This post first appeared on Spatone’s blog and I am grateful for their support and for the intro into cycling. I stayed with relatives the night before the Cycletta and did not sleep well as was anxiously awaiting the alarm and didn’t want to be late. Having never really done a “race” of any kind, I was nervous about how the event itself would work. I was driven to Losely Park and arrived as dawn was creeping in around the misty grandeur of the big house. If it weren’t for the lycra I would have thought I’d stepped into Downton Abbey. But from then on there was no real reason to be nervous; everyone was so friendly and super helpful. The atmosphere amongst everyone was really friendly. I made my way over to the British Bike Hire tent, and was unbelievably impressed at how quick and easy it was to be kitted out for my rental bike – which went like a DREAM. Then on to breakfast. We all milled around nervously, waiting for Victoria to arrive – when she did so, she was personable, inspiring, witty, and passionate about a variety of topics – top of which is women in cycling and eating well, We also talked about Strictly ball dresses and her Olympic lycra too which she apparently keeps at the bottom of her wardrobe. Someone also asked about selfies with her and we all flooded in – she couldn’t have been more up for it – even getting a better angle for the one she took with me! So then to the start, I was doing the novice 20k distance – and we were briefed on the very big hill quite which Kerry from Revolution had also warned of us about – so now I was getting quite worried about it. We were advised there was no shame in getting off to push if needed. Off through the Downton-esque drive, gently gliding over the speed bumps and out into Surrey’s Sunday morning. The marshals at key points were helpful and encouraging. I was one of the later starters, and so on arrival to The Hill there, I noticed a couple of people walking, and I encouraged them as I went past – “come on ladies!” I then went round a corner to discover that The Hill really did go ON and ON. I changed down gears and then ran out of lower gears. “I will not get off, I will not get off” I was saying to myself. I did stop for a breath (foolish girl!) and took a minute to catch it but I did not get off, go me!) Once I got going again (Mental note to self for future: stopping means you have to start from scratch) it was pretty much okay. To arrive back in the park, and see my husband and children cheering me on as I finished was absolutely amazing – I had to be reminded by a marshall to dismount – I was ready to do a victory lap! My phone beeped with my time – I had done a PB by some margin so was beyond pleased with myself. I then went to the relaxation tent and did a cool down stretch and a sports massage. This picture of me grinning with my medal received nearly as many likes as when I had my twins – and to be honest it’s right up there with some of my proudest moments. Doing something that was so far outside my usual comfort zone that has given me so much enjoyment and confidence. I can’t wait to do another Cycletta next year, this time the 40km!