But getting to that fitness level was hard. I’m not just talking about the physical efforts of improving my speed, power and endurance, but also dealing with all the added symptoms I was dealing with by going through the menopause. My sleep was dreadful, often barely getting 6 hours sleep a night, I couldn’t regulate my body temperature, and my mood was swinging all over the place. In many ways though my menopause symptoms have been mild.
It's very clear that age is no barrier to adventure, and many older riders say that they are fitter later in life than they have ever been. Possibly having extra time in retirement helps with being able to consistently ride. We all know that we can continue well into our later years, and it's been interesting to note that whilst for some, there are a few physical issues that have featured, none have alluded to lack of energy being a problem. The speed of a journey is not the main consideration for most. It's the ability to be out and travel at their own pace and seeing the world that's important. Maybe our later years really are the golden age of cycling. Would you agree?
Is there a time in our lives when we should start to adjust what we dream of doing? Or should we carry on planning big goals with the assumption that we will still be able? This is a question I've been asking myself recently, as I look at what big miles adventures I want to take on next.
I identify as a late-onset cyclist. While I pedalled around the neighbourhood growing up, it wasn’t until later—at twenty-three when I purchased a used department store bike for a cool fifty bucks—that I fell in head over heels in love with the sport.
Since completing my LEJOGLE world record, I’ve been honoured to be asked to talk about it on a number of Podcasts. All the links are below if you want to take a listen. Although some aspects remain the same in each, they are all very unique, and you'll learn something different in each one.
When I first started cycle touring, I followed the traditional approach of bike rack and panniers, with a bungie or two to hold my tent on with. My bike would weigh a ton, but I could carry everything I was prepared to haul around with me. I remember taking on the first leg of my round Britain ride........ As a woman who rides a 'small' bike and has a tendency to faff, I struggled to find a bike-packing saddle pack that worked for me.....