It was a few months after this operation that the Njinga lab opened and I popped in to try out the wattbike. From there, I started regularly attending indoor wattbike sessions, enrolled in a programme, and joined the Njinga Collective, Njinga’s not-for-profit outdoor cycling club.
I slowly and painfully began to regain my fitness with the coaching support and help of Njinga. To help keep me motivated to train, I set a new goal and signed up for the Tour of Cambridgeshire the following year as it was a qualifying race for the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships in Perth, Australia. I had entered the Individual Time Trial (ITT) and the Road Race. My main focus was the ITT and I was going to ride the road race the next day for fun.
I was so pleased to come 8th in my age group overall for the ITT but gutted to have lost out on qualification by seconds. I gave everything and to come so close was heart breaking. I got up the next day and rode the road race on tired legs with nothing to lose and gave everything. It was a tough race as we were mixed with the men and only later in the day I found once all the results were in that I had in fact qualified for the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships. What a day!
TRAGEDY STRIKES AGAIN - A Second Hip Operation
Unfortunately, my left hip continued to deteriorate and I had to have a second operation, this time for a total hip replacement.
Although successful, I had post-op complications with my back. There were plenty of tears, lots of frustration, endless (and ongoing) rehab exercises, and some very dark days.
Just over a year ago, I wondered if I’d ever be able to ride a bike properly again as I struggled to sit in the saddle for longer than an hour and always developed numbness in my right leg and foot. I genuinely thought I’d never get anywhere near my power numbers again, let alone surpass them.
Dark days turn to new records and PBs
Despite everything, in 2018 I achieved an Njinga Lab record for the highest female FTP score of 236 watts and first place on the All Time Ladies Njinga FTP Score leaderboard.
It might just be a number, but for me personally, it represented so much.