Radio 1 DJ Gemma Cairney and her four friends who are about to embark on the London to Paris cycle. Not exactly familiar with cycling, the girls are set for one hell of an adventure!
“Hello,” an energetic voice chimes down the phone. Wow, I think to myself, this girl has a lot of energy for such an early hour.
I introduce myself, to which she hollers to the girls in the background: “Girls it’s the girl from Total Women’s Cycling.” I am pretty sure I hear a slightly less energetic murmur of ‘oh cool’ in the background.
“We are literally about to leave south London, everyone is a bit more subdued than I expected, a bit scared I think,” she explains. “I came straight from my radio show this morning, I have up since three so I arrived here at the start line really pumped.”
I can’t help but wonder how pumped she’ll be feeling a little later in the day, about 50 miles into the 80 mile cycle to Portsmouth – the first leg of their adventure.
Doing the London to Paris cycle is not a new concept. Most of us know somebody or at least a friend of a friend who has done it. For many it is their first step into endurance cycling. For this group of girls – it is their first step into cycling.
Gemma, Camilla, Mary Kate, Rachel, Fiona and Giorgia bring a whole new meaning to the term novice cyclist.
“This morning we have discovered anti-chaffing gel, numbing cream, hair plaiting and all the other things we didn’t even know existed before,” laughs Gemma good naturedly.
Training has been sporadic. Gemma admits that hectic work schedules and general life seem to have got in the way. But proving that you can do anything that you put your mind to these girls are hoping that a positive mental attitude and sense of humour will see them through. And one thing’s for sure, they’ll do it in style!
“We have done a lot of research across the board from beauty essentials to
padded bums to bright stuff to keep morale up,” says Gemma.
“Georgia currently has hair like R Kelly. She has corn rows in a really old school 90s style so it works underneath the helmet. Although, she was paying so much attention to her hair she forgot about her passport so that had to be delivered last night. Her passport came in a cab!!!” laughs Gemma. Maybe she should have checked out our simple Helmet Hair tips ahead of her departure!
Despite her light hearted demeanour, Gemma admits that the girls are nervous about the journey ahead: “I am not worried about the distance, I am slightly worried about the hills but I am really worried about the traffic. I mean I failed my cycling proficiency in school twice.”
In addition to her reservations about traffic, Gemma is also concerned about the recently discovered chamois cream: “I am intrigued by the sensation of numbing cream on my private parts . Everyone told me to go for numbing cream so I am giving it a go. I am spending a few days in Paris with my boyfriend afterwards so I have told him not to expect much,” she giggles.
The girls are raising money for Leuka and they hope that their journey will prove that you don’t have to be a fitness freak or cycling fanatic to cycle non-stop for three days. They also urge you to get in touch via their Twitter page @RidingDirrty and share any tips and messages of encouragement you may have.
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