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.
I don’t know what caused my latest flare up, but once it starts it's a spiralling cycle of feeling dreadful, then feeling better, then a sudden urge to stay close to the bathroom, and then the inevitable hopelessness in knowing that you have little control over what happens when you’re away from your home unless you starve yourself. This is what living with IBD looks like…..
As someone who has tended to lack a certain amount of self confidence in her abilities on a bike, I now barely recognise the person that I am becoming. If you’ve followed my blog, you might be a bit surprised by this. So let me explain myself. What I do possess is a ballsy determination.....
Being a long distance cyclist was accepting that it was all I could become. Yes I could cycle a long way, and I loved to do this, but I felt I was deluding myself if I thought I could ever be even slightly competitive as a cyclist. Completing a long distance event in time, let alone a good time, was something that more capable & usually younger women did, not me. I would enter, because I liked the idea of a particular ride, and my aim was simply to complete it, hopefully in time.
So what’s change my perspective?
In the early 19th Century, the first bicycles were developed by men, for men. Until the turn of the 20th Century, bicycles were considered only suitable for men since they couldn’t be ridden effectively sidesaddle – which was felt to be the only way that delicate ladies could ride anything!
I want to pay homage to some of those early female pioneers that broke the mould and went on to spectacular achievements at a time when women were still not supposed to exerting themselves, due to it being considered too dangerous to health, and also the stars of today, that still continue to inspire and break not only women’s records, but also some of those set by men. Who says women aren’t strong?