My name is Adam I am 31 and I am married with three children. I currently work as an electrician and I have also served in the British Army. At the point of writing this I have been footbiking for 5 months and as a result I am now also two stone lighter.
I came across footbiking by chance whilst looking for balance bikes for my twin boys and a scooter for my eldest when I was directed to OP Scooters. After reading the blogs and stories on the website and admiring every scooter I decided that I was going to give it a try, originally the idea was to have something that I could use infrequently to take my son out on bike rides, the last thing I expected was to become utterly hooked.
I have put on quite a bit of weight since leaving the army and I knew I needed to make a change and get healthy, so after scouring the internet and YouTube for hours on end and advice from Ondrej at OP Scooters I decided that the one for me would be a Kickbike Racemax 28.
Once it had arrived I took it out straight away and I was very surprised how quickly you get the hang of it. In addition to taking my son out I also started going riding on my own once or twice a week and really enjoyed it. Due to the covid restrictions at the time I had to start and finish my workout from home and although all my rides have been on my own, groups like “kick scooters in the uk” have welcomed me into their online community and made me feel like I am part of something bigger and seeing all the rides and posts has inspired me to do more.
I downloaded the strava app, originally as a tool to record my local rides and as a way of gauging how many calories I was burning, although after seeing my times slightly improve every ride I started setting goals to work towards. One of these goals was to climb a local well known route called “Man Moel” from the bottom to the top. My first attempt did not go so well and I stopped quite a few times on the way up but I made it to the top none the less. Slowly but surely my times improved and to date I have knocked 17 minutes off my original time and even managed to get in the top 10 fastest climbs for the top steepest segment on strava beating a lot of cyclists. From this point on I was hooked!
I love climbs
After feeling confident that I was getting stronger I wanted to see how I would cope with a much harder climb and after seeing a post about a very famous local climb called “the Tumble” a 6km climb where the first half has an average gradient of 16% levelling out to a still steep 10% to the top summiting at a fairly impressive 512m elevation. So I loaded up the car had a good breakfast and decided to give it a go. I’m not ashamed to say that it was the toughest 6km I have ever done but I enjoyed every single second of it.
First Cycling Sportive Event
I started to wonder how I would cope with a little more distance thrown into my rides and gradually made my rides longer and watched as my average speed improved over time. Soon after, I had a pop up on my news feed about an upcoming sportive which sparked an interest, so I signed up.
This most recent challenge was the 2021 Jurassic Classic in Dorset. I had never kicked 50km in one go before, I had always factored in a stop half way around. As the event route was 52km with 600m elevation I knew I would need to do a little more training than just my local hill. so I started incorporating climbs into my longer rides and also practiced eating and drinking on the move. I found the best place for tips and advice for sportive and fuelling on a ride were cycling channels on YouTube (GCN I found to be very helpful as was my local bike shop Evans Cycles)
I did a final practice about a week before, where I wore the kit I would wear on the day and took the spares and food I would also need. After this I was confident that I would be able to finish with a decent time and no injuries. I had also tried to partially memorise the route so I knew where the big climbs and feed stations were.
This brings me onto the day of the event.
With my bags packed, a good breakfast, my footbike cleaned, tyres pumped up and new grip tape installed on my footboard I set off early on Saturday morning to Dorset nice and early for sign up. As I got closer to the event I started to see more and more people with bikes in their car or on a roof rack and I must admit I was beginning to get a little nervous, especially when I had parked the car and was watching all of the road cyclists prepping their bikes and listening to them talking about strategies. Although all my nerves faded away very quickly as almost every cyclist and staff member wanted to say hello and ask what “that thing with no pedals” was and had I done a sportive before?
The weather was a little wet at first eventually up at the end but didn’t take away from the enjoyment of the day. As we set off from the start line the first 10-15 km consisted of a lot of rolling hills and back roads before leading up to the first real climb, so I paced myself well and made sure that I started eating and drinking early to conserve my legs. As I got closer the first climb looked like a wall, and you could see everyone standing up out of their saddle and in some cases not quite making it up in one go, so I took a sip of water shifted my weight over the back wheel and dug in deep, swapping every 2 kicks and to my surprise passing people on the way up and seeing the disbelief on their faces realising that they were just passed by a scooter.
As I broke the top of the hill a marshal congratulated me on my effort and started to laugh which must have been contagious as a few other riders (me included) started laughing too. The next 10-12km it was slightly easier going as the route levelled out with a few downhill portions that allowed me to fairly easily pass a few more people. One group especially was very encouraging and cheered me on as I stayed with them and talked for a while.
The next portion of the route involved another not so steep but longer climb which was very enjoyable especially because I knew that a fast steep decent and a feed station lay on the other side. The decent was indeed very fast and I shot passed another 3 people before we got to the feed station. I didn’t stay long at the stop, just enough time to use the toilet, fill my bottles and grab half a banana. As soon as I set off again I was greeted with a third very long climb and after staying behind one rider for the first half of it I kicked past his group towards the top of the hill and gained a little speed over the next 10 kilometres or so on the way to the finish line where I then sprinted for the last few hundred meters to the line.
It felt amazing crossing the finish line and I couldn’t stop smiling and even more so when I was handed a beer!
The whole day was a great experience and I spent the next hour or two speaking and allowing fellow riders and event staff to try out my Kickbike.
I later found out later that I came 17th out of 61 Men and 20th out of 97 riders overall with an average speed of around 23.3km and a finishing time of 2:20.05
The atmosphere was cracking. The event and route that UK Cycling Events put together was great fun and very well organised. I would highly recommend getting on your footbike and giving it a try, and if you don’t have one yet, speak to Ondrej at OP Scooters because you are missing out on some serious fun and fitness. And what’s more is that you will enjoy the day immensely regardless of speed or time and make memories that will last a life time.