Monthly Archives: October 2016

  • FLambassador Ade!


    Name: Adrienne ( Ade ) Horneade bio

    Age:   44

    From: Dublin, Ireland but I’ve lived in the UK for 26 years, currently residing in Surrey.


    I’ve been cycling since 2010, I first got into cycling after seeing a poster in my local YMCA gym for a ride to Paris. I’d always wanted to do a challenge, like a marathon, but I’ve got a bad back (from having babies) and have been advised not to do any high impact exercise like running. But I took the plunge and signed up for the ride to Paris. I had an old bike, that was a cheap Halfords special, that I’d ride around the block with the kids when they were small but that was my only experience of cycling since childhood. Four months later I completed my first cycling challenge.

    I haven’t looked back since, I was instantly hooked! A year later I saw a piece in Cycling Active about British Cycling’s volunteer “Breeze’ initative to get more Women into cycling, I applied and was one of the first volunteer Breeze Champions leading rides in the UK and worked for a few years as Breeze regional coordinator for the South East, helping newly trained Champions get started and promoting Breeze at events. I’m a British cycling qualified Level 1 ride leader, level 2 route planner and cycling instructor. Have led hundreds of rides, been a flambassador on the FLAB sportives and a Ride Angel for Women v Cancer ride the night event in London.


    If I can do it anyone can! Just keep pedaling and do what you enjoy, whether it’s a two-mile round trip to the shop or a time trial enjoy it because if you do, you’re much more likely to keep at it and keep pushing yourself rather than it feeling like a chore that you have to do. I’ll never forget what it felt like the first time I rode 10 miles and how daunted I used to feel when I saw the slightest incline so I have great respect for anyone who gets off the sofa and decides to get on their bike.


    Dozens of sportives in the UK, London to Brighton, Cycletta, Wiggle events, TILNAR challenge and of course all the FLAB sportives.

    Surrey to La Rochelle (FRANCE) 500k in four days.

    Surrey to Paris x 5 (three times unsupported)

    LEJOG 1000 miles in 10 days

    Berlin velothon

    France end to end via Mt Ventoux in 14 days

    I love movies, eating cake and I love to travel and now find that everywhere I go I find myself looking for bike shops or wondering how long it would take me to cycle there. If you’d told me in January 2010 that I would have done all this cycling I’d have laughed at you hysterically and suggested that you seek professional help. I’m also a chronic Asthmatic, which has vastly improved since I've started cycling.

  • Ade’s Top Tips - for a supported long distance adventure!


    SW1_6746Thinking of taking a cycling trip?

    Combining a holiday and cycling is the ultimate adventure, but there’s a lot to think about, so where do you start?

     We asked experienced cyclist, former Breeze rider and FLambassador, Adrienne Horne for her Top Tips


    1:Type of trip

    Choose what type of tour you want. There are usually two types, a led one where the leader will do all the navigating or a self navigated one.

    The advantages of being in a led group is that you will never be on your own so it’s perfect if you like a bit of company and don’t want to worry about navigating or getting lost. The disadvantages are that you’ll have to ride at the groups pace and you will be riding with strangers, which is great if you like meeting new people, but canbe daunting if you’re shy.

    I personally enjoy self navigation, I feel it’s more of an adventure and I can ride at my pace and stop whenever I feel like it, to take photos, loo breaks etc. without feeling like I’m holding up the rest of the group. I also enjoy my own company or very small groups and I don’t enjoy riding in big pelotons.


    2: KIT KIT KIT

    Trust me having a couple of pairs of decent padded shorts that you’ve worn on plenty of longer distance rides could make or break your trip. You should try out all your kit and get to know what’s comfortable, during the weeks leading up to your ride. Two days into a ride is not the best time to find out that those new shorts you bought have a seam that rub you in the wrong area!Loads of thin layers that you can put on and take off are also very useful because when you are riding all day the temperature will vary greatly.


    3: Food and water

    This has been a big issue for me, as I don’t feel hungry on the bike and all of the electrolyte drinks and energy gels give me tummy ache. I like to eat proper food that I can digest easily but this is such a personnel thing. You need to find out what works best for you during your training rides. I take small zip lock bags with salted nuts, dried fruit, sweeties and cereal bars. Depending on the terrain/distance I try to eat little and often (every 10-15 miles) and drink water or squash. This is just what works best for me, you will have to go out and experiment to see what works best for you.

    ade diet

    4:Be kind to yourself

    You will get tired and if you ask anyone who’s ever ridden a long distance with me I get GRUMPY!! and you know what? That’s ok!I used to get annoyed with myself for having a bad day or struggling up a hill that on any other day I wouldn’t have noticed and I’d have a whole conversation with myself about how I couldn’t do it and how stupid I was to think that I could and how much I hated cycling! I’ve learnt to accept the negative thoughts and just remind myself that I’m human, middle aged and have just ridden 300 miles so it’s okay to have a bad day, feel tired and have aches and pains.

    france 2


    5: Training

    Before you sign up for a big trip, be realistic about how much free time you have to train. It’s a huge commitment and you will have to decline social events etc., as you’ll need every weekend, especially in the weeks before your trip to train. The fitter you are beforehand, the more pleasant an experience you’ll have. Remember that hours in the saddle are more important than average speed and you need to train specifically for your trip, so if there are going to be loads of short sharp climbs, or long gradual climbs, ensure that you train accordingly.


    6: Feed stop game

    You will probably think I’m mad but this is a little mind game I always play on long distance training rides and it has been my savior on those really hard days when I’m tired, everything hurts and the thoughts of another long day cycling is filling me with dread.My favorite tea stop is Tanhouse Farm, which is a 25-mile ride, 13 miles there and 12 miles back. So I break all my long days into four either cycling to Tanhouse or home from there as it’s in small 12/13 mile chunks. So I divide my day up as follows:


    100 miles is divided into four stops,


    25 miles = Morning food

    back on bike but only for another 25 miles until

    50 miles = Lunch

    back on bike but it’s only another 25 miles until

    75 miles = Afternoon feed

    back on bike only another 25 miles until100 miles= cold beer and more food of course



    7: ENJOY !!!

  • Two Lasses in France

    franceOver the last few winters a pattern has occurred, I can’t ride my bike as it’s too cold/wet/dark/icy… I feel miserable as spring seems so far away and I start reminiscing about warm summer days on the bike and how I miss it. So to motivate myself to keep riding I say to myself “mmm if I have a cycling adventure to look forward to it will keep me training over the next few dreary months”.

    On a bleak Sunday in January this year I decided that cycling across France would be a pretty awesome cycling trip. I like an adventure but unlike a lot of intrepid explorers who’re willing to camp and carry their own gear I like a comfortable adventure, which means a warm bed and luggage transfers. I decided to use a company called Peak tours and luckily for me one of my cycling buddies Jo decided she’d join me on my trip.

    We trained as much as we could, which for me, working Mon-Fri was usually restricted to weekends! But I go to the gym during the week and over the months we increased our distances, would ride Saturday and Sunday and find as many hills as we could on our routes. September came around all too quickly and I felt I’d over eaten and undertrained as we arrived in Portsmouth for the ferry to Caen.france 1

    14 days, 874 miles and 65,533ft climbing later…We had an awesome trip there were mountains that I was dreading, as I’m built for descending not ascending, but to my surprise I loved them!! Sometimes we’d be climbing up for miles but they were long gradual climbs with switchbacks and just the odd short steep section. The descents were breathtaking! I even managed to do Mount Ventoux, which believe me were words I never thought would pass my lips.france 2

    I embraced every minute of my trip, even the dark moments when tiredness and my sense of humor was left on the last hill. I’m not super fit, or the fastest cyclist, I’m just an ordinary middle aged women who loves cycling and I feel so lucky every time I swing my leg over “ Doris” ( my bike ) and ride off for 5 or 500 miles, every pedal stroke to me is the start of an adventure.

    In my next blog entry I’ll give you my top tips for doing a supported cycling adventure.


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