This summer, on the 16th and 17th July, our very own Joanna Newitt is taking part in the RSF Yorkshire Wolds Challenge, a charity cycling event to raise money for Rydale Special Families.
Ryedale Special Families is an independent charity based in Malton, North Yorkshire which currently provides care and support to over 400 families and young children with disabilities, illness or additional needs throughout the Ryedale district. The Cycle Challenge is just one of the many fundraising initiatives which help maintain these invaluable services
Following our blog last month on the 10 benefits of cycling, this month we've spoken to Joanna to find out how her training is going and what she still needs to do in order to complete the challenge. Below are the answers to a series of questions we asked Joanna. If you have a question for Joanna, please feel free to post it at the bottom of this blog.
Why did you chose to do the RSF Yorkshire Wolds Challenge?
I've always enjoyed cycling, and alongside my first love of horseriding, it is a good pursuit to keep the legs strong. Now, in my fifty-third year, I have a dream to do the coast-to-coast bike ride, so I thought this would be a good starter, to give me more experience and more confidence with the challenge being nearer to my home! In addition, Ryedale Special Families deserve so much recognition for the help and care they provide in our area to families who have special needs children.
What training have you been doing and how is it currently going?
I am a bit of a “fair weather” bud! So, training at home got off to a slow start! At first, I tried to do at least twelve miles over the Wolds once a week. During May, I tried to complete at least two, fifteen mile rides during the week and one twenty-five mile ride at the weekend when I had more time. Now in June, training is going well and I have built up to thirty-five miles per cycle with a longer ride at the weekend.
Are there any problems you've encountered during training?
Up until now, I have ridden a mountain bike, so not the fastest one for the roads. I originally chose a mountain bike as I can take it anywhere and with lots of pressure in the tyres it can gather speed easily. Also, if I get run off the road or go over one of the many pot-holes, I have a better chance of not departing company! Biking further distances does mean sorer muscles and other private places, so specialist bike clothing must be worn that is lightweight and padded for the saddle.
What training do you still need to do, and are there any improvements you need to make?
I need to keep building the miles and length of time in the saddle. With this in mind, I am looking to buy a road bike this week, which will be lighter than a mountain bike - I am sure the speed of the bigger tyres on the mountain bike hold my speed back.
How confident are you feeling about the challenge as it draws closer?
I am getting more confident - I don’t feel nervous yet!
Have you picked up any tips along the way from other cyclists?
Pre-cycle, post-cycle and during cycle stretches are essential to avoid sore ligaments and muscles, and always remember to keep your shoulders, arms and hands relaxed! Putting hydration tablets into your water while cycling helps revive the muscles and only take a carbohydrate treat when you have your three minute rest en route. When going downhill, stand up on your pedals to stretch your legs, and take the weight out of the saddle slightly.
If you would like to donate to Joanna's Just Giving page to help raise money for Ryedale Special Families, Just click the link below:
Look out for our final blog next month when we'll be interviewing Joanna after the cycle to find out how she got on!