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Learn about our team mates experiences in cycling, whether it’s in real life, on Zwift, or both!


The Journey to Lands End – Part 1

Sep 4, 2021 | Challenge, Cycling | 0 comments

By Emma Whitehouse

So, I started this journey in 2019, and was one of the first people to register to do Ride Across Britain – Land’s End to John O’Groats, I had decided I needed a challenge for my 50th year and that was going to be it.

First a bit about me and how I go to today, I am now 50, married, no children but two crazy working cocker spaniels and I work full time in Human Resources.  In my spare time when I am not cycling, I am a Breeze Champion and co Event Direct Dudley parkrun.

I got into cycling back in 2014 after tearing my achilles tendon, and 6 months of no activity. I had a £300 Hybrid Halfords Bike and started my rehabilitation going up and down the local canal paths, I soon got bored and, on a whim, thought I will buy a road bike…so my first road bike was about £800 and a Giant AL one, I felt like a toddler trying to ride it and absolutely came off learning to ride with SPD SL’s. My first ever sportive was the Birmingham Bikeathon and 26 miles, and I couldn’t have been prouder of myself after 6 months of that year being written off.

The following year I entered a few more sportives and completed my first 100 miles and  I upgraded my bike to a Carbon Liv Avail, I also brought myself a mag turbo trainer so I could still cycle in the winter months.  I also entered the ballot to take part in Ride London, which both myself and my husband got a place in, at this point I had starting running again and the bike took a bit of back seat, whilst I completed a variety of 10k and some Half Marathon’s.

Hubby and I completed Ride London in 2017, and it was an awesome event, and we raised £2500 for Macmillian.

Then the dreaded Plantar arrived and I couldn’t run, and ended up having a calf release, so as part of my rehab I dusted the bike off and quite nervously joined a women’s only slow ride and I was hooked again.  I went back to my local club and started building up my pace and distance, as well as signing up for the Birmingham Velo, another 100 miler.  Having been a fan of the Watt Bike at the Gym, when they launched the Atom I made the decision to buy one, we didn’t have a lot of room at home and it meant that both myself and hubby could use it, and I entered into virtual world of Zwift very clueless.

Anyway as I say I signed up in Sept 2019 – that year I managed 4000 miles on Strava, and set myself a challenge to get to 8000 in 2020.  Sadly, Covid hit and wiped away all the sportives/training rides I had planned along with taking part in RAB.  I moped around for about a week, and then though get your arse into gear, I was lucky I had my Atom so I joined every challenge possible, and was a woman on a mission to get my Iron Bike, and complete all the routes on Zwift.  I took part in the Rapha Festive 500 and managed to hit my target of 8000 miles for 2020, as well as getting my Tron, and completing all the routes on Zwift.

It was in early 2021 I was introduced to AEO, Ness and Tracy had set up a RAB Zwifters group and were doing regular Wednesday rides which I started to join, and Ness encouraged me to join AEO.  I felt so strong at the beginning of 2021, and surprised myself coming 2nd in an Individual  TT event, and enjoyed racing with the Chica’s and learning how to draft and use the gamification of Zwift which 2 years on had escaped me!  I still can’t draft that well…

Sadly my health was suffering and I took some time out from racing to get myself right and also needed to focus on endurance ready to take on RAB LEJOG.   The dreaded menopause was taking its toll, and however since starting HRT I have started to feel much better.   I am so proud to be part of the AEO family, it has a great culture, really supportive and also the kit is the best both on and off Zwift and look forward to racing with you in the autumn again.

So here I am sat in our Campervan at Lands End, having checked and unpacked my bag and bike several times, trying to relax getting ready to join camp this afternoon and I start my bike adventure tomorrow.  I will update you all once I’ve finished the journey 🙂




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