As it’s National Bike Week (15th – 23rd June), there’s no better time to tell you about an exclusive cycling experience that happened last week.
The sport of cycling has really taken off since the Olympic Games in London last summer and inspired thousands of us to get mobile. Whether that meant hosing down the rusty old two wheels from the back of the garage, or going out and buying a brand spanking new state-of-the-art cycling machine, we all started getting on our bikes.
Saturday 8th June 2013 proved to be a very special day for a group of cycling enthusiasts who bought a Red Letter Days exclusive opportunity to ride the famous velodrome in London’s Herne Hill. With them was none other than Olympic gold medallist Rebecca Romero. Who could forget the first person EVER to win Olympic medals in two different sports? Rebecca won both silver in rowing in 2004 and gold in cycling in 2008.
The three hour event kicked off with everyone learning the basics on flat ground with a track cycling bike (provided), before more confidently having a go at the banked tracks. Working on technique and building up speed, everyone ended with an exhilarating race organised by Rebecca.
Sean Hargrave of Uffington was one of the lucky winners of our Rebecca Romero competition, he went along with a friend. This is what he told us:
“It was great, thanks so much! I was a bit worried I’d be left behind by all the decent riders in Lycra but fortunately all was great on the day. It’s a leap of faith to ride so close to the guy in front of you when neither of you has brakes and then ride up the incline at the corners but you get used to it. Fantastic day, thanks so much! And my pal was made up with it too, he was really touched!”
Our other winner was Andy Barnard, who said:
“I had a brilliant time thank you very much. We were all well looked after. The coaches were very helpful and knowledgeable. Rebecca gave us all an inspiring talk before answering our questions. We were kitted out with bikes, given our safety instructions and told about riding etiquette. After some laps to help us become accustomed to the bikes and track we were taught a number of race techniques. As I was probably the least fit on the track I found this hard, but thoroughly enjoyed the challenge. We finished with a sprint time trial and were then each given a signed book as well as a photo opportunity with Rebecca. The day left me inspired, exhilarated and proud of what I have achieved”.
It was great of people to share their thoughts and pictures with us and we were delighted everyone enjoyed their unique cycling experience so much. Because we couldn’t all be there on the day, we made a collage for bike lovers everywhere – enjoy!
Did you start cycling after the Games?
Images courtesy of Tony Fischer, Bikjuju, Cliff 1066, fkkuk, Salim Virji, sanctumsolitude, dfinnacy, VeloBusDriver and jurvetson via Flickr