NJINGA

Emma Stevens

Acquiring skills and confidence in double quick time

Notable Performances with Njinga

Mastered cleats in two sessions

First Sportive: 53km - 3 hours 18 minutes (16.7kph)

Second Sportive: 44km - 2 hours 26 minutes (19.5kph)

First 100 mile in 7 hours 27 minutes only four months after getting first ever road bike

Where my cycling journey began:

My cycling began with the Cycle 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.

My sister AJ then convinced me to trade up my hybrid for a road bike and, with Matt (my brother in law - another Njinga man) 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 eight week beginner's skills class, I decided to give it a go!

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8 Week outdoor Njinga Academy:

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 these sessions for me was the other people in the group; really friendly and with different capabilities, helping everyone feel like they belonged there.

The eight weeks flew by. Since then I've done my first Mbidzi (Njinga novice) outdoor group ride, which was a little tougher, but it was with another great group of people

What next?

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 knowing that I'm stronger, fitter and will no doubt find lots of great cyclists to chat to on the way round.

START YOUR OWN JOURNEY

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Emma's journey with Njinga has included:

  • Njinga Academy Level 1 and 2
  • Weekly rideouts with the Njinga Collective
  • Regular wattbike classes

FEELING INSPIRED? READ OTHER STORIES HERE

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