Whether you're a new member of Wheelsuckers or you've been on here for a while, let others know a bit about yourself.
How did you get into cycling? What do you currently ride? Where do you ride? Do you have any cycling aspirations or goals?
Or just say "hello". Don't be shy!
After quite a bad cycling accident (self inflicted) in my teens, I moved away from road bikes to motor bikes and cars returning some years later (when children arrived) to a Trek Hybrid but only for family rides.
In early 2010, a friend suggested a bunch of us organise a charity ride from Oxford to Paris in support of a local hospice. We all started training on school-run steeds. One-by-one, as the cycling-bug bit, most of us swapped our work horses for gleaming road bikes (myself included – a Specialized Allez). The difference in ride quality was spectacular compared to the Trek but I swore that I’d never be caught wearing lycra. 1-month later I bought my first set of bib-shorts…
We did the Oxford Paris run in 2 ½ days, had an amazing experience and raised £20k for the hospice. Now, we still ride regularly together around Oxfordshire and are lucky enough to be able to get away each year for 5-days cycling in Mallorca. Bliss.
Cycling aspirations? To be able to climb hills as well as I should for my weight!
Growing up and living in Oxford I spent most of my time on a bike of some description as a kid and young adult, its the cheapest and quickest way to get around this very congested city. I still have a well used Pub/shopper bike and a MTB.
I didn't get into road cycling until much later when I was press ganged at the same party as Andy, see below, for the ride from Oxford to Paris, after that I was hooked. I'm now the proud owner of a Spin Spitfire Titanium road bike and need a new set of summer wheels!.........
I've been cycling ever since I became frustrated with the limitations of my tricycle, though it is only more recently I have focused solely on road cycling . Growing up in Kent in the 1980's, mountain biking was my thing, despite there being quite a big road cycling scene in the area even then. When I moved to London I made every opportunity to get out to the Sussex downs at weekends on my mountain bike. I was a late convert to road cycling, but now I couldn't live without it. The toll on the body is far less than that dished out by my old hardtail and I enjoy the social aspect of it too - that's very much part of the attraction for me, though at times I have trouble breathing, let alone holding a conversation!
I've two road bikes. The first is my winter bike and general hack around steed - a vintage Peugeot Competition, upgraded with a Campagnolo Veloce groupset and Mavic Aksium wheels. She - I call her my 'French wife' - has done me proud over many miles, but is beginning to show a few signs of age, to the extent that she may even be consigned to cycling history in the next few months, unless my search for a winter bike proves fruitless.
My show pony is an Orbea Orca BLi2, which is a great ride - comfortable, great acceleration and I am now a total convert to Di2 having been a little wary of moving away from a mechanical groupset. I saw an Orca in Spain a few years ago and immediately liked the look - I made a bit of a gamble in buying one blind, so to speak, but I've never regretted it and rarely get bike envy nowadays! Saying that, I'm looking to upgrade the wheelset for next Spring and get a more comfortable saddle, but otherwise it is a partnership that has a few more years in it yet.
My best moment on a bike? Too many to mention. My first big climb in the Alps - the Joux-Plane in the Haute Savoie - was memorable as much for the amazing views of Mont Blanc as the road twisted and turned up the mountainside and the fast, technical descent into Morzine, as for the fact that I had convinced myself that I would not be able to make it to the summit. Cycling down the Champs-Élysées on a balmy Spring evening with some of my closest cycling mates is definitely up there and the nearest I will ever get to riding the Tour de France!. I ride with Zappi's Cycling Club and 'enjoy' the pain of a demanding club run, especially when I manage to stick with the pace and get back for a coffee with the breakaway, rather than the grupetto - it's rare when that happens, but I savour it all the more.
My worst moment: a apocalyptic thunderstorm on a meandering descent in the Alps between Les Gets and Taninges that I was totally unprepared for, both in my attire (no rainwear or gilet) and my cycling ability (I'm not a great descender at the best of times!). The road was a torrent of water and I actually descended slower than I ascended the same stretch of road!
I have taken part in a few sportives, but I am not a huge fan of mass participation events - the Etape du Tour has never really appealed, but I'd love to have a shot of the Raid Pyrénéen, though just contemplating the challenge scares me!
One day, time, money and wife allowing, I would like to follow the Tour de France from start to finish, accompanied by some like minded friends. Preferably with our bikes in tow. I grew up watching Bernard Hinault - he was one of my favourite sportsmen: the demeanour, the unambiguous talent, the flair - but somewhat ridiculously, my first trip to the TdF was this Summer, watching Chris Froome triumph in Paris and catching a glimpse of The Badger as he was chauffeured past in a sports car with Indurain, LeMond and Merckx alongside him.
I have seen many octogenarians still cycling strong and I too hope to cycle well into my dotage. The day that the sound of a group of cyclists clipping into their pedals fails to excite me will be the day I die!
spot on, lol.
Can't wait to retiyre. (pun)
Hi everyone - my name is Khush (aka the KAPZGURU) and I have been cycling since I could walk - mainly into road and VeloDrome cycling exploits and I am also lucky enough to be employed within the cycling industry too - www.kapz.co.uk - basically, we make THE BEST custom headset caps on the planet - 100% made in Great Britain!
Oh hi Khush! I was only just browsing your site the other day looking at all the cool designs you have for custom headset caps and spacers. I love a little bit of bling here and there.
Fancy offering a little Wheelsuckers members discount? ;-)
hi - our products are all hand-made in GB and priced as keenly as we possibly can - we might be persuaded to add a couple of little freebies to WS orders though :-)
I've been cycling just to get from A to B for a few years, but like others in this thread it's a charity ride that made get into it more seriously... I signed up for London Nightrider (100km night ride) in spring, and when I started doing longer training rides, I quickly got jealous of the guys on road bikes in Richmond Park... Eventually bought a Verenti Belief from Wiggle, which is entry-level but a really nice bike, and great for the price.
Next thing I'll do is the Techbikers Paris-London 320km ride in 2 weeks - it's a charity ride organised by some folks of the London/Shoreditch startup scene, raising money for the RoomToRead charity.
Aspirations? Keep going - I'm nearing 50, but chatted to an 82 year old at the top of Box Hill last weekend, so being able to do Box Hill every Sunday when I'm 82 is probably not a bad aspiration ;)
I've been riding on and off all my life. I remember watching the Tour on ITV's World of Sport with grainy images of Merckx and Hinault.
I got into serious cycling in the late eighties and started competing in duathlons soon after. I rode with a club for a number of years and then got into marathon running, so the cycling was put on a back burner.
I got back into riding my bike after I started suffering with my back from running too much. I currently cycle about three to four times a week.
Cycling is more than a passion now - it is part of my livelihood as I own Velotastic, a small business that specialises in vintage and retro cycling jerseys.
I ride with Nonnas La Squadra cycling club in Sheffield - mainly for the company and free coffee. I'm looking forward to the Tour coming to our neck of the woods and hopefully you'll find me next July on top of Holme Moss.
La Squadra? You must know Marco Mori then. Say hi from me. Has he got you to commit to L'Eroica UK yet?
I've never been able to run more than a few miles. Dodgy knees I think!