The most important pieces of the puzzle at Love to Ride aren’t the stats or the prizes, it’s the riders themselves. They make us what we are and they keep the wheels of the business turning from day to day, challenge to challenge, and year to year.
Although we focus a lot on how often people have ridden, nothing tells us more about the rider experience than the stories behind the rides.
As 2022 rolls to a close, we’re looking back at some of the best rider stories from throughout the year that gave us all the warm fuzzy feels and fuelled our passion for getting more people riding bikes. Scroll to the bottom to see some of the best photos, too!
Poetry in motion
How staunch a cyclist are you?
Do you bike in rain or snow?
Do you own a fluoro jacket?
Have your cheeks a healthy glow?
Perhaps you are a ‘wannaʼ
Wanna travel urban style,
with pup in woven basket,
And a lip-glossed retro smile?
Whether Lycra clad and cleated
or a dawdler on some spokes,
cyclingʼs very universal
Suits a diverse array of folks
No matter if youʼre old or young
Own a trike, two wheels or one
Just mount a trusty treadlie
For some healthy pedaling fun!
Don't let your limitations stop you! Just keep going!
Last year when I received my hand-cycle via Cycling Projects, I got to experience life again. Cycling without pain and cycling without pedalling. I loved road cycling before but now I love it even more that I get to enjoy the road without spasms, twinges, locked ankles and so on. Over the last few years, I've had to endure ankle surgery in both ankles one after the other. leaving me unable to exercise like any other young adult (from 18-26).
The best thing that hand-cycling brings me is joy and an overwhelming sense of gratitude that I can exercise. It has enabled me to workout, stay fit, self-regulate my emotions, stay healthy in mind and body and helped regain my confidence.
The encouragement I get from other cyclists on the road and wherever I travel makes me push hard and challenge myself. In 2021 alone, I hand-cycle 674 miles and in September I raised £250 for Cancer Research while taking part in their "300 miles in September challenge."
This year I will cumulatively hit the 1000 miles mark and more.
I am in the best shape of my life and have recently started swimming and normal cycling in moderation to I'm a fair way off any sort of long-distance or impact sports. I'm going at my own pace and loving the journey.
Just keep going! What are limitations anyway?
Life is a journey
When I first started riding I really struggled with being over weight. Back then my 2 boys were young and getting out with them was my motivation. Slow, very but getting out on a short ride was awesome. Then the kids encouraged me to do a triathlon. The joy of seeing my boys at the finish line was amazing. The first of many and I lost a lot of weight over time, great head space and now have complete 2 ironman distance triathlons and training for 2022 finger crossed.
So take the first step and get on a bike and enjoy your journey. Life is short ride hard:) You'll love it
Stay safe out there.
More fun riding with others
This morning I rode with my daughter to her high school and the journey seemed way shorter than the first time I biked. Then I had the rest of the journey by myself, or so I thought. I banged into another cyclist (not literally) someone I knew and he showed me a great route and we had a chat all the way to my work. Now I feel way more confident in which way to go, I'm saving heaps of money on petrol, plus getting fit!
A riding option: Recumbent trikes
I became legally blind in 2012 and could no longer drive a car. I was so grateful to discover recumbent trikes. They are very stable and could be a great option for several people that cannot ride a regular upright bike or just want to have something fun to ride. Due to having so many amazing bike trails in my area I am able to ride my trike to do all kinds of activities like grocery shopping, meeting friends for lunch/dinner, and getting out and having fun exploring the trails with friends. I want to encourage anyone that feels they cannot ride, for whatever reason, to go try a recumbent trike. There are several modifications that can be made that can allow anyone to be able to ride.
It’s a Revolution
Like a lot of families, we used to fire up our expensive, gas guzzling engines for every little thing. 2 miles to school? Get in the car and sit in traffic. Need supplies for dinner? There’s a Walmart 3 miles away. Get in the car and sit in traffic. 4.5 miles to the office? Get in the car and sit in traffic. Find a parking spot. Sit in a line of more traffic when it’s time to leave…. Commuting by car is stressful. Traffic is not fun. It sets the tone for your day and your evening, and it’s not a pleasant one. As soon as I rediscovered bikes, I started replacing those trips. First on a mountain bike, because that’s what I had. Then a more commuter friendly bike. Then I started hauling my kid everywhere in a Burley. Then we had another kid, and I discovered cargo bikes. Specifically e-cargo bikes. We sold our second car almost two years ago and haven’t missed it once! I live almost entirely car free and I am never going back. Commuting by bike is pure joy! It’s the wind in your hair, the smell of the honeysuckle, the sound of the birds, the people you never would have met otherwise. And for me, it’s the conversations with my kids, the chance to literally stop and smell the roses (or splash in a puddle or learn about an animal or plant we see), the bonding experience. It’s such a stark contrast to the way we used to do it. And trust me, it sets the tone for the day, and the evening, and it’s bliss.
Lights under the Northern Lights!
Nothing has ever quite compared to my middle of the night adventure up in the mountains under the Aurora Borealis!
...a few of the best snaps from 2022. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the socials this year, you rock!