Claire Champlin

It all started about three years ago when I met Anne Chatterton during some disability cycle training at work. At the time I was just in training to do my first ever Coast to Coast along the Trans Pennine Trail (263 miles in total). The furthest I had cycled was about 5 miles but knew I needed to up the miles before the challenge.

Anne invited me to join the club rides to help get my miles up, but only having an old mountain that weighed a ton and very little cycle gear, I was very apprehensive — how could I keep up with a cycle club on road bikes with all the right gear? Well I did, and I joined the ride around May time before the big adventure. The ride was a challenge but Kerry Stephenson and Anne were my buddies and supported me all the way, even when I was ready to go back. I was so slow and felt guilty for making everyone wait for me, but they did and still do, and this has never changed throughout. I completed the Coast to Coast and have since done another, which was with all the ladies from the club. Totally amazing!

The club as a whole, and the ladies in it, have helped me in more ways than just cycling — from being bullied in school due to being the chubby girl to feeling like I always had to prove to everyone, even myself, that I was OK at something, sport has always helped, but the ladies in this club have given me confidence, inspiration and self-worth. I have met some truly amazing people and found friends for life. I have also achieved so many things I never thought were possible, including numerous sportive, two Coast to Coast rides, and my level 2 cycle coaching badge, plus much more.

In brief, I would never have achieved and done what I have done without the support and fun times with the lovely ladies called the Sunday Girls Road Club.

Thank you and sorry for waffling, so I will stop now.

Here’s to many more fabulous years of cycling fun, trips and socials.