Melanie Hurley: Macmillan Cycletta Bedfordshire Report

30th June 2015

At last I have time to sit and reflect on Cycletta Bedfordshire which took place on Saturday 20th June, starting and finishing and the very picturesque Woburn Abbey.

Weather wise it wasn’t the best with a consistent drizzle that lasted from start to finish. I was thoroughly soaked not long after I started but it didn’t seem to dampen the spirits of the ladies there on the day. Taking part in a Cycletta is a wonderful experience. Having done 2 in previous years inspired me to challenge myself this year to do all 6. I must be mad! But each time I turn up I think how wonderful it is for so many ladies to be there, all shapes and sizes, on all sorts of bikes with all different levels of fitness coming together to enjoy the day.

It’s a fun environment whichever distance you choose. I chose the 70k this year which is the longest distance I’ve ridden in a Cycletta so far. So how did it go? I had no supporters with me on the day but saying this I was hugely supported by Team Macmillan whom I’ve chosen to fundraise for. They were just brilliant cheering everyone on and getting very wet while doing so. I’ve been wearing the Team Macmillan jersey with pride as I’ve been very lucky to be on the receiving end of their care.

If you were ever thinking about entering a sportive you couldn’t choose a better one to start with. The Cycletta series is superbly organised. There were smiling marshalls throughout the course making sure you took the right way, or that the roads were clear at junctions while shouting encouragement.

The course is marked with coloured arrows and you follow the colour designated to your distance. Even without studying the route map before hand it is easy to find your way round. There are also feed stops to replenish your stocks, take a breather, use the loo and have a chat with other ladies. I stopped twice on my way round.

For me I don’t have any friends who cycle regularly so doing a Cycletta where I know I can chat and make friends on the route is important. You’re never cycling on your own for long!

Coming back into the Woburn Estate and seeing the deer was a lovely end to the ride. I’m not sure how but each and every name of the ladies crossing the finish line is called out welcoming them home. You’re presented with a lovely medal and a goodie bag from Liv, which even has a water bottle inside!

I thanked my Macmillan cheer team, had the compulsory photo taken and then headed off for a cup of tea with a lovely lady who I met at the Wiggle Dragon Ride, where the first Cycletta of 2015 took place.

As I was crossing the finish line I was wondering if I had it in me to do another 30k… as for the next one in July I’m planning on cycling 100k. I felt so good that I thought “Definitely, yes!”

So in under 4 weeks time I’ll be jetting up to Scotland for the first time ever to take part in the next Macmillan Cycletta (19th July). Really looking forward to it and Scone Palace in Perth looks like another fantastic location.