Cycling runs in my family, my parents used to go cycle touring together before I was even an idea and as a result of that both my mum and dad have always supported my racing and training as much as they could. When lockdown hit it was time to repay the favour!
Mother Fox decided now was the perfect time to get back on the bike after a LONG time off it properly and get a bit of fitness back. As my day job is bike fitting and cycling coaching, she didn’t have much of a choice for who to guide her through the first few months of getting back on the saddle.
Lockdown was frustrating as we couldn’t ride together, but tracking her rides on Strava and chatting regularly about what she’d done or needed to do next really helped her go from riding 3.8 miles at 8mph to now riding 31 miles at just under 13mph, a staggering improvement on all fronts.
How have we done it?
- Buy a bike to suit her needs. Mother Fox decided a road bike was a must, it would make riding on the roads much easier and get her back feeling like a cyclist again. We chose the Liv Avail Advanced 1 – instantly I knew mum was being serious about this! The Avail is Liv's endurance bike and is the perfect option for someone looking for a bike that is light, comfortable and engineered for female riders. Discover the Avail range on the Liv website here.
- Sign up to Strava – initially using her phone Mother Fox was able to track her every movement and record her progress, I was also able to dish out some well-earned Kudos for encouragement too!
- Fitness watch – this helped us track Mother Fox’s resting heart rate which was plummeting by the week. Starting off at mid 70s it soon started to drop and as of today, the resting heart rate is in the low 60s now! Much healthier!
- Clothing – A decent pair of padded shorts meant the saddle became comfortable and Mother Fox was no longer concerned about soreness after riding the bike for longer amounts of time. Discover our guide to choosing the right Liv cycling shorts here and our Giant cycling shorts here. We offer a full lineup of cycling kit, from helmets to shoes and more. Check out our cycling gear here.
- Plan routes – We’ve found that planning routes has made the mental battle of “you want me to ride HOW far?!” a bit easier. There is a start and an end point and all Mother Fox has to do is ride what I have planned for her!
- Nutrition – Naturally as Mother Fox has grown to enjoy riding more and feel more like a cyclist she’s been going faster and for longer. ‘Faster’ has been burning more calories so now we’ve introduced some simple fuelling into any of the rides over an hour. This is predominantly SiS energy gels to help Mother Fox maintain her average speed right to the front door!
From a cyclist’s perspective here are a few simple things you might want to help your family or friends with when they ask about getting into riding!
1. Tyre pressures.
2. What tools to carry with them when riding.
3. How much food or drink to take.
4. How to use their gears properly on changing terrain.
5. Bike fit – you might not be able to set them up properly but help by pointing them towards somebody who can!
6. What type of bike they really need for what they’re aiming to do.