A couple of months ago I sat idly dreaming of taking my bike on a long distance adventure. The voice in my head was wittering: ‘But I’ve gained weight’…’but think about all the fitness you’ve lost’…’but…but…but’. Eventually I booked my Youth Hostel in Ambleside, and made plans to ride the 90 hilly miles there and back. Even the morning of my departure, I was hopelessly anxious. The weight of my bags, plus the weight I’d gained wasn’t going to work in my favour up Fleet Moss (and the rest). I had very little self belief that I could complete this (even though I’ve done harder rides before). ‘And what is the point in all of this?’ You ask. Well, the point is that once I let go of all of the pressure and expectations I had of myself, I had an amazing time. I challenged myself and I returned home knowing that I CAN. And now I’m excited for all of the fun that winter bike adventures can bring. I just needed to stare down my fear and take the leap. That fear of failure is present, I think, in a lot of us. How much does it stop you doing things you’d love to do? How much are you willing to give it a try anyway? And so, I think that’s where the ethos of Queensbury Queens of the Mountain is perfect for women like me. Women that challenge themselves; whether that’s overcoming the fear of turning up to their first club ride as a complete beginner (and YES it can be scary…but it’s worth it!), moving up to join a faster group, tackling long distances or taking part in races. We stare that fear straight in the eyes and say ‘here I go’.