“I am a Mum of 3 with a part time job. Cycling is my ‘Me’ time. Time on my bike keeps me physically and emotionally healthy. The Hotchillee mountain events are a real challenge. The climbs push me far beyond what I thought my limits were. When you reach the top of a mountain you have been climbing for 2 hours the elation is incredible and the views breath-taking.
Women are still under represented at the more physically challenging events but on all the Alpine Challenges and the Dolomites event that I have completed I am warmly welcomed by the other riders and the crew. As a woman, it can be intimidating entering this sort of event knowing you will be in the minority but at Hotchillee all the customers are seen as cyclists, there for the same experience and you soon find out the men are also nervous about what lies ahead.
The Hotchillee Ride Captains who lead you are an amazing bunch. They are there to keep the groups safe and on route. They support you with words of encouragement, keep you fuelled and even smiling while your legs want you to stop. With their encouragement you find you can keep going way beyond what you thought you were capable of. There is back up on hand provided by a support crew with a van so if you find a part of the day is one step too far for you can rest a while.
I have met some incredible friends for life through the shared experience of tough days on the bike and the sense of achievement at the end of each day. You experience the same struggles with your group and celebrate together afterwards. I always come home wanting to sign up for my next challenge and have many memories to treasure.”
– Hazel Gambling, 4 x Hotchillee Alpine Challenge/ Hotchillee Dolomites Rider.
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