NJINGA

Emma Stevens

“Novice rider to mastering cleats and completing Ride London for the first time”

Performance improvements since joining Njinga

Mastered cleats after 2 sessions

First Sportive: 53km - 3 hours 18 mins = 16.67km/hr

Second Sportive: 44km - 2 hours 26mins = 19.47km/hr

Only 4 months with road bike and completed first 100 miles in 7hrs 27min

Emma Stevens

My cycling began with the bike to work scheme when I bought a hybrid, and started to get fit! I signed up to the Prudential 46 in 2016 and got a place in my first sportive. My sister then persuaded me to sign up for the Pru Ride London 100 - and I realised I needed a plan for a new level of training. I booked my first cycling holiday with a friend in Sri Lanka, riding hybrids in a small group, and started to get the bug for more. AJ (my sister) then convinced me to trade up my hybrid for a road bike and, with Matt (my brother in law - another Njinga man) we started training in Richmond Park. I wasn't terribly fast and was a bit nervy so when AJ mentioned a couple of free intro sessions with Togo and the option to follow up with an 8 week beginners skills class, I decided to give it a go! Andy, Debs and Josh were great - super encouraging on our Tuesday evening sessions as part of the Njinga Academy and I learnt lots of really important basics. 

What really made the classes for me was the other people in the group - really friendly and at different capabilities, helping everyone feel like they belonged there.

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Emma's journey with Njinga has included:

  • 8 Week Njinga Outdoor Academy - Level 1
  • 8 Week Njinga Outdoor Academy - Level 2
  • Weekly rideouts with the Njinga Collective with our new Mbidzi speed group

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The 8 weeks flew by. Since then I've done my first Mbidzi (Njinga novice) ride which was a little tougher but another great group of people and I have to say that's one of the things I'm enjoying most about my cycling with Njinga - the social aspect. 

It feels like you're just out for a fun few hours on the bike and you don't even notice you're piling on the miles and getting fitter to boot!  

My training has continued and I have just done two laps of the Box hill loop on my first attempt. I then targeted my first 50 mile ride, which would take in Newlands Corner, Leith Hill and Box Hill, as these hills all feature in the Pru 100. It went really well, so I'm looking forward (if a bit trepidatiously) to the Pru now knowing that I'm stronger, fitter and will no doubt find lots of great cyclists to chat to on the way round.

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