Women’s Road Races Worth Entering


I’ve spent about a year having a go at the odd road race. Well just time trial and crit racing really. I have a British Cycling race license so I can just pop onto the British Cycling website and find a race to enter.

Unlike downhill, you get put into a category depending on your racing experience. I’m an inexperienced 4th cat wanting my 3rd category license. I just need to get the 12 points I need first, which as a female racing isn’t as easy as it looks.

The big hunt for women’s races begins as they are few and far between. Eagerly clicking on links for Crit or road races advertised only to find every race category imaginable but a women’s race.

I suppose the men have it just as difficult as they have to place well in their packed fields to get a point, but at least they can actually race I guess? There’s nothing worse than turning up to a race to find you’re the only female to turn up so you get thrown in with the men getting lapped every few trips round the circuit.

So, I thought I’d list a few races where there is actually a women’s category that needs filling up. Scrolling through the many races on British Cycling’s website, it can become quite a task clicking on each one to see if there’s a women’s category. So hopefully this will make things a little easier!

Lancaster University Spring Crit

Run by the Lancaster University Cycling Club at Salt Ayre Sports Centre, these would be great to kick off your race season for the year, or even if you just want to have a go! But make sure you’re quick, as this series is only during March!

Darley Moor / Ashfield Road Club

At Darley Moor Sports Centre in Derbyshire, Ashfield Road Club are running a crit race for categories 2, 3 and 4. Another series, there will be races on:

17th March

24th March

21st April

23rd June

Muckle Cycling Club Road Race, Northumberland

Taking place on the 31st May, Muckle CC are organising a 35 mile women’s road race in Northumberland. For categories 2, 3 and 4 and the 35 mile distance make it a great event to jump from crit racing to road racing. With a men’s race taking place on the same day, you and your partner/male cycling friends can make the trip together.

Aberystwyth Seafront Criteriums / Welsh Crit Champs

Much earlier than I anticipated this year, Welsh Crit Champs are taking place in Aberystwyth this year. Possibly for those more experienced riders, this race is being organised by Ystwyth Cycling Club. I had great fun racing Welsh Crit Champs last year, but it certainly wasn’t easy! Part of the Aberystwyth Cycling Festival, the little seaside town in Wales is going to be full of anticipation as the races take place.

Richard Kell Memorial Series

One for later in the season, these category 2/3/4 races are taking place through October on Abingdon Airfield in Oxfordshire. However, Abingdon Race Team are also organising a road race in April that might interest you.

Thinking of entering any I’ve listed? Then let me know in the comments as well as any women’s races I haven’t listed!

I can’t remember where this photo from a hill climb in Oswestry last year came from, so if youkre the photographer, let me know and I’ll give you credit!


International Womens Day

8th March marks International Women’s Day and rather than a long rambling post about equality amongst other things, I thought I would keep things positive by sharing a few women that inspire me to lead the life I do.

#1 Leena Gade

Since I ventured into the world of engineering, Leena’s achievements have definitely helped encourage me along the way. In the ‘man’s world’ of engineering, a career in the industry can sometimes be a little daunting.

#2 Lucy Charles

Whilst the thought of doing some of her training sessions makes me shudder, I love following Lucy’s training for Triathlon and Ironman competitions. If she’s not swimming she’s cycling, and if neither of those she’s probably running. Then there’s her gym work too. It makes me tired just typing it all!

#3 Jazz Carlin

I met the GB Swimmer when she came to my local gym for an event with Speedo and she is one of the most down to earth people I have met. Keen to help people with their swimming! I am always jealous however when she posts about training camps from somewhere much hotter than the UK.

#4 Joanna Rowsell Shand

I’ve been lucky enough to meet this incredible athlete at a Time Trial her and her husband organised in the West Pennines. I certainly didn’t expect to see her marshalling on the side of the road in the pouring rain warning us about a rather big pothole! With a big involvement in British Cycling’s Breeze programme, she’s doing more work than ever encouraging people to get active by riding bikes.

#5 Claire Rose

I met Claire at the Isle of Man in 2017 in the hours before she won her National TT Championship title. Her relaxed personality was a breath of fresh air from the ‘serious athlete’ personalities that were in abundance on the day of the big race. With a big team change this year, I’m looking forward to seeing how her season turns out!

Happy #InternationalWomensDay !

Who are your inspiring role models when it comes to being a #girlboss ? Leave them in the comments below!

Forests Not Yet Explored

Thanks to Wonderful You‘s post on Instagram, I heard it was #LoveYourPetDay . So that makes it the perfect opportunity to write about my favourite chocolate beat right?

Due to some back issues I could only manage some hill walking last weekend. I was gutted to not be able to ride my bike, but I was content enough just to be in the hills and the great outdoors. Sometimes exploring by foot means you see that little bit more than you would if you were on a bike.

I spotted the forest on an Instagram post and was intrigued I’d never heard of it before. Coed Llangwyfan nestles itself in amongst the hills near the likes of Moel Arthur. Along a narrow country lane with a ribbon of moss up the centre of it, going in and out of overhanging trees waiting for Spring to come around again, you find a car park surprisingly full. Walkers, from young families to couples alike, passing through the car park as they go from the forest to head up Moel Arthur. Little ones in their wellies racing eachother down the hill.

Jenson eagerly waiting in the back of my car to be let loose in the Welsh hills. He’s soon dragging Ryan around the car park whilst I change into my walking boots. The wind has a slight chill, but the sun meant my big thick winter coat wasn’t required. I let the sun hit my skin whilst filling my lungs with the crisp, clean air as we headed up a muddy track to explore Coed Llangwyfan.

Jenson’s nose taking him in every direction but straight up the path.

The higher we climbed the more the trees began to thin out opening to views of rolling green hills and down into Ruthin.

We only managed a quick loop round the forest as we went over to Moel Arthur to meet Ryan’s family. Moel Arthur made up of rolling fields with the hill top covered in heather. Traipsing through narrow heather lined sheep tracks whilst Jenson constantly going from the back to the front of the group checking everyone was still together. Nancy hopping through the heather like a little rabbit let out of a cage.

We start to descend back down the sometimes slippy path to the car park with Jenson unable to resist fully submerging himself in the muddiest of puddles. Although once back in the car it’s not long till he’s fast asleep as we drive home.

Going walking without a chocolate bear to constantly watch what mischief he’s going to get up to next always feels rather odd. If you’ve ever had a four-legged friend I guess you’ll know exactly what I mean.

So Happy #LoveYourPetDay !

Trail Running and Labradors

I was suppose to be meeting Ffion at Llandegla, but after waking up with a sore upper body after going a little too hard in the gym, for some reason I thought I’d go running at Llandegla instead. I don’t get to see/walk Jenson much these days, so I brought him along too.

We parked up in Llandegla and went to see where the running trails started. It felt weird seeing the #GirlsAtLlandegla posters up! I can’t wait to see everyone riding the trails!

I eventually found the start of the running trails and could let Jenson off the lead. His tail was up and wagging. He loves it in the forest and I’m pretty sure it’s because of all the muddy puddles.

I’ve not been running for a while and it felt good to do it again really. It’s just simple. Chuck your running trainers in the car (possibly a dog too if there’s one available) and find a forest to go and run around.

I desperately wanted to go and ride my mountain bike, but the downpours forecast on the weather didn’t fill me with confidence.

There’s two 10km running trails at Llandegla, the red or the blue. As much as I’d like to think I could get round the red, the vertical inclines up a boggy bank that the red entailed meant I’d leave it for another day. The blue was enough really. There were plenty of hills for me and Jenson to get up to get my glutes burning…and that they did!

I’m not going to be the ‘hero’ and say I ran all the way round. I had to have a few breaks and I couldn’t not take a few photos right?

When the running trails went away from the mountain bike ones, the forest was so quiet. Seeing all of the mountain bikers ride past with mud splattered faces, part of me did feel a little jealous. But I couldn’t have brought Jenson if I was mountain biking.

On one part where the running trail runs near the start of the long climb on the red MTB trail, I just assumed Jenson had followed a scent into the bushes.

“Oh hello”

He decided to go and say hello to the mountain bikers…

Thankfully they were happy mountain bikers and didn’t bother too much! Ha!

Once Jenson and I had got back to the car park and had past the 10km finish post I just wandered back to the car.

Only the have a young shredder racing through the car park with his Dad and the BIGGEST grin on his muddy face. You could tell he had love every second of being out on his bike.

Next thing his Dad is saying close to their van…


And they skid round the corner to their van in sync. The young lad must have been about 5 years old. 5 years old and he was skidding in sync with his Dad.

That is what cycling is about…having the BIGGEST grin on your face.

I mentioned about the posters for Girls At Llandegla and I thought I’d post the links again here in case you’ve lost them! So…

Click here for the blog post!

Click here to book on!

You Survived January…

January can sometimes be the hardest month to get through. Everywhere you go you find yourself having the idea of New Year Resolutions forced upon you and to ban yourself from eating almost every type of food.

This diet will make you lose 2 stone in a week.

Food to avoid and why.

The fitness plan that changed my body in 6 weeks.

Those article titles make me feel sick. They make you feel guilty about eating foods without you even realising it.

That one training session missed and the immense guilt that follows.

January is suppose to the be the month of positivity is it not?

My point is don’t feel down because your 2018 so far hasn’t gone as well as you’d hoped. Because I’m in the same boat.

My 2018 has been hard physically and mentally.

The return to work after Christmas was a massive shock to the system, which probably wasn’t helped by the flu I was battling. I can’t remember the last time I was so ill I could barely walk round my local park.

So that was the first week of 2018 scuppered. It was me and a box of Kleenex tissues rather than sweating it out in the gym.

I’ve also been worrying about the up coming race season and how the amount of training I’ve done for it being zero.

I kept finding myself in the mindset of it being too late to start now…

My point of all of this is, is if you find yourself in the same boat of the start of 2018 being anything but positive…keep your chin up.

How I’m getting out of this rut is to say I’ll just start a fresh in February (well now really). I’m prioritising what is important so as to not spread myself out too thinly. And plan out all of my trips to the gym to get back to my old self.

So if you feel like writing off any goal achieving in 2018, why not start a fresh in February? There are 11 months left after all. We don’t need to go from zero to hero in a month, we can just take those small steps to get us there.

A Trip to British Cycling HQ

The past few weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind. It went from getting an email from British Cycling to me checking into a hotel in the centre of Manchester. Hopping on the tram that stopped off at ‘Velopark’ I wasn’t really sure what to expect from my afternoon at the National Cycling Centre.

Not a bad view really!

The place where history has been made. Where our GB athletes train. We’ll never truly know what goes into their training sessions, but it still gives me goosebumps walking around the place.

National Track Champs

British Cycling had invited a group of blog writers to talk to us about their initiatives for 2018 and I was pleased to hear it wasn’t just all about elite success. That obviously came into it, but they have plenty of other initiatives in place too.

I’m going to write up a full post on their initiatives because I think it’s good to know what the big wigs are doing that run our sport, so look out for that one very soon!

National Track Champs

British Cycling also gave Ryan and I tickets to go and watch the National Track Champs in the Velodrome. This I was particularly excited about…even more so after 3 cups of cffee that day.

What can I say…a cyclist loves their coffee….

Watching track champs was pretty bonkers to be honest. Team KGF took the 1, 2, 3 in the 4km individual pursuit. KGF team mates Charlie Tanfield & Dan Bigham went head to head in the Individual Pursuit Final, only for Charlie to overtake Dan meaning the race ended there. Welsh rider Lewis Oliva put the power down to take the top step in the Keirin and defended his title from 2017. Katie Archibald also picked up gold medals in the 3km Individual Pursuit, but Emily Nelson got the top spot in the Pursuit Final.

National Track Champs

Seeing all of the athletes warm up in the centre of the track, and just being in a competitive environment, made me just want t ride my bike! It even encouraged me to finally book onto the West Pennine Hilly Time Trial that has been on my mind for a while. I got around 53 minutes last year, so sub-50 time I’m coming for you (my legs just don’t know it yet…)

National Track Champs

With the lighter evenings slowly reappearimg, I’m looking forward to having a 2018 full of bikes. Once I get some routes finalised for my Breeze rides, I can wait to get the, up and running. The fast approaching Girls at Llandegla I’m organising won’t be one to miss either!

National Track Champs

Old Ma’s Coffee Shop

We finally managed to get out and ride our bikes after being ill over Christmas and New Year. Now I’m feeling better I could also try out the selfie stick Ryan got me for Christmas so I can use my GoPro more. Thanks to the GoPro Quik Stories app it is super easy to put together short videos too.

Getting up early to go out on a Sunday was definitely a shock to the system after letting myself have lie ins to recover from whatever illness I had. After getting out on the bikes today my head is so much clearer and I’m starting to feel a bit more like myself again. I’ve even found a gym to join so I can get back to training properly. When I don’t train I just donkt quite feel like myself. Being active and into fitness has always been a part of who I am.

With Ryan deep into his training for 2018, it was good to get out together too. No pressures to get back for a certain time, or because we actually got up on time, we weren’t chasing the light either.

We couldn’t believe how many cyclists and runners we seen out! I can honestly say we saw around 30 cyclists out on the route we did, or in the cafe we stopped at.

We stopped at Old Ma’s Coffee Shop, which isn’t too far from the Ice Cream Farm in Tattenhall. Ryan’s been before, but today was my first visit and I couldn’t recommend it more! It’s such a welcoming cafe with really good food. Value for money is great too.

I hope you all managed to get out and enjoy the outdoors this weekend, whether that was cycling or not.

Attingham Park, Shrewsbury

I put these photos into Photoshop, but then decided to I liked them as they were.

Our visit to Attingham Park was a bit sporadic, yet I’m still glad we went even if it was rather cold! Next time I’ll make sure to go back more wrapped up, but then we could just go back when it’s a bit warmer…

After a tour round the house, where I kept trying to make Ryan laugh, we wandered up to the deer since I was dying to take some photos of them. Next time, I’ll try and take a longer lens as I could photograph them all day!

18 Things to Do in 2018

18 things to do in 2018

I suppose it’s that time of year I should write a little post about the approaching New Year. I’ve had such a great Christmas, even if I was a little unwell for part of it. I couldn’t dive into all of the food like normal…ha!

To make a post that’s a little different, I wanted all of my readers to be able to get involved too. 18 questions about what you want to accomplish in 2018. Write your answers on a piece of paper or in the comments below. I’ve even put my answers at the bottom of this post!

1. New Year Resolution?
2. Sport to Try?
3. Place to Visit Abroad?
4. Staycation to Book?
5. Bad habit to get rid of?
6. Book to read?
7. Unfinished project you want to finish?
8. Mountain to climb?
9. Skill to improve?
10. Film to watch?
11. Recipe to master?
12. Planned event you’re already looking forward to?
13. Something to start saving money for?
14. National Trust Heritage site to visit?
15. Film to carry on watching a million times over?
16. 2018 Challenge to complete? (#365PhotoChallenge?)
17. Fitness/Activity event to conquer?
18. Thing to be most grateful for?

1. New Year Resolution?
With Ffion on our mountain bikes the other day, we were having a good old chat about New Year Resolutions and fitness came into both of ours. Mine is to get functionally stronger. I’ve let my fitness slip the past few months so its about time I did something about it! I just need to decide on a gym to join…

2. Sport to Try?
After hearing all about my brother’s trip to Whistler, I’m hoping I’ll get to try Snowboarding this year.

3. Place to Visit Abroad?
Oo a tough one, but France is probably the most likely whether that’s to hit the slopes on a snowboard or climb the mountain roads on my trusted Liv Envie.

4. Staycation to Book?
I haven’t managed to knuckle it down to one particulae location, but I’d love to organise a group holiday to a cottage/cabin somewhere with lots of cycling and mountains nearby!

5. Bad habit to get rid of?
Overthinking everything!

6. Book to read?
With motorsport being another big part of my life, the book I want to read os one written by the wife of Frank Williams. Williams: A Different Kind of Life is written by the wife of Frank Williams and the troubles they’ve overcome after his accident.

7. Unfinished project you want to finish?
Paint some canvas’ to put up in the house.

8. Mountain to climb?
Cadair Idris as I have actually only been up to the lake…which I ended up swimming in!

9. Skill to improve?
It’s cheating but I want to put two down, my photography and cycling fitness.

10. Film to watch?
The Nutcracker, which was actually filmed somewhere I have been with Ryan earlier this year. I can already recognise the place from the trailer!

11. Recipe to master?
Any recipe out of a cookbook I had off Ryan for Christmas, RAF 100 Cookbook.

12. Planned event you’re already looking forward to?
Going to see Stereophonics.

13. Something to start saving money for?
Snowboarding holiday.

14. National Trust Heritage site to visit?
Gunby Hall, Lincolnshire.

15. Film to carry on watching a million times over?
Any of the Fast & Furious Films or Skyfall. I always love getting all cozy with a hot chocolate with Skyfall on the TV.

16. 2018 Challenge to complete? (#365PhotoChallenge?)
In relation to my blog it will be to make sure I post every week, but for cycling it will be to enter some more CRIT races.

17. Fitness/Activity event to conquer?
Welsh Champs TT.

18. Thing to be most grateful for?
Having supportive family and friends around me.

I’d love to hear your answers below and what goals you’ve got for 2018!

Girls, Gossip and Bikes

When you’re a child you always want to be older, but as an adult you’ll often want to be a child again. Keeping in contact with friends was so much simpler back then, but as an adult there’s always something on the to-do list.

With some time off over Christmas I’ve thankfully been able to catch up with friends I’ve not seen for so long! Including Ffion who I’ve been up to Llandegla with today. With both of us having assignments to be handed in, catching up with each other hasn’t been that easy. Yet today both of us has some time to go and ride round Llandegla. We could have maybe gone somewhere a bit different as I ride there so much, but my confidence on the bike lately isn’t great!

Parking up at Llandegla I’d made sure to wrap up warm, although with the 10 degrees temperatures it turned out I didn’t need to. We pedalled our way to the top with conversation in full flow.

Going round the two berms right at the top of the forest we knew we’d both want to stop to take some photos of the view. With even more logging taking place at the top of the forest, it made way for being able to see fog sitting at the bottom of the valley. With all the times I’ve been to Llandegla, I’ve never seen anything similar happen.

With the start of the black closed off we followed the red round, whilst I was forever in the wrong gear. I’ve somehow still not got use to having two chain rings as opposed to 3, or I’m just more familiar with road bike gearing these days…

The forest was rather quiet, so we didn’t see too many people out on the trails, which helped make it a really relaxed ride. We stopped a few times, then quickly started pedalling again after realising we’d been chatting for 20 minutes.

Rolling back down to the trail centre I washed my bike down whilst Ffion tried out the Freeride. I don’t think me or my bike would have coped with that…ha! However, thanks to a revamped section at the top of the red I did actually manage to get my bike off the ground…I think!

With a piece of doorstop toast & cheese on top and an americano (although I was torn between the toast or a cake!), we both refuelled before heading home. I also had a quick chat with the guys at Llandegla about next year’s event ‘Girls at Llandegla‘, which I’m super excited about now! It’s registered with Help For Heroes now, I just need to make a few adjustments to the poster and I can fully get to work on organising it after everyone’s had a great Christmas & New Year.

Maybe you know someone with a New Year’s Resolution of trying a new sport or exercising more…why not bring them to ‘Girls At Llandegla’?