Abby Fletcher // Customer Relations // A New Goat Joins The Herd

JOINING THE HERD

‘Any plans for the weekend?’ ask my work colleagues.

‘Yes, I’m cycling to Cambridge’…jaw drop, confused look…

’From London?’

‘Yes’

’You’re crazy.’

I smile, shrug and say ‘It should be fun!’ Then I walk away whilst thinking ‘and back again.’ (but I keep that to myself!)

This became a pretty standard exchange on any given Friday for me. So why? Why do I do this? Why do I love riding so much that I will devote whole weekends to it? Good question. A bike can take you pretty much anywhere you want, and that’s why I love it. In what other way can you get from London to the beach, in a few hours and for free (except for the snacks, and the cake, and the coffee, and the ice cream.) Oh well, it’s definitely good for you! That, along with the sheer exhaustion and satisfaction you feel after a long ride is pretty awesome. And who wants to be ‘normal’ anyway?

Cycling is what has led me to join the herd. I first got into cycling three years ago. A last minute decision to take a trip to South East Asia was my first taste of cycling. What else do you do as a teacher in the summer holidays except cycle the length of Vietnam on a mountain bike!? There is only one word to describe this trip – EPIC. I came home, bought a bike, joined a club and BOOM…cycling had become my life!

Then came triathlon, and I’m not entirely sure how this happened. I’m a firm believer that you should always try new things (#adventuremore) and three sports one after the other seemed like it might be fun! I re-learnt how to swim properly, tried to love running (I’m still working on this) entered my first race, and the rest is history!

I can’t quite imagine a life without cycling and triathlon now, and hope I never have to! Behind all the races and medals, the feeling you can get out of lacing up your shoes and just getting out there, in any weather, on any day, in any mood has to be the number one reason I do this. Bikes and triathlon have literally transformed my life. Success comes in different forms for different people, at different times. Sometimes it’s a time, sometimes it’s a medal, sometimes it’s a position and sometimes it’s finishing when an injury has made it a miracle you’re even there. I honestly believe that ANYONE can transform their life with a pair of trainers or a bike (and SG kit of course :) ) This is what being part of the herd is all about!

Here are a few random, cycling related facts about me…

Favourite climb – Alpe du huez (all 21 turns) I raced up this in the Alpe du Huez triathlon in 2017 (btw if this is your thing, get this on your bucket list now!) Even better when you can stop for coffee and cake at the top, rather than hopping off the bike and running – brutal.

Bike – My Norco A1 (first love, but now just my commuter) followed by my Cervelo S3 (my new love) and then my Quintaneroo (bit on the side).

Favourite cycling food – Pre-ride porridge ALWAYS. I can eat this at any time of year at any time of the day. And, it really is all about the toppings #justgivemeaspoon (I could write a whole blog about this…watch this space!) Whilst riding…I normally hold out for the cake stop, but when racing, it’s a sticky mixture of jelly babies and flapjack – lovely!

Goals – Becoming completely injury free – literally can’t remember what it feels like! In the meantime, maybe a bit of bike racing, competing for the GB Age Group tri team this year in Romania, and then if my body is still willing, finally becoming an Ironman in Hamburg a few weeks later :)

Favourite riding spot – Girona…imagine a world without traffic and potholes – this is it! I will definitely move here when I win the lottery.

Ambitions – to go on more cycling adventures. Cycling up mountains in the sunshine is the BEST! And then… maybe dip my toe a little further into the world of bike racing.

Other things you really don’t need to know…

I once high fived Usain Bolt.

I plan my rides based on cake. Fact.

I once went walking, on my own, in the Swiss Alps for three weeks.

I have a degree in Zoology…and can tell you pretty much everything you need to know about seagulls and puffins #useful

I am a life coach.

Jellyfish are my nemesis.

I used to climb, a LOT! I climbed up the north face of Ben Nevis…in the winter :/

I’m 5’11 and understand the ‘cycling kit for tall people’ struggle.

I make awesome cupcakes.

I was a Deputy Headteacher in London for 5 years.

I once ran 42 miles from Waterloo to Windsor in a day…just…because.

I hate Ribena, like, REALLY hate it (but love blackcurrants). Odd.

If you promise me a good sunset, I will ride anywhere.

I once re-climbed Rocacorba as I missed the segment (don’t trust chalk lines!)