Stood in the rain in summer cycling kit at an ungodly hour on a cold March morning I started to wonder what I’d got myself into when I joined the Total Women’s Cycling team for the TWC20 photoshoot. During a week of early starts, new experiences and typical British weather, I realised I’m probably not cut out to be a model, but the making of the TWC20 isn’t something I’ll forget in a hurry.
Total Women’s writer, Jess had asked if I wanted to join her to check out and model kit and bikes so I jumped at the chance. Again, I’m no model, admittedly I sort of dabbled in what I called posing a few years ago but this hardly makes me qualified. I’m also a mountain biker, completely new to road, so the idea of road kit, clips and road bikes was totally new to me, though my misconceptions were reversed by the end of the week. Thankfully, uber roadie Cat Gaskell was able to take my place later in the week whilst Jess and I stuck to our MTB routes, but I’m sort of glad I got to test out skinny wheels for the first day.
Driving from South Wales on Sunday we set off early knowing we had a 5am start Monday morning. I wasn’t fully aware of what I’d be doing during the week but I didn’t particularly mind, it was a welcome break from working at home. We arrived at our home for the week (Caterham Travelodge) later that evening and got settled for an early night.
Rudely awakened at 5am by two alarms we were oddly excited about the day ahead. Following a much-needed cup of tea we met TWC editor, Michelle, Patrick our assistant for the week and Balint Hamvas the photographer in the hotel lobby. The team discussed kit and locations before heading to the cars and the first location of the week. Michelle and Jess modelled first, each time we stopped they grabbed their jackets to try and keep warm in the icy breeze. Having Patrick on hand was great, he often spotted things we missed – like wonky helmets and dirty socks.