Five months ago I dusted off my bike. It was covered in spider’s webs and hidden beneath two old buggies and a washing basket in the garage. The last time I had done any ‘proper’ exercise was at least a year ago (antenatal pilates does not count).

I didn’t know where to start. But we had the in laws staying and thought it would be a good opportunity to spend some time with my husband. We went out for about an hour. I was slow, my legs burned and I wanted to give up after ten minutes. I just wanted to stop and rest. He quietly encouraged me to keep going (I’m not a fan of screaming and shouting).

If you do what you’ve always done you’ll get what you’ve always got; never a truer word spoken. I was out of my comfort zone and into the unknown.

We rode through the Cheshire countryside and didn’t stop (although I was so slow on the uphills, I think I was actually going backwards!). Being in the open air, escaping the noise and baby cries at home felt good. But the best was yet to come.

When we returned I felt good. Yes, tired, but clear headed and happy. It was literally a breath of fresh air. The post-ride contentment made me a better person, not so narky and happy to eat a treat as oppose to punishing and cursing myself when I so much as looked at a slice of cake. Cycling makes me a better person to live with.

I was reminded of that ride last night. It was Sunday at 5pm, and I hadn’t been on my bike all weekend. Kids party, weather was crappy, felt tired. ‘Go out, just go out, just do it’ – the little voice in my head shouted. Time was ticking away and it would soon be dark. I just couldn’t be bothered. But then the little voice in my head said ‘just round the block and see how you feel then’, and… ‘this is your last chance to make it two rides this week’.

So a pact was made: we would relay it. I would go first and then when I got back husband would go out on his mountain bike. A win-win situation for us and the kids; the motivation we needed.

Lights on, warm gear on, pedal. Round the block and beyond, I was out for an hour. The evening sky was stunning, the roads were quiet and for the first time all weekend I felt I had peace, thinking space, time to absorb the moment. I got home and felt happy.

Next week I’m going out Saturday morning.

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