has so much variety - towns, villages, cycle paths, quiet country roads, hills (days 1 and 2), the flat Vale of York and Wolds (day 3), but always something beautiful or interesting to see along the way. There is plenty of accommodation on route, and lots of places for refreshment/lunch stops.

The toughest bit was by far the afternoon of day 1, High Hill Lane, the climb out of Settle (20%) which seemed to go on for ever. The best bit was a lovely few mile stretch of quiet country road in the Wolds, traffic free, slightly undulating, but dead straight – got into my highest gear and the fastest I’ve done.

Some stats – We split the days into: Day 1, Morecambe to Burnsall 51 miles; Day 2, Burnsall to York 57 miles; York to Bridlington 62 miles. It’s roughly 2500metres of ascent with the main climbs being High Hill Lane out of Settle, and New Road joining Greenhow Hill out of Appletreewick.

How long have you been cycling? Which other sports do you do?

I took up cycling shortly before the first COVID lockdown on a hybrid. Lockdown gave me the opportunity to get away from the safety of the canal towpath and onto the quiet roads. My first experience of riding a road bike was on the Pretty Gritty trip to Spain and it’s been pretty much onwards and upwards since then.

I’m a member of Saltaire Striders running club, and I am also working on improving my swimming. My first triathlon beckons at the beginning of August (eek!).

What is your biggest sporting achievement to date?

That would be London Marathon in 2015. It inspired both my boys (they’re actually grown men) to take up running, and one of them went on to run half and full marathons. Other than that I am very proud of my cycling achievements which I wouldn’t have dreamt possible 12 months ago.

What one piece of sports kit or equipment could you not live without?

I am going to say my road bike. A few weeks ago I had some mechanical problems out on a ride. The bike had to go in to the repair shop and they had trouble getting parts. The result – I have panic purchased a second bike as I couldn’t bear the thought of being without a bike for even week and not getting out for one or two rides.

What advice would you give someone just getting into cycling?

For me it was all about building my confidence to be a safe but assertive cyclist on the road. As a complete novice I joined a small, women only cycling group (Bingley Belles) and they were able to give me initial guidance and training.

What is your favourite piece of Pretty Gritty kit you own?

Tough one as I have everything and love it all. But having just done 3 hard days of cycling in my new blue bib shorts I am going to choose those. They go with all the tops, the pad is super comfy, and they look great.

Any final words?

Don’t ever think you can’t do something - you can. Don’t ever think you’re not good enough – you are.

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