Emily Gay

Age: 30  |  Occupation: Engineer

Defiance '16
Emily Gay

What was your reason for wanting to ride the Trafalgar Way?

My knees needed a rest from running and I wanted something different to focus on and train for. I am not a super athlete but like to keep fit and this event offered the perfect distraction from the normal day to day routine.

How would you sum up your ride of the Trafalgar Way to a friend?

A superbly organised, challenging and fun event that tests your determination. I made some great, bonding friendships during the event; having started the event alone, I finished with a fantastic team of 3 other riders. I signed up 7 weeks before the event started; at which point I had not sat on a bike for over a year (I am happy to admit this to you now Jim). I came up with a realistic training plan that I could achieve: 1 x Hill Session, 1 x Speed Session and 1 x Long Ride per week with other normal rides in between and increased the distance each week. My time to train was my biggest limiting factor but I kept going and believed I could keep going. Finally the support crew during the event deserve a huge mention since I couldn’t have done it without their fantastic toast making, tea making, jovial humour and driving skills.

What was your most memorable part of the ride?

A 17% hill climb .... It was emotional in the dark because you couldn’t see the top. It felt like it went on forever and my legs were burning with lactic acid. I joked with another rider (Shaun) at the bottom about what 17% meant ... “whether it was Bad or Good?”

What are your top 3 tips for anyone thinking of riding the Trafalgar Way

1. Always be positive: the event is equally mentally challenging as physically. 2. Invest in decent lighting: you can’t cycle fast if you can’t see. 3. Cycling isn’t all about gear ... just get on a bike and ride.

What are your top bits of equipment or kit you wouldn’t want to ride the Trafalgar Way without?

Cycling computer and Assos Cycling Shorts - spending that long on the saddle hurts but it would have been a lot worse without them. The computer was essential for effective training and useful for setting intermediate goals during the event too. I didn’t spend lots of money though and aside from the shorts all my other clothing came from Aldi/Lidl or I just used old running kit.

What bike (make and model) and chainset / cassette set up did you ride the Trafalgar Way with (if available)?

I borrowed the bike which says it all. The bike was just a standard 10 year old, Giant road bike (approx. £1000 new). Nothing geeky .... I got it serviced and started riding. I didn’t get a professional set up or fit, just asked friends and researched the internet for advise, then made gradual adjustments during training. My aim was to just to feel comfortable.

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