Best of Memories: Rebecca Richardson

Hill climber Rebecca Richardson (Brother UK-OnForm) reveals her best of memories – a very ad hoc and low-tech trip around Ireland

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Best of Memories: Rebecca Richardson (Brother UK-OnForm)
Photos: Andy Cook

Rebecca writes … A difficult question to answer with so many best moments! In my early twenties, I bicycle toured a lot. It was all very ad hoc and low-tech as I never had any spare money so it was always wild camping with tins of beans and rice.

The best one was probably a touring trip from my home in Wales, around Ireland back in 2012. I had no Garmin and didn’t know about Strava until very late in the day, and so I had some fun adventures before the arrival of Strava and Garmins in my life! For the Wales-Ireland tour, I ripped pages out of a car road map. On the first day we covered 194km and 2510 metres elevation with fully loaded panniers and compact gearing 34/28 over the beastly hills around Aberystwyth.

I made a huge mapping error by misplacing a page of the map I tore out, and added another 53km to the day! We averaged 140km a day over 10 days, one change of clothes, and a basic Nokia phone that we didn’t turn on once. We (my ex-husband and I) had no plan, just a ferry to catch at Fishguard and Holyhead. We wild camped on an island overlooking Fastnet lighthouse, rode in pouring rain, sunshine, had a shower infrequently, and covered all of the west coast peninsulas.

Some days were so mentally tough and I had awful knee pain from day 2 until day 8, but it was worth it, and the knees got better. All I have recorded is a few scribbled notes of mileage and time and how I was feeling and those scribbles tell a thousand memories. No training peaks or social media. It was a wonderful trip and one of many touring adventures.

When I eventually joined my local cycling club, Hafren CC, in 2014 I felt like a novice. After the first ride, someone said “oh, you’ve obviously biked before!’

Thanks Rebecca – sounds like a wild time on the bike! Stay safe and take care…

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