Sarah Storey blog

 

The sunny shores of the Caribbean seem like they are a world away now we are back into the routine of a typical British autumn! High winds, squally rain showers and dark cloudy days are contrasted with quite a few beautifully clear, bright and very chilly days that show our rolling countryside in all its colourful glory.

 

Barney (Sarah’s husband) and I are lucky to live on the top of a hill where the views can be breath-taking and for every day the weather is truly miserable, there is also a day where the view is quite stunning.

 

 Sarah Storey winter training

 

It’s the time of year when it takes me about 20 minutes to get dressed for a ride and I’m either wearing far too many layers, or far too few, but you can always be sure there will never be fewer than 6 layers trying to protect my feet!  I do love riding during the cold and clear sunny days and enjoying the colours of the trees as they change colour and drop their leaves. Of course with that comes the danger of the slippery leaves, those annoying soggy piles that don’t look much but can throw you from your happy ride in a split second! I confused Barney no end last week refusing to go down our “normal” lane because there were far too many leaves on the fast corner where I like to get my knee down! And then he was even more confused when I suddenly yelled “LEAVES”, he thought he’d heard “flees”!!!

 

Training rides around our home give us the best of everything and with so many hills it’s possible to do over 1000m of climbing in a short but hard 2 hour ride of less than 50km. Obviously the longer rides are the bread and butter of every cyclist and we can get out into Cheshire and traverse the lanes for hours before I always insist on a sharp effort up the Brickworks on the way home. This is one of my favourite climbs and one I use for a whole host of different training rides throughout the year. In the summer I’m found doing 20 second efforts with 40 seconds rest, two or three times from bottom to top, whilst in the winter I can always find the energy to head that way no matter how long I’ve been out, as I love it’s change in gradient and the views from the top are beautiful!

 

Of course, in between all the road stuff, it’s time to start getting back onto the track and it was a shock to the system - more specifically to my arms - to do a starts session, even after just a few weeks off! I suppose I could blame it on having my flu jab, but I know deep down the achy arms are more to do with me being weak and having too much fun lying on a beach!

 

Sarah Storey's training rides

 

Outside of training and heading to the footy (Sarah and Barney have season tickets to watch Manchester United at Old Trafford), Barney and I are also involved in several charities and just last weekend I was announced as patron of a new charity “Boot Out Breast Cancer”. This charity has been set up by Debbie Dowie, who had breast cancer last year and wanted to set up a charity to help buy equipment for the centres of the NHS which require state of the art diagnostic machines.

 

In just a few weeks Barney and I will be attending a ball, in order to raise money for the charity to which we are both patrons - The Children’s Adventure Farm, a charity based in Cheshire which provides holidays and away days for disabled, terminally ill and disadvantages children. They are also able to cater for single parent families in care because of a violent ex-partner.

 

My other charities are also quite locally based. The Macclesfield Seals Swimming Club, is a club specifically set up for disabled people. I have been patron with them for over 10 years and next weekend we’ll visit their annual festive party and I’ll present some prizes to the club members for outstanding achievement, contribution and other performance awards.

 

The Salford Foundation Trust is a charity I met as a result of living in Salford for over 10 years. The aim of the Trust is to provide grants and support to young people in Salford who need financial assistance to achieve their dreams.  I also have a patronage with St Dominic’s High School for Girls, a charitable trust in Staffordshire and the Sport Volunteering North West programme.

 

It’s a privilege to be associated with charities because the very ethos of those charities is to provide excellence to the people it supports. Whilst it sounds like a busy programme and it’s hard to always keep up with everyone, the range of charities match all the things I feel most passionate about.

 

In between all this you’ll mostly find me in the Cheshire Lanes, where I’ve seen more people out on their bikes at this time of year than ever before. It’s great to see so many people on two wheels too!

 

Happy winter training to you all, keep up with those miles!

 

Sarah x

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