Anna Marie Marshall

When I was younger, football was my passion. Cycling didn’t really play a part in my life as I didn’t have a bike, but then I hurt my back in a car accident in 2010. I stopped all exercise and that was the worst thing I could have done.

My in-laws bought me a bike for Christmas and I was so happy — the furthest I had cycled was 10 miles. I then got into walking with my friend, Sarah Lea. We went on short breaks and had fab times. Sarah started cycling with the club and loved it, and I thought “what’s all the fuss about?”

Another friend Claire L Champlin, also a club member, spent weeks trying to persuade me to join the club and go on a ride. I thought there was no chance I would be able to keep up and I didn’t want to hold anyone up.
One Saturday in December 2014, I thought to myself “what do I have to lose?” So I took the plunge and turned up to a ride. I was so nervous I was nearly going to do a runner!

My god, I am so glad I didn’t — this club has totally changed my life for the better. On my first ride I completed 22 miles on my hybrid. I soon bought my road bike and was hooked. The support, encouragement and reassurance from the other ladies was amazing and it makes the club what it is today. No one is left behind and I truly mean that. I was at the back and still am, but I love it so much.

I have now completed a number of sportives including the Selby Three Swans — 68 miles in one day! Something I never imagined I could or would be able to do. I also completed Coast to Coast within six months of joining the club in aid of Cancer Research after losing my mum in 2007. Yes, I did have to get off and walk, and yes, I was at the back for three days of cycling, but it was the best thing I have ever achieved and it was all down to this amazing club.

The support, advice and commitment from this cycling club is truly fantastic and feel I’ve have made some true friends along my cycling journey.

Plus it is a good excuse to eat more cake and sausage rolls!

I now want to improve my cycling, especially going up hills. We are all at different stages in our cycling, but if I can encourage others to take part, develop and enjoy this experience then I will be one happy bunny!