As part of our ‘Why I Cycle‘ series we’ve been tracking down some of the UK’s biggest cycling advocates, to find out what makes their tyre’s tick. Today we’re sharing our interview with Michelle Arthurs, the editor of the online cycling website: Total Women’s Cycling. Alongside blogging about the country’s latest cycling innovations for ladies, guess what, she loves to get out and ride…
1. At what age did you start cycling?
I was 21 when I started cycling as an adult. Living in Brighton and studying at Sussex Uni, the bike lanes were good and it was initially just a much cheaper way of getting around. Then I started setting myself mini challenges cycling further and further along the coast…
2. What inspired you to start cycling?
I just enjoyed it, at first. Then I picked up a running injury and started training for a triathlon. My first road bike was a real revelation and I soon realised I liked cycling more than running. That realisation led to time trials, track and crit racing.
3. What do you enjoy most about cycling?
It’s cliche – but some cliches are popular for a reason. Just the freedom and exploration.
4. Is there anything you don¹t enjoy about cycling?
Riding in the rain. And that moment in a crit race when you feel like you’re putting in every ounce of wattage you’ve got into your legs, yet it’s not enough.
5. Who is your favourite person to cycle with? My husband Maurice.
6. If you could cycle with anyone (dead or alive!) who would it be? Marianne Vos.
7. Have you ever cycled or do you plan to cycle for a particular charity?
No. But if I did, it would be Breast Cancer Care, after my mother in law struggled with the illness recently. Or a Dementia charity as my grandmother was very ill with this towards the end of her life.
8. Tell us about your number one cycling highlight?
Any moment where I feel I’ve pushed through a barrier of what I thought I could achieve. My first 100 mile ride (which was very hilly and a little faster than I’d have liked in Mallorca), climbing Mont Ventoux, getting a new PB in a Time Trial and snapping up my Cat 2 road racing license. All times I’ve felt so proud I could burst.
9. Tell us about your favourite place to cycle?
Probably Mallorca. I know the area well enough that I don’t need to worry about getting lost – it’s got climbs and flat lands. This said, I’m keen to explore new cycling destinations – many cyclists make annual trips to the island and there are so many other places to ride!
10. Finally if you could cycle anywhere in the world where would it be?
Perhaps South Africa. My dad grew up in SA and most of our extended family are there. I used to go to visit as a child a lot – but I’ve never been as an adult. And they do say the best way to get to know a place is by bicycle!