Meet Alison Melia – she’s part of the Cycleplan team and recently took up cycling outside of the office, to raise money for North West Cancer Research.
The charity looked after her brother, and four members of her family have been diagnosed with cancer in the last two years.
To acknowledge the amazing work of NWCR, Alison recently cycled ‘Nightrider’, a 30-mile bike ride around the Wirral which runs until the early hours.
We’re really proud of Alison and we wanted to share her story. Here’s what she had to say.
How did you get into cycling?
Alison: I started looking for something to keep me active, and I’m not one for the gym. So, cycling seemed perfect.
What’s the hardest bit of cycling you’ve had to do and why?
Alison: Definitely the Liverpool Nightrider! The Wirral has a lot more hills than I remember and going through the Mersey Tunnel was tough.
It was such a brilliant experience, but definitely a challenge.
You trained a lot for this event. Did it pay off?
Alison: The gradual increase in mileage really paid off! The event was 30 miles and toward the end of my training I was up to 27 miles, so I didn’t really struggle with the distance.
The only thing I wish I had done more of was hill climbing training, just as I wasn’t prepared for how many hills were involved!
How did you find riding in the dark?
Alison: No problem at all – I did a lot of my training in the dark, especially early in the morning, so I wasn’t really phased.
However, I always check my lights before setting off and during my training (and the event), I wore a high-visibility jacket.
How far do you go in a week usually?
Alison: I thought it would be tough to make time for cycling, but I’ve managed to build it into my routine.
I try to cycle six to 10 miles each night after work and up to 25 miles over the weekend – but it’s just as important to give yourself a rest and recharge.
What’s the best advice you can give someone who’s thinking of getting back on a bike?
Alison: Just do it! It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done. I feel so much better physically and mentally. Honestly, I’ve surprised myself by just how much I love being on the bike.