There’s something about cycling I’ve always loved. As a child, I’ve always wanted to go on bike rides and take my bike with me whenever we went on family walks. I loved the outdoors, running or cycling around in the woods.. it was rare my legs weren’t covered in scratches and bruises. I unfortunately, neglected cycling during the last couple years of secondary school and college but the last half of Uni I had an old Amsterdam style city bike. I would ride to lectures, to my part time job and out of the city to the beautiful fields and rives of Cambridgeshire.. even through the snow!
Forward two years later and not long after I met Chris, my cycling urge came back. He’d been riding fixed gear for a couple of years and seeing him zoom about and take part in an alleycat race, made me want to get back into cycling again. Due to the hilly-ness of Brighton, I wasn’t so sure if a bike without gears was for me, but with his encouragement, I bought the Quella Darwin
, a single speed fixie. It was so much fun learning, being out on the roads again, exploring places that were too far on foot and evolving our weekends around cycling. It took me about 6/7 months and the viewing of Mash SF
film at House of Vans
before asking Chris to take my back brake off. Again, it also took me many attempts to learn to skid. I went fixed just in time for my fist Alleycat race, which happened to be over Halloween:
In February 2016, Chris unexpectedly treated me to a much lighter and better frame, the Aventón Mataro Low
, in Celeste, from Brick Lane Bikes. He built the bike with spare parts and this is the bike I now use and completely love:
It is strange how an innate object can have such a big effect on you, but my bike definitely does. The amount of times it’s picked me up when I’m down, gotten me out of a slump, de-stressed me after work and created the most fun memories/days out. Mentally and physically, this bike has done me wonders. It’s so great to see a growing number of women who ride fixed and who ride pro races in a male dominated sport. Though my skids kinda suck and though I may not be the fastest and struggle with some climbs.. my love for cycling grows with each ride. I’m getting better and anything that helps improve that PMA, well, i’m 100% going to keep that up!