In the latest update from InternationalElles, we caught up with rider Lucy Ritchie…
My name is Lucy Ritchie, and I am 44 years old. I hail from Aberdeenshire in NE Scotland, I am married to Kyle (also a keen cyclist). We have no children but two Labradors, Maggie and Pele. I have cycled since childhood but took up road cycling more seriously aged 39. I had been a runner previously but was suffering on/ off from pain in my hip and so turned to cycling for fitness.
Initially, I started commuting to and from work – a 35-mile round trip – and it was great stress relief. Sitting in traffic for two hours a day was soul-destroying! I started riding with my husband and his mates and was quite surprised that I could keep up, being described by them as ‘strong’! So, I guess after a bit of a mid-life crisis …(!) I decided to throw myself at cycling and see just what I could achieve.
I hired a coach, bought a better bike and started entering Sportives and small local races. By 2018, I had gained my Category 3 racing licence and represented Team GB at the UCI Amateur Gran Fondo World Championships in Albi, France (2017) and Varese, Italy (2018). Riding as part of the InternationElles seemed the next logical step in my journey, just the right level of craziness, pain, endurance and hopefully satisfaction when we have completed the route!
Training has been tough – not so much cycling but fitting it in around a full time, sometimes intense job, working as a geologist/ team lead for Shell U.K, whilst keeping house and trying to have some social life. Without Kyle picking up the slack, this would have been so much harder. He has been the perfect soigneur. I’ve returned home from some miserably cold and wet rides to find the bath run and a plate of food waiting. Thanks Kyle!
My coach, Rich, has been equally supportive, using my commutes to minimise time on the turbo and as constant source of encouragement when I literally could not face getting on my bike for another miserably cold and wet ride – bit of a theme here…
I am so honoured to be part of this amazing team and I hope our efforts go some way to changing attitudes and paving a way for future generations of cyclists, both male and female. It’s all about creating a balance but we need equal opportunity to achieve this and we should be celebrating the differences between men and women with inclusion not exclusion.