Ever since I was a wee sprog, Dad always had my brothers (Brad and Gareth) and I out on our bikes – we even did the Coast2Coast when I was 10 (admittedly at that age – I moaned the entire time – SORRY DAD!!).
Brad and Gareth worked in the local bikeshop ‘Bikescene’ and were initiated into local racing, which I slowly got involved in. I started off cycling cross country in the NAMBS series, at that stage relatively few girls were involved which meant I actually won a couple (well one) race!
Whilst at University I used my trusty Decathlon bike to cycle the 7 hills of Sheffield to my lectures and the supermarket. I never really did any long distance cycling, but always enjoyed being out on my bike, I found it a good way to clear my head.
It was only really when I moved to London that I got heavily into cycling. Yes this was rather backwards as t’up North I had the whole of the Yorkshire Dales to explore.
Whilst working in a telecoms company I met Will, who is an avid cyclist and we became close friends. We decided to cycle the Coast2Coast from Whitehaven to Tynemouth, but start off in the Lake District. It was an awesome adventure, where we cycled over the infamous Hardknott and Wrynose Passes and met with my Dad to cycle the final section.
At this point I began reading lots of cycling books;
David Millar’s – Racing Through the Dark
William Fotheringham’s – Put me back on my bike
Mark Beaumont’s – The man who cycled the Americas and The man who cycled the world.
Mike Carter’s – One man and his bike
and it was from these that I made the decision that I wanted in on these cycling adventures.
My Dad attempted to cycle LEJOG a few years back with his work colleagues, however he suffered a heart attack whilst in training and was unable to complete it. After finishing Mike Carter’s book in particular I really wanted to see whether Dad wanted to try again, luckily he said yes and the idea to cycle the LEJOG in 2011 begun!
Not only did I get my Dad on board I managed to get Gavin my long-suffering boyfriend to start cycling. One resounding memory of training with Gavin was when I stupidly decided to enter us both on the Blenheim Palace 100 miler for his first sportive!!!! Any one who has cycled that specific sportive will know how difficult it is even when you are experienced and have trained for it. I definitely knew he was up for the challenge of the LEJOG after he completed Blenheim – I can’t thank him enough for embracing my hobby!
Gareth also joined us on the LEJOG – he is probably the fittest and most proficient cyclist of the four of us. He was a key member of the team, keeping the morale up with his endless hilarious banter.
Now it is 2012 and the LEJOG is behind us and Dad and I are ready for the next challenge…
Steve Medlock’s story
Steve is the father to Kirsty and husband of Cathy. When Kirsty asked her Dad to join the ride, he didn’t hesitate – jumping in at the deep end hunting down touring bikes and setting up spreadsheets to compile everything we would need over the course of the adventure.
Next year Steve hits 60 years old and after suffering two heart attacks in the last seven years he truly is an inspiration. He is also responsible for getting the three Medlock chilren hooked on cycling.
After Steve suffered his second heart attack he decided to retire and this gave him the opportunity to cycle the wonderful dales of North Yorkshire on an almost daily basis! Not only has Steve got miles in his legs from cycling the Dales, Cathy and Steve moved to Spain for a couple of months at the start of 2012 meaning he could easily get 50 miles in a day in beautiful weather!
His greatest challenge of the trip will probably be surviving being surrounded by the Medlock women but he will have the much needed company of Harry to keep him sane in the evenings!
Cathy Medlock’s story
Cathy is Mum to Kirsty and wife to Steve. She will be doing ’roundtheedge’ the easy way as driver of the motorhome, which is to be our home for the duration of the ride. As well as chief driver (pilot), Cathy is also sous chef to Harry, future father-in-law of Kirsty. It is in fact Harry that is to blame for Cathy joining the ride as he and Gavin were not keen for Kirsty and Steve to cycle the ride unsupported.
We’re hoping that Cathy will be able to knock up some of her infamous flapjacks that kept us going on the LEJOG, let’s hope the motorhome has an oven!!
Also tagging along to ‘support’ the support is Jasper, Cathy and Steve’s wonderful golden retriever. Wherever they go, he goes and Jasper will be looking forward to his favourite pastime of swimming, in some of the most beautiful sea’s off the coast of GB.