Inspirational stories, sent to us from participants of past Women On Wheels events.
Jane Jordan and Polly Cox, mum and daughter, enjoy a first together
We heard about WOW during the summer when a friend told me about an event in Southwold. I thought it was a brilliant idea, but could not join that event as we were on holiday at the time. The summer ticked on and the days got back to normal with school and weekends full of music lessons and generally filled with being busy. But by some stroke of luck WOW came our way once again, on a day when music lessons were postponed and Dad was not at work so could look after younger brother Leo (age 7).
Polly, then age 12, came home from school the Monday before WOW Debenham and asked if we could do the bike ride from the leisure centre on Saturday morning as clarinet was cancelled. “It's only six miles, won't take long and it'd be really good to raise some cash for the swimming pool project,” she said.
“Six miles, is that all, that's not worth getting out of bed for, there must be a longer route, too?” I asked and she duly informed me that there was a 16 or 18 mile ride and also to Stradbroke and back but that might be a bit far.
We decided on the mid-range route and got sorted – tyres pumped, gears oiled, helmets and comfy clothing.
Saturday proved bright and perfect cycling weather and we bowled along enjoying the beautiful day and good company. The miles were unnoticed and made the half way turn for the 18 miles route in 45 mins, so decided to go one to Stradbroke and do the full circuit – although the temptation of cake and tea at the Stradbroke pit stop was a good motivator.
We are not regular cyclists, just average, enthusiastic amateurs with fairly standard bikes that are more used to holiday tracks and the odd pub jaunt, but the opportunity to ride and organised marked route, in our own time with other girls inspired us. We've never been out together like this before so it was a maiden voyage in many respects and we both learned lots about ourselves and enjoyed the few hours of male free ‘us' time. A great bonding experience with a challenge that inspired us both. We are really proud of ourselves. Our pedal power impressed us both – I am not such an unfit 45-something. And although we were very familiar with the villages, roads and countryside that we passed through, it was lovely to see them from a different perspective and not from inside of a car.
Polly's bike caused us some problems, on the return route – gears that had a mind of their own – but we managed by swapping over and singing as we rode along to keep a pace. We were one of the last few home, but for non-club cyclists with mechanical difficulties we did ok, we were home with our boys for lunch we were proud (with few aches and pains, too).
I'd encourage any lady who likes to cycle to join a WOW event. It's supportive, fun and such an excellent way to raise money, exercise and enjoy Suffolk. It's a mum and daughter experience we intend to relive in the new year.
We are also hoping the ladies who did WOW Debenham will begin an informal cycling network via social media where we can get in touch and join together to ride out and about in and around our local area. Motivation is often all you need to get in the saddle and ride having a band of other inspired women will surely be an asset to our community – for girls young and old alike.
Thanks WOW – we love you.
We live in such a fabulous place that's ideal for cycling we should be making the most of WOW opportunities. Thanks for a brilliant time – you have inspired two generations to get on our bikes and enjoy girly time.