In the spotlight today is @ultra_angi (IG). We spoke to Angi who competed for the first time this year:
Etape Caledonia was my first sportive. I have been riding bikes since I was 16, mostly MTB and have also raced at national level so I’m pretty confident on a bike, but as I’ve gotten older and started to do running, I’ve loved how cycling compliments my marathon training.
What makes Etape Caledonia stand out amongst other cycling events?
I absolutely loved Etape Caledonia 2023, it was a very well organised event, super easy to get to and race pack pick up was very smooth. Also, very convenient to be dropped off on the morning of the event, and ample signage to know where to go.
You said you made lots of new pals along the way. Tell us a little bit more about this!
I did this event solo and was a bit nervous/apprehensive about it, but I needn’t have been as from the start line, during the event and the end, I had plenty of friendly company with lots of people to talk to, which was wonderful!
How has cycling positively impacted your life?
Cycling has definitely positively impacted my life, I took up road cycling during lockdown with my son as a way to keep fit, and I have loved it so much I incorporate it into my weekly running training.
I feel so liberated and free when I’m on the bike and anything that’s bothering me seems to disappear for that hour or 2, nothing else matters to me. I finish my ride and feel so uplifted and truly blessed. Cycling takes me to a happy place, and I love challenging myself each time I ride.
As Etape Caledonia 2023 was your first sportive and you participated in the 85-mile route, do you have any advice for those who may be hesitant to participate/take on the longer challenge because they lack experience?
My advice for anyone thinking of doing the 85-mile challenge would be to build up ‘time in the saddle’ more than mileage. I feel like that really helped me. But mostly, to go out and enjoy it, I felt so lucky to be riding through such an amazing countryside, and my favourite part of the whole route was the Schiehallion climb, then the descent! It was breath-taking, the twisty bends on the downhill made the climb worthwhile!
Can you talk a little bit more about the support from the crowd?
The support from the crowd was amazing, and very welcome especially in the more remote areas of the course, the power of someone cheering you on is like a superpower, and gives you such a boost of energy, I loved the guy playing the bagpipes, nice touch! But probably the best cheering was at the finish line, I honestly felt like I was finishing 1st place and got a hero’s cheer all along the finish straight, I felt super emotional and actually cried happy tears 1. For finishing strong, I tried for a ‘sprint finish’ and 2. My longest ever cycling event, and I smashed it and beat my personal goal that I set myself!
I look forward to Etape Caledonia 2024 to see if I can smash that goal!
I saw that you used the hashtag #ridelikeagirl, do you feel like Etape Caledonia was empowering for female cyclists?
Cycling definitely empowers women. I could see from the event that the amount of female representation was very high, would be interesting to know the percentage split of male and female riders! Having been involved in cycling for many decades (I also used to work as a fashion designer for a cycling clothing company) it is great to see female specific cycle clothing as fashionable and trendy as it is now as it certainly wasn’t like that in the early 90s! I love looking at the gear that the riders all wear from helmet to shoes, and everything in between. Great times for women in cycling with the UCI World Champs in Scotland showcasing incredible role models such as Katie Archibald, makes women like me believe I can get out there and do it too!
As you’re also a runner, would you consider doing another of LimeLight’s events?
I’ll definitely look into the London Duathlon, that’s next on my list of goals for 2024!
If you want to experience the amazing Etape Caledonia, Early Bird Entries are open and will guarantee you the best price! However, this offer ends soon! Link here!
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