The first ride on my wonderful new bike was certainly an interesting one. We decided to ride from Brighton to Seaford and I insisted I didn’t want to ride on the road (so really this adventure was all down to me!) It started off relatively normal, a lovely bimble along the seafront, the sound of the sea, a strange distant creaking coming from my bike (She is now called Princess Creaky, and we still haven’t figured out where the noise is coming from, sort of scary when you’re riding an amateur built bike, but it’s all part of the fun!) and repeated gasps of “Wow! We live here!” as our soundtrack.
It was an absolutely beautiful day and I am very proud to announce that I have started my cyclist’s tan(!) We had looked at the route online the night before and I had a bit of a sulk because I didn’t want to ride up a hill, please bare in mind that this hill was one I’d seen many cyclists struggling up throughout my life, and I had sworn I’d never be one of them. In the end we had no choice but to go up said hill and I actually really surprised myself with how easy I found it. I was so proud when we reached the top that I couldn’t stop beaming and I am defo putting it down to me being an amazing cyclist, totally ignoring the fact that the many cyclists I’d seen before had perhaps been incredibly unfit or at the end of a very long ride. Once up the GIGANTIC hill that I totally crushed (apparently I’m still proud) we had the option of continuing on the road or heading towards the clifftop, I, being stubborn and really not wanting to get beeped at by another taxi, (that’s a different story) decided that we should go along the clifftop. And oh boy! That was where the adventure truly started!
I had always said that I’m too much of a scared-y-cat to go mountain biking, the speed and obstacles are terrifying and I was convinced I’d break a bone if I ever tried, and I’m not saying that we ended up on a trail like that, BUT… we basically ended up on a trail like that. After riding along the under cliff for a while, realising we’d reached a dead end and then turning back and lugging our bikes up a huge flight of stairs (to help you imagine this I’ll put a picture of them here) we ended up on a part of the clifftop I’d never seen before. Here was where I had to learn very quickly about which brake to pull when you’re going downhill, along the edge of a cliff with rocks and ruts underneath you (it’s the back one FYI) Meanwhile I was trying to take in the incredible view, failing at taking in the view and instead just screaming to myself. Luckily C was far enough ahead of me that he couldn’t hear my wailing, or the sound of Princess Creaky going absolutely mental, she was equally as scared as me I think, but instead he was busy taking pictures that make me look like I might actually know what I’m doing. After the far-too-fast downhill, rocky ordeal was over we found ourselves a little bit stuck. We both had to get off of our bikes and push them over uneven ground, up steep rocks and along grooves where the cliff had fallen down (that wasn’t terrifying at all) before we eventually found ourselves out of the wilderness and onto a road again. This time I was actually happy about riding on the road and we zoomed along the delightfully flat surface almost all the way to Seaford. We ended the ride with fish and chips with my Mum and a dip in the sea and quite honestly I couldn’t have been happier.
Although I joke about it being terrifying and tiring, I couldn’t stop smiling the whole time I was on my bike. Negotiating rocks and cliff tops was exhilarating and incredible, and I felt strong and able. I cannot wait to continue my cycling journey and really hope that there are many many more rides like this in my future. Apparently terrifying yourself is the way to go, who knew?