We interviewed two hobby cyclists to find out how they got into the sport and what makes their rides so special. From cycling adventures to how they train and the gear they love, get inspired to hit the saddle.

Richard Wilson, 48

I first started cycling...
…when I was a kid. Like every child, a bike was at first a toy, it was a plaything. Then when I had a paper round delivering the daily news before school, I realised that I loved the simple joy of riding a bike. I saved my earnings and bought a race bike.

I’ve been cycling for…
...over 30 years now. Life can often get in the way, but it’s always been a constant whether riding road, mountain, commuting bikes, or now my indoor virtual trainer. I’m happier if I can ride every day.

Greta Linander, 28

I got into cycling by...
…being intrigued. One of my best friends had been cycling with her dad for a couple of years and I was always interested but as you need a cycle and the gear, I had never taken action to join. But in 2019, they came to Skåne to cycle, and I got the opportunity to borrow a bike from a family friend. We had an amazing ride and I directly felt that road cycling was something that I enjoyed. During the spring of 2020 and the outbreak of Covid, I spend two months in Skåne. At this point, I bought my bike, and all the essential gear and started to do longer rides. Every weekend I went to different destinations with my friend’s dad and his friends for a longer ride. This was the best introduction to cycling and I’ve now been cycling for two years. 

How far I cycle…
…varies greatly with the season, but during last summer it was approximately 130 km a week.

R: I love it so much because….
…simply being outdoors and moving, experiencing the day, and feeling alive brings joy. Whatever the weather, it can be both exhilarating and meditative, you can do it on your own, or with others and ultimately, it’s good exercise. I also love bike design, the kit, and the gadgets.

R: I cycle…
…on average around 100kms a week on either my road or mountain bike, but much more if you count the fixie, I use for school drop off’s, popping to the shops and commuting.

G: I prefer long rides outside…
…but I also really enjoy indoor cycling as well!

G: I don’t have a cycling goal…
... but just to keep in good shape so that I can enjoy faster rides with friends.

R: Training for me is varied…
...I have an indoor trainer connected to an App, so I cycle in a virtual world in all weather. It’s the best way to make sure you are training and getting cycle fit. There are many training programs, live races, and group rides to join with riders from all over the world, all from the shelter of the garage. It gets quite addictive. I use this a lot in the winter when it’s just too harsh to get outdoors, but then I get outside as soon as the weather allows.

R: I try set a goal every year...
...whether it is distance, metres climbed or number of rides. I often enter a sportive event, so a group ride usually over 100kms. I like to combine this with travel, so I’ve completed rides in Germany, Australia, France, and the UK.

G: Cycling always makes me feel happy…
…I just love being outside, and it is more of a social sport than you think. I’ve met so many great people since I started. 

R: Cycling…
… never fails to put a smile on my face and it lasts all day.

R: Regarding the kit…
…you need to think about the contact points first, so a good pair of cycling shorts, or ideally bibs. Buy quality as comfort in the saddle is everything. Then cycle shoes. The stiff sole and connection to the pedals will transfer all your power to the pedal. Then you can have some fun with your choice of cycle jersey. It’s good to be seen on the road, so go bright. Front and backlights are important, even during the day, and make sure you layer up, with a base layer and outer gilet or rain jacket.

G: I’d say the best advice for getting into cycling is…
…to borrow a bike and go with someone who can show you around and give some tips. The first rides don’t have to be very long or very fast, you’ve just got to try it.

G: It depends on the weather what I wear, but...
...always have a helmet and snacks in the pocket.

Quick six

Favourite food to eat before a ride?
R: Peanut butter on sourdough and an expresso.
G: Croissant.

Favourite songs to listen to on the road?
R: A well-curated playlist makes you go faster and further. For me, it’s 80s rock and club anthems that do it best.
G: ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.

Most memorable ride?
R: Completing the Etape Tour De France in 2018. It’s one day stage of the Tour for 20,000 riders, that year it was 180km and climbing 4,000 metres through the French Alps.
G: When I and two friends went for a 150 km ride in 30 degrees Stockholm.

Most memorable cycling destination?
R: For the summer months, it was the great climbs of the Alps and Pyrenees like Alps D’Heuz, Col du Galibier, and Tourmalet, I’ve been three times now. Then twice to Mallorca for some winter sun and amazing roads overlooking The Mediterranean.
G: The French Riviera.

What’s on your cycling ‘to do’ wish list?
R: I want to ride up Trollstigen in Norway as it looks stunning, and of course to the Dolomites in Italy. But I’d like to get into multiday rides, carrying as little as possible to go as far as possible staying at B&Bs along the way.
G: Mallorca.

What’s your next gear or tech purchase?
R: A carbon gravel bike. Since I have a road bike and a mountain bike, a gravel bike gives me something in the middle to explore forest trails and maybe some overnight bike packing adventures in the summer. It’s being delivered next week! n+1. Every cyclist needs to know the n+1 rule where n=the number of bikes you currently own.
G: A new helmet, it’s time for an upgrade and helmets should be replaced from time to time.

I realised that I loved the simple joy of riding a bike

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