What has been your worst ride and what did you learn?

It was a solo ride in Germany that went completely wrong. It was -13, I got two punctures, no more inner tubes and was stranded with no phone signal, cafes, transport or english speaking people to help. I learnt that there is a fine line between being brave and being stupid. That day, I was the latter. Always have a Plan B.

The last day of Lands End to John O Groats, my rear gear cable snapped in the first couple of hours and I had to finish the ride in a giant gear over so many climbs. At the start of the day I was the leading woman and by the end I was worried I was going to miss my train back to London! I cried a lot. I learnt that I can get up hills in big gears - it just takes longer - and that it doesn't really matter where you come in an event if you know you've given everything you've got.

I learnt that there is a fine line between being brave and being stupid. Always have a plan B.

On day one of Madrid to Lisbon I didn't have the right kit and wasn't expecting such bad weather (rain, hail, wind, cold). I've learnt to expect the worst and that an extra layer is always a good idea.

I’ve learnt to expect the worst and that an extra layer is always a good idea.

What has someone taught you on the bike that you have never forgotten?

All those people who reach the top of the hill before you were equally puffed out on their way up as you.

You can fix a puncture with just about anything - gel packet or a 20 pound note!

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Keep smiling - you're free and outside and able to do this - enjoy it.

That half-wheeling (riding next to someone but a tiny bit in front of them) can make them feel bad and make you look like a knob.

Don't feel down if you're struggling on a ride. We all have our good and bad points during a ride so eat something, chin up and know it will get easier.

Always be aware of other people’s well being.

Which piece of advice would you like every female cyclist to know?

Don't be afraid - everyone starts somewhere.

Learn to fix a puncture. Even if you always ride with other people who can do it for you, you'll feel bloody brilliant when you nail it for the first time on your own and it will give you so much more freedom on the bike.

To get out there and ride is to open opportunities for yourself in all facets of your life. There shall be no regrets.

There are now so many more female cyclists about so wave & find a group of like minded females to ride with. You'll never regret the companionship.

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Just do it - you'll meet some amazing people who will become your friends for life.

Get a good pump and learn how to fix a puncture!

Fitness is impermanent. Attitude isn’t. Wherever you are in your journey, it’s enough.

What life lessons have your learnt since becoming a cyclist?

You fall, you get back on.

Learn to love your body for what it can do not be angry at it for being too fat / thin / the wrong shape.

Always make time to look at the scenery once in a while.

No matter how cold you are, you'll warm up and go out and do it all again. I see this as a metaphor for overcoming life's challenges!

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You’re capable of enduring more than you know.

The hill ahead never feels as bad as it looks.

Just keep going, you can do the things you didn't think you could.

Listen. Everyone has a story they want to share.



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Kitty Pemberton-Platt