Thank you cycling

In 2018, Condor + KPP asked women around the world to write a thank you note to cycling. The messages were varied, but there was one key theme: a belief that cycling had simplified their life. The Notes Collection celebrates this with a jersey, cap and pair of socks.

Below you can read a selection of those notes.

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Thank you cycling for always being there when I need to shed my mummy cape & have my ‘me time’, Helen.

Thank you for showing me what I am capable of, for taking me out of the mundane hedonism my life had slipped into, for giving me a access to the world, weekends and holidays filled with adventure. You’ve given me a hack button to life and I remain eternally grateful, Ger.

For the delicious escape from reality and mundanity, cycling, I salute you, Danielle.

Thank you cycling for teaching me resilience. For showing me it’s absolutely possible to get back out there time and time again regardless of the falls, Rebekah.

Because of you I suffered a life changing accident, but also because of you I grew in all sorts of ways. Now that I’m back with you, I’m more in love with you than ever before, Anna.

For making me dream, let me discover new places, getting me lost and giving me enormous sense of freedom, Chiara.

Thank you for making me the independent, powerful and resilient woman I am today. You’ve shown me the worst and the best of myself. Every time I think I can’t, you teach me that I can.The early mornings, wrestling the bike in the shower, the flats, the laps, the hills, the crashes, the peace and quiet, the manic commute. I’ll keep you with me always, because you’ve given me so much, Liz.

You’re the best hangover cure. Crossing the River Lea in the Olympic Park dissolves my headache. Whizzing alongside a flock of parakeets in Victoria Park will always destroy any shame or doubt. You’re free, fun and the bit of exercise I need to not completely lose my will to live, Alex.

I thank thee for bringing me freedom. For the joy, the travelling & the new socks. I thank thee for the rides I take. The races, the cake rides, the “boat” rides, the pace rides and even the snail rides where my legs fail me. I thank thee for friendships. Cycling has broadened the bunch of weirdos I call friends. Nothing beats riding with mates, side by side or wheel to wheel. I thank thee for times when I can simply be me. For nothing covers a bad hair day like my cycling helmet, and nothing recovers a bad day like a cycling adventure. I thank thee for therapy on wheels. For cycling brings me serenity and sanity in equal measure. For cycling I thank thee, Melinda.

Thank you for making me realise what I am capable of even when I don’t know it, for giving me escape when everything gets too much and for helping me meet the best people, Emma Jane.

Thank you cycling for so many things… for the laughs and jokes, the friendships made over miles on country lanes, park laps and those unplanned muddy tracks. For making me get up early to see the sunrise in the winter months, and the summer sunset with mates and pints. For giving me the time to think and clear my head, to let me forget my worries and focus only on the road ahead. Thank you cycling, Janine.

Thank you for not only getting me from A to B, but for getting me to where I am today, starting my dream career as a happier, healthier, and far more confident version of myself. Cycling has given me the freedom and drive to get to where I want to go in life (figuratively and literally) and I cannot wait to see where it takes me next, Katy.

Thank you cycling for giving me a feeling of freedom, a feeling that you are far away, even when you are only 20km away from your own house.Thank you cycling for giving me the adventures and the friends to do the adventures with and create unforgettable memories. Thank you cycling for letting me escape from my city, my thoughts and the world. Thank you cycling for letting me suffer, letting me painfully push my limits, destroy my body, letting me completely hate you, but in the end totally fall in love with you again, Marit.

Dear cycling, thank you for teaching me that the low points on your journey make the high points that much sweeter, Vicky.

You brought me out of depression. You made me fit. You found me friends. You gave me a new career. You showed me love. You took me down the path least travelled. You saved my life. I am forever grateful, Jeni.

  As my life (and body!) evolves, cycling has been a solid backbone for years now - no matter where I’ve lived in the past 10 years, it’s orientated my daily routine, my travel, my friendships… not to mention my instagram feed ;) As with all the best things in life, there have been incredible highs - races won, breath-taking views, a ravenous feast with friends after a long, challenging day. And incredible lows - skin lost, frustration, anxiety, exhaustion. I’m grateful for what I continue to learn about myself, and the world and people around me.  I know this is a relationship I’m invested in for the long run, Sarah.

I treasure the battle scars you’ve given me on my knees and elbows. Even though they hurt, I’m ever so proud of them. I can remember the year, event or race, the how, the weather. Those memories and thrills never fade, just like my cycling scars, Claire.

You’ve given me confidence, freedom and wind in my hair. Even though we haven’t been super consistent, I still think you’re awesome... and as a bonus, you introduced me to the love of my life. So thanks a million, Lauren.

Dear Bianca, Rose, Stacey, Princess Zena of the Mud, Kylie and Garry - Together we have had so many adventures. We’ve pinned on numbers. We’ve escaped into the mud. We’ve climbed mountains. We’ve crossed countries. We’ve sometimes had a little tumble. But we’ve always been friends and made many friends together. To a continued blossoming relationship, Olivia.

Dear cycling: thank you for bringing out the best in me. You showed me what leadership, humility, vulnerability, and grace really looked like. You were the backdrop to some of my biggest accomplishments and pushed my mind and body in ways I’ve never imagined. You brought women into my life that will be my friends for life, and you taught me about the beauty of suffering together vs. alone. You introduced me to my favorite feeling: descending while dripping in sweat with the cool breeze brushed across my face, and reminded me just how strong my body is. I’ve never eaten so many carbs in my life. You should know I get the chills every single time I clip in - especially as a group - because I know that change, in some capacity, always happens on the bike, Kelly.

Dear cycling, thank you for giving me time to myself and the clarity of thought I so crave in everyday life, for giving me friends, for the endorphins and for giving me a purpose and something to work at everyday, Georgie.

Looking back to this time last year whilst simultaneously looking forwards to being back on the race circuit in the future after a few months downing tools. It’s not news to anyone that enforced time off doing what you enjoy is just as challenging as doing the thing itself. I’ve learnt it’s very easy to put all your eggs in one basket: cycling can tick all the big social, mental, physical health boxes and more. Which is great but only if you watch the basket. I’ll be returning with a renewed motivation, Sophie.

Thank you, cycling... for enriching my childhood, for teaching me lessons in resilience, for always being there, for bringing a community of support and friendship at times of illness or injury and for reminding me every day why I’m so passionate about my career, Rebecca.

Rolling over hills, along coastlines, through sunshine and rain, forgetting about the daily grind and focusing on the road ahead. The bike provides me with a fast path to freedom and disconnect, Sinead. 

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Kitty Pemberton-Platt