“It happens to many of us. We reach the age of 40, comfortable with our way of life not realizing that the excesses of middle age have taken a dramatic effect on our waistlines. The bathroom scales tell a story we ignore and we convince ourselves that a round of golf each week, followed by three pints and a curry is all we need to keep in shape. I found that this doesn’t help!

It was when I heard about a group of cyclists who enjoyed regular cycling around the district that I decided, with considerable help from Aled Roberts, to visit Leisure Lakes Bikes to consider the possibility of investing in a bike. I wanted to see whether cycling could help me lose some weight and get fit. I was warned that I might get hooked, and I certainly did!

Four years on from that first 10 mile venture out as a 17 stone slob dressed, to the neighbours amusement, in lycra shorts and a very skin tight extra large top I have competed in three Etapes Du Tour, La Marmotte and a series of uk sportives. 3 stones in weight have gone and I feel as fit as I did when I was a teenager. If I could give up chocolate and Jammie Dodgers that the weight loss would be even greater.

Riding out in a group at weekends, or a solo training run on a warm summers evening after work really are a highlight of the week. To find a sport that offers so much social pleasure and wellbeing without necessarily having to be over competitive really is something special.

Fitness and weight loss really is about lifestyle change. Being a member of Daventry Cycling Club and the health and social benefits this has brought me really has been a life changing experience.”

“Like many of the other members the cycling started back in around 2001 as doing something different in the summer between squash seasons. The cycling bug got a hold and became a regular weekend fixture all through the year. Then the general interest in doing something different again so the Etape became a target.

In 2007 I was persuaded to try and qualify for the GB Age Group Triathlon World Championships which were due to be held in Hamburg in the September. The various qualifying events also gave the possibility of qualifying for the following years European and World Championships to be held in Lisbon and Vancouver respectively. I did qualify and at the age of 61 was proud to qualify to be an official GB competitor. In those first events I came 5th and 4th in the worlds and 3rd (bronze medal) at the European.

Since then I’ve been British Champion at both the Sprint and Olympic triathlon distances. All this became possible due to the consistent quality of the weekend rides with Daventry Cycling Club.”