Interview with Caroline, Ful-on Tri

How did you get into cycling and what do you like about it?
“I started cycling as a kid, on a single speed with no brakes, charging around the village I grew up in, loving the independence it gave me!  I started my ‘serious’ cycling as a mountain-biker, doing multi-day events across the Americas, e.g. riding border to coast across Brasil, starting from Iguassu Falls, heading straight for the beach!
I was tempted into triathlon by a friend keen to sign up having watched its success at its first Olympics in Sydney.  After a few years competing at a range of distances up to a few 70.3’s, I decided to take a season ‘out’ of triathlon to focus on building bike strength…. and never went back to triathlon!  I’ve always loved the purity of being somewhere beautiful, simply you and your bike, and the honesty of how your fitness and performance is directly reflected through the pedals.  There’s no better way to spend time than to be free, on your bike, taking in the kms, with friends.   That said, I also love the rush of commuting through cities!”

How would you rate your current level of fitness?
“Patchy – impeded by a demanding career and commitments away from lycra!”

Are you training for anything at the moment and if so what are your goals for the season?
“I’m working on some other fitness goals across others sports e.g. marathon training and rowing.  Cycling is a great compliment to both of these, building overall fitness.”

How did you find cycling in the French Alps in terms of difficulty?
“Not too difficult – well, it’s not as easy as cruising along a gentle flat, granted,  but I really enjoy the challenge of a target like reaching the top of an Alp.  I’m in no way the fittest or fastest, but I’ll probably qualify as one of the most stubborn, and I have a deep seated belief that anything is possible if you put your mind to it, no matter how long it takes!”

And what’s not to enjoy about taking in the beauty of the Alps along the way. It’s very easy to get tempted into the macho ‘balls-out’ climbing mentality, however the trips 45 Degrees North do are great at respecting the fact it’s also a holiday.  I wouldn’t want to travel to the Alps for a trip like theirs and come back realising the only view I saw was the 5 metres of tarmac in front of my wheel.”

What was it like staying with 45 Degrees North?
“Hospitable, warm, friendly, informal, supportive and caring.”

How likely would you be to recommend 45 Degrees North to others and why?
“Very – it’s a good balance of fitness, being able to take the you vs an Alp test, as well as ensuring you feel safe, secure and looked after along the way.  I’ve seen this work just as well for complete beginners as well as for highly experienced cyclists – a fine balance, managed well.”