In ‘Adventures with Esther’, Esther will take us along on her rides in the beautiful region of Dumfries & Galloway, where the Raiders Gravel festival will take place in October. Her writing, sprinkled with local history and folk tales, will surely make you feel as though you’re riding alongside her, and you’ll soon long to explore this region of Scotland yourself.
But before we get ahead of ourselves, we’ll let Esther introduce herself!
Right up until my husband, Warren, forged my signature on a 200K Audax entry, I was just someone who commuted to work by bike. I was good at commuting but it was just transport until the weekends became bike rides, adventures by bike and exploration. More Audax entries ensued: 200Ks, some 300K and a 400K.
The bikes became lighter and some were ‘house bikes too posh to be put in the shed ‘. My bike kit was more expensive than what I got married in, and I looked like a bar code of cyclist tan lines when I wore posh frocks.
A few sportives and the concept of training, transponders and pinning numbers on jerseys later, I wanted to be Top 10 in Cyclassics in Hamburg and went down the rabbit hole of lactic threshold and training, plus commuting to work. 14th out of the 6,000 women was good enough to be the fastest in my company, so a sporting highlight of my life. I had beaten them at go-karting and this was the sporting double.
Riding around the world for 4 years came next, when I realised that you just have to ride and repeat. I never keep a count of miles, but I think I have done more than 200,000 (though it is probably much more). I have met amazing people all over the world because of the vulnerability of bicycles. There is nowhere to hide, and we are going to make eye contact and chat. I know people are kind and I can prove it: the bicycle has shown me that in every country that I have cycled through.