Seen by many as a very dangerous sport (and I agree), cycling is definitely one of the most mental-strength-dependent sports you can do.

Progressing from a leisure to a competitive rider wasn’t easy- it required consistent training of great intensities and time allocation was quite a tight fit. Amazed by the views here in Shropshire, my interest in cycling grew and soon after I decided to join a time trial held in that area. The event was set in mid-March, so training began at the beginning of the spring term. It sounded scary at first, as I would have to go over the Stiperstones (quite a long and steep climb).

Time was one of the biggest difficulties. Having to sustain grades that would impress while training for at least 7 hours a week was difficult, and to do so I had to fit in half an hour morning rides and more than that after school. But as I soon discovered, I concentrated in class much better having exercised for half an hour before breakfast. It was amazing watching the sky get lighter as I train in the winter months, setting off at quarter to 8 every day. During my training, I’ve learnt a lot more about my body, specifically nutrition and respiration.

Two months of hard work paid off- my 50 mile (80km) time trial involving over 1000 metres of vertical climbing took me a little less than 3.5 hours. The time trial consisted of several steep climbs, and my favourite was the last one that had a gradient of >20% where lots of the competitors had to push their bikes. That was where I passed most of the others, as I pushed on doing less than 4 miles an hour. It hurt so much, but It was so satisfying!

Future plans? I’m planning to enter another race in the local area soon- and as of now I’m aiming to ride around 100km per week.

Check out my rides here!

Ronnie Tse F4