About Me

P1010833_aboutme

In my 60th year I am fortunate to have the health, fitness and motivation to get out regularly and enjoy riding my bike as well as running and open water swimming. I go to the gym for some strength and conditioning work and also go to Iyengar yoga regularly which helps with strength, flexibility and balance.

Being fit and active has always been important to me and I was lucky enough to enjoy running long distance events well into my 50’s. However, the running really began to take a toll on my ageing body and my knees were becoming very sore. I had had a brief brush with cycling when I did a couple of years of triathlon in the early 1990’s but although my old 531 Ribble racer was still around, it had gathered a lot of dust and was lucky to make it through the clear out before moving to the beach in 2010. So Jason sorted out the old Ribble so I was able to tackle the West Dorset hills.

I soon realised that speed was not going to be my focus and I began to enjoy long rides up to 200km. I joined Audax in 2011 and I ride some of their Calendar events although I have not enjoyed riding much over 200km. I keep up my AAARTY and this gives some focus to my cycling.

In August 2014 with my 60th year approaching I returned from a trip to the Alps where the majority of the group I was riding with had done at least one ironman. I realised that the ironman itch that I had had for a long time needed to be scratched. From September 2014 until the Challenge Weymouth ironman on September 13th 2015 my cycling was focussed on the 180km bike ride. Accommodating a 3.8km sea swim before the ride and a 42.2 km run afterwards was all part of the fun. For several months I aimed to train for at least 24 hours every week and complete 4km swimming 200km cycling and 45 km running in a week.

I successfully achieved the ironman target and am now moving on. More adventures, more challenges, more fun.

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11 thoughts on “About Me

  1. David

    Hi, I met the two of you on Day 10 at the Crinan Canal and am delighted to see that you finished the route and enjoyed it – well done! All best wishes, David (Dalkeith, Scotland)

    Reply
  2. 58 year old back on a bike

    Can I ask what may seem a foolish question? I see you’re a user of both the new (trendy) Roubaix and the old (trusty) Dawes. I’m coming back to road cycling from a clever Trek 7.7 light aluminium / carbon hybrid. I’ve just bought a Roubaix for 60 – 100 mile day trips, but I have this “long felt want” for a Dawes Ultra. Although I’m as parsimonious as any Northerner, I ‘m tempted to buy a second bike and actually try it out, in parallel to the Roubaix. But as you’ve actually had experience of both the Roubaix and the Super Galaxy, I wondered if you had any thoughts?

    By Coincidence, I’ve just driven back to London today from Exeter via the Hive Cafe in Burton Bradstock, so I’m familiar with your home territory, and the next run that I’d like to try is the Round the Island, as I originally come from Hampshire.

    Any thoughts / pointers gratefully received. This isn’t a techie / Geek question, really. (It’s all about me & my skills after all), but if you can iron out any misunderstandings that would be much appreciated.

    Reply
  3. Barbara Post author

    I use the Roubaix for rides up to 200k in dry weather. The drive train and hubs suffer f they get very wet. The Dawes is my touring bike which I got off eBay. I am currently looking to replace it as it is too big. I will probably go steel again but with carbon forks to reduce the weight a bit. I will definitely be having the bike built to my spec to fit my body and riding style. I like the Roubaix a lot but its quite delicate and incapable of carrying any stuff. The Audax/touring bike is for much longer distances and also light touring. Horses for courses.

    Hope you enjoyed Burton Beach.

    Reply
  4. Jim Redfern

    Hi,

    I was fortunate to meet you at the exmoor beast 20/10/2013 we kept passing each other one way or another( yes im the one who grazed my knee slightly). It was a real pleasure to meet you and share dunkery beacon with you( yes me remember) hope to meet you again one day. To me that what riding sportives is about meeting great people.

    All the best

    Regards

    Jim Redfern

    Reply
    1. Barbara Post author

      Hi Jim

      I checked out the results and saw you finished the Beast on Sunday. Well done. It was certainly a challenge and I was very pleased to get back to Tiverton. I think Dunkery was the hardest hill I have ridden up. It was good to see your friendly face on the way round (it was amazing how man times we passed) and as you say that it is one of the great things about Sportives. I hope your ‘graze’ recovers .
      You should check out Audax if you like long distance cycling. The events are slightly different in that you have to be self sufficient on navigation but you do get a similar camaraderie. (and there is often cake involved)
      I hope our paths will cross in the future.

      Barbara

      Reply
  5. Andy Bori

    Hi Barbara,

    Thanks for showing me the route from Weymouth to Abbotsbury. You were spot on about the route up to Hardy’s monument although you did underplay the nasty kick near the top. I was the 1st rider back to Wareham which was a real surprise, especially as I covered an extra 13km somehow. Have a great cycling summer and I will hopefully see you at the Isle of Wight / New Forest 200km audax in Sept. You have certainly inspired me to up my “ride distance” horizons.

    Thanks again.

    Andy Bori

    Reply
    1. Barbara Post author

      Congratulations on being first man home yesterday. Definitely time to step up your distance! It was grerat to have your company yesterday from Weymouth to Abbotsbury. I hope you managed to hang in OK on the Portesham Hill – as I said, once you see the roof of the building you are close to the top. When I got back to Wareham at about 1800 there were still lots of 100km riders finishing. After I left you Abbotsbury Hill is the start of the hardest section of the ride. There is a nice lunch break in Axminster before two more proper hills. The last 45km are much easier. I completed in 10hours 8 minutes which is pretty good for me over 207km. I have September 7th in the diary so hopefully I’ll see you at Lymington ready to catch the ferry to the Isle of Wight.

      Have a good summers riding. Barbara

      Reply
  6. Beverley Davies

    Hello Barbara. Am so glad to have stumbled across your blog, very motivating. This Saturday I’m embarking on my first ever Audax, the Thames Valley 200k and wondered how many women the wrong side of 50 out there do them! Normally I do routes/sportives/Gran Fondos up to 100-occasionally 160k and love climbing. But, along with my husband, we are keen to stretch the distance and learn to pace ourselves over longer. I will be on my Specialized Ruby, the most comfortable bike I have. A bit daunting having never cycled this far, but I have to try!

    Reply
  7. Barbara Post author

    Good luck Beverley. I am sure you will be fine. Just break the 200km down into manageable chunks and I’m sure you’ll have a great day. Audax rides are much more relaxed and friendly that other events which have an element of competitiveness. Women are always in the minority on Audax rides and there are generally not many youngsters. I hope this is the first of many Audax rides.

    Reply
  8. Go Grandma

    I’m a 51 year old marathoner who knows it’s time to branch out and move on. I have a great bike and have done a few tris. You are inspiring me!

    Reply
    1. Barbara Post author

      We women all need to inspire each other. I’m hoping my daughters will be inspired to have some babies soon then I can join you in being a Grandma. Meanwhile keep on running – and swimming – and cycling. Get started onto some yoga classes. Just do stuff and keep on doing it.

      Reply

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