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Beth started cycling in lockdown and hasn't stopped since!

Beth Cameron, 34, from Darlington was furloughed during the first lockdown and found herself with time to kill. She dug out an old bike from the back of the shed, fixed it up and took the road. She was smitten and has not stopped cycling since. We caught up with her for a coffee and found out more about her story...

Beth Cameron on a sunny bike ride

When and why did you start cycling?

I started cycling at the start of the first lockdown, I was furloughed so had a lot of extra time on my hands so I decided to take out the old bike I had in the shed. I only did a short ride but loved it, I had forgotten how enjoyable cycling is. Then from that day I was out on my bike every day.

I gradually did longer rides and started noticing my strength building. I don’t do cycling for the fitness benefits but that is just an added bonus, I cycle because I like to explore the countryside and find new places and see things at a slower pace, you miss so much when you are in a car. I also cycle for everyday errands too, to leave the car at home.

I also find that cycling gives me a purpose. Before I got into cycling I had never stuck to a sport or hobby.

Any advice for anyone thinking about cycling?

I would encourage anybody thinking of getting into cycling to do it. You don’t have to go on a long ride, it gives a great sense of freedom and purpose and gives you an opportunity to make the most of the local area. There are so many traffic-free routes to start with that are relaxing to ride along. Start with cycling to a local cafe and having a hot chocolate and cake.

What are your top tips for beginners?

I think an essential bit of kit is cycling shorts with a pad and my padded gloves are also good. There's no need to buy everything at once, just start with the basics. And one piece of advice someone gave to me at the beginning - “it’s ok to push the bike up hills”! Definitely wise words!

  

Has Beth inspired you to get back in the saddle? Check out local route maps and training courses near you!

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