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Rider of the Week, Denise Barratt

Rider of the week, Denise Barratt

Why do you ride? I started cycling in 2010 when a friend of mine had organised a charity ride for his now late wife. The 1st plan was to drive the support car carrying supplies. I’d lost my Husband the previous year, and I thought if Anton was here now he would be doing this ride, so without further thought told my friend I’d be cycling with him and off I went to Halfords to buy my 1st bike, with no knowledge at all of course 🙄 I mean why the hell did I buy the heaviest MTB in Halfords to do a Road Ride??? The colour was nice though!😁
So having done the charity ride around the West Midlands Football grounds on my Halfords BSO (Bike Shaped Object), I came home totally shattered but I was buzzing….and after a few promising we would make this cycling lark a regular thing, it never got off the ground. I’m not really into cycling alone so the BSO took up residence in the shed.
It was another 4 years of getting used to life without Anton when my Grandson was born, and within a few months my Daughter was taking him swimming. It was then that I gave myself the much needed kick up the backside to sort my life out and decided to start going to the leisure centre with my Daughter, which is where I met my friend Penny, the woman I will always thank for reigniting my love of cycling and getting my life back on track….
Every Friday I cycled with the Leisure centre, done Penny’s spin classes in the week, and finally plucked the courage to join a family cycling group I’d been following on Facebook. I went on to cycling my 1st Sportive, Manchester to Blackpool and Cycling on the Olympic Velodrome. I’ve had lots of great days and weekends out with the club, Rutland Water, Tissington, Blackpool to name a few, rode the South Staffs Audax and Brewood Challenge twice, the 1st time making it into my 1st Century. How I found SOCC
I prefer Road riding to off road so completed a couple of ride leader courses and started to lead a Thursday night road ride within the club.
I spotted Shire Oak Cycling Club on Facebook and decided to see what they were all about, and if I could keep up 🤔….the answer to that being nooooo😤…i persevered but now the club has re branded and has rides for different abilities it’s all good 🤗
I’ve now been cycling with SOCC for 15 months and during that time Cycled Velo Birmingham and Ride the Night London, which I am doing again this year. Shire Oak is a great club full of friendly people and growing by the day.

What do you dislike about cycling? Hills …well some 😏,Pot holes, punctures, idiot drivers! Idiot walkers that tell you off for cycling on a cycle path! Riding MTB on road, energy gels

What do you like about cycling? Cycling in the sunshine, cycling in a group and passers by starring at you like you’ve come from outer space👽…obviously not seen a bike before 😂, lovely smooth tarmac and getting down on the drops, Carrot cake, Sticky buns.

What is your favourite Bike? Has to be my Specialized Ruby, just a perfect fit for me and love the shock absorber!

And on your bucket list? I don’t really have a bucket list, I’d just really like to cycle to a ripe old age, cycling has given me my life back and introduced me to so many new friends to which I’m forever grateful.

What is your Drink at the Cafe stops? Has to be a Latte or flat white coffee.

Toughest hill you have taken on? Has to be Sheep’s Walk in Kinver….the hill that keeps on giving!!
The Hermitage in Bridgenorth, but i’ve only gone down and that was bad enough!

Music to listen to while repeating Style Cop climbs? Purple Rain on the way up… Lets go Crazy on the way down – Prince

To listen to Prince Purple rain click here.

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