Blog – Cycle Racing and Motherhood


Team VCUK Phmas rider Anna Maunder talks Training and racing after entering the world of motherhood

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Blog – Cycle Racing and Motherhood

NOTE: Send your results as well as club, team & event news here


Here goes… I’m Anna, a 33 year old cycling enthusiast living in Derby with my husband Dan, four month old daughter Athina and our border-collie Dave (or David Steven to those that know him personally).

I’ve been cycling for roughly four years and started racing pretty much straight away; I’ve been completely addicted to riding, training and racing endurance events whenever I could. I’ve had a good few years taking part in some of my favourite events which include; Thetford Winter series, Midlands XC series, Sleepless in the Saddle, Wiggle Mountain Mayhem, Singletrack Enduro 6 (which is of course where I first met ‘The Boss’, Neil Hendry), IOM e2e and so many more events that it’s difficult to list.


Towards the end of 2013, my husband and I discovered that we were expecting our first child, obviously delighted, excited and so very nervous I wondered how I would continue to ride my beloved bikes. I carried on turbo training for a few months but it came to a point where I could do no more and had to stop ;-(

Once I’d had my daughter, I left it a good five weeks until I could wait no more and started very steadily spinning away on a few turbo sessions, the first being just 20 min’s – OMG! Was I ever going to regain my fitness; of course I was and why wouldn’t I. It’s all about what you want out of it and I’m a firm believer that if you want to do something badly enough, you’ll find a way.

My husband Dan was so incredibly supportive and being a racer himself knew how much training and being on the bike meant to me. I continued with a few more turbo sessions until D-day arrived, my first solo ride out on the road just a mere seven weeks after Athina came along.

Honestly, I had no idea of my ability, so decided to give it a whirl and set off on a route that I go out with the local clubs chain gang. Husband and Athina in convoy (obviously in the car – we haven’t got her riding a bike just yet!).

I felt like I was in the ‘tour’ albeit with my name missing from the support car. Dan stopped every few miles to wait for me and the great thing was I carried on trucking, six miles to the end and Athina was wailing like a banshee. What do I do? Stop and get a lift home or continue to smash it. I pushed on. One and a half hours in total. I was home and this was to be the start of my return to competitive cycling…

As soon as I stepped foot into the house after my inaugural ride as a new mother, reality hit and I was feeding the little lady straight away. From that point on all future rides had to be organised around feeding, sleeping and general little lady entertainment. You know what, it’s great, but one teeny bit of advice to any women out-there; don’t make it an excuse.


You CAN ride your bike and exercise as well as being a mum. Its not always easy but it can be done. I took it for granted that previously I could jump on my bike, ride and race to my heart’s content. Of course things have changed, but these changes make the challenge of cycling even more real and exciting.

The first few rides back were not so easy, fitness and weight were a bit of an issue but the more you ride the better you will get. Dan and I now have to ‘take it in turn’ to ride. We alternate the local chain gang and have to be a little more organised but its great and its working ! It’s now onwards and upwards with my campaign to regain my fitness and start racing again.

Just thirteen weeks after the little one arrived, I entered an 80km sportive as I felt I needed an aim – it was fabulous, although the hills took me a little by surprise *shakes head*.

My team PH-MAS have been totally inspiring; there is great banter with the girls and the boss and the team are just lovely. The team spirit feels electric and that in itself is enough to make you want to ride. The buzz of the women’s race team next year, one awesome new kit and excitement amongst the girls is phenomenal.

Whether racing road, cx or mountain bikes, the teams’ collaboration and support just makes you want to do more and focus even more intently. My advice is to get with a club as a team of girls really encourage other girls to ride their bikes.

I have got more of a hunger for racing and riding then I have ever before and, whilst I have to structure training around everyday life, it makes it even more exciting. I’m not going to say racing and training will be the same. It won’t. But my new perspective provides drive and I just can’t wait for the forthcoming season with such an incredible team.

Twitter: @teamvcukphmas

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