In January, we have asked our friends, fans, followers and customers to send us photos, stories of their first cycling memories. Over a hundred submissions have arrived and we enjoyed all them – but because we’re not selfish, we wanted to share the best ones with you. So in the next couple of weeks and months, expect every now and again a great photo and a great story from a guest contributor.

I have been a Tour de France (TDF) fan for many years and over the last decade I have seen some thrilling TDF stages, from TT stages to Alp de Huez. In 2009 I was returning from France and on boarding the ferry, I rushed to the TV to catch the end of TDF stages. Also on ferry there was a fellow cyclist and TDF fan. We become chatting and he then asks “do you ride often?” I answered with “no not really” and listed lots excuses for not riding. Then it occurred to me, “Why don’t I ride?” On returning home, it was my birthday, so I asked all friends and family for money towards a road bike.

With the money I was generously given I started researching the internet and talked to my local bike shop. Then I realised my best chance to get the best value for my money was to get a bike through ebay.

I searched and bid again and again on ebay, but just kept missing out by a few pounds here and there. Then finally I won the bid and I was jumping around the room with excitement, because I now had my first road bike. Days past before it arrived but to me it felt like weeks. It’s an Trek SL1000, aluminium frame with triple chain set. With a few pennies left over from my birthday, I purchase clipless pedals and shoes and I hit the road.

I made my cycling goals for the year and one year on I am cycling regularly. I have clocked 1500miles and ridden four sportives and in particular I complete my goal of cycling the Isle of Wight sportive.
With spring around the corner I am about to upgrade my bike, as I feel I have become a roadie! My first bike has definitely led to me to a new world of cycling and bikes.