Anna Brocklehurst, 26, is a Brand Manager at Deloitte; she loves cycling regularly which is why she has decided to take on Deloitte Ride Across Britain 2016. 

My cycling has been increasing with the mounting pressure of Deloitte Ride Across Britain approaching – I can only hope with an equal gradient.

The biggest piece of news since my last update is a hefty investment in a new bike. Yes, I have gone full carbon. My boyfriend’s comment: “So you’ve dropped £££s on a bike that looks exactly the same”. Maybe that was justified….

Anna Brocklehurst IMG_6293

In a display of brand loyalty I’ve stuck with Bianchi (in celeste, what else) – mainly because it’s pretty. If you’re unsure, the one at the front of the photo is my 6 year old one, behind it is the new one. They may look alike but the difference is bloody amazing. So comfortable and easy and smooth!

I got the new bike properly fitted – took hours – and it is well worth it (significantly, a different frame size and lady specific). I completed day 1 of London Revolution and I was delighted to find no agonising burn over my shoulders. How else could I be smiling so manically at the end of 100 miles whilst harassing the Dulux dog?

Anna Brocklehurst Dulux dog

I have been struggling with the increasing time commitment. Trying to keep up distances eats into my weekends – with the added stress of extra care for my poorly horse, who ended up in horse hospital with an eye ulcer last fortnight.

The other challenge is the hills. These are my favourite signs on a ride. Wait, I mean most dreadful. You can see my quaking fear reflected in shaky photo at the bottom of White Down Lane (18% that sign says – just want to make sure you know that).

Anna Brocklehurst IMG_6246

I’m proud to say I’ve now done 3 of the top 100 UK climbs. Ok, at some points my Garmin kindly told me I was doing 0mph. Never have my little heart and asthmatic lungs worked so hard, to result in me moving so little. But it’s worth it at the top (see above, top of Ditchling, whoop!) – or at least when you get to freewheel the downhills.

My next challenge is the Evans Cycles King of the Downs sportive (gender discriminatory, I know).  All 110 miles and 9,000ft of climbing in one day. I’ll let you know if I make it to the end.