When we first met Elaine Scott in January this year, she was recovering from a cycling accident but had still set her sights on the 104 mile Ken Laidlow sportive. Now that we're almost at the end of 2019, we catch up with Elaine to see how the year's gone.
It's been such an amazing year I really don't know where to begin. Having started the year with a fractured pelvis I never dreamed I would have achieved so much. This year to date I have cycled over 6000 miles.
In June I completed my first century (100 mile) ride. Well, to be precise, it was 130 miles and my first audax but why start small when you can go straight in at 200km. However, I don't think I would have managed it without the support of my partner, his wheel to ride on and the jelly babies he kept passing to me.
Since then, I've completed another two century rides. The Doddie5 was in torrential rain and the standing water on the roads was so deep that sometimes my foot would disappear as I cycled through the floods but at least it was in a good cause.
Then towards the end of August saw the big one, the event I had been working towards all year - the Ken Laidlaw sportive. Now I would love to say it was a glorious day but that would be lying.
A few weeks earlier, my partner had an accident at work which left him out of action meaning I would be cycling alone.
On the day it looked like there was a glimmer of hope for good weather but it was short-lived as the rain started and got heavier and heavier then the wind joined in. It didn't really ease all day.
By the time we got to the first feed station, everyone was drenched and most who were signed up for the long route took the opportunity to start following the signs for the short route at this stage.
Since this had been my main goal from the start of the year, I was determined to keep going. As tempting as it was, I rode straight past the feed station in case my determination started to waver.
Up on top of a moor can seem like a very lonely place in such conditions especially when you can not see any other riders in either direction. If there had been an emergency exit then I probably would have taken it but I persevered.
After 105 very soggy miles, I crossed the finish line cold, wet and exhausted. It was definitely a test of endurance rather than fun but I felt very proud to have completed the full distance.
My next cycling adventure was my first trip overseas with a bike, exploring the beautiful countryside around Girona. That was in decidedly better weather! The climbs were much longer than the ones in the UK but I loved it so much that I've already booked next year's holiday - Mallorca!
Another first for me this year was cycling the track at Glasgow's commonwealth velodrome with my cycling club. It took a while to get over my nerves and my fear of falling but eventually I was flying climbing higher up the bank - an exhilarating experience. Once again though I couldn't have done it without the support of my wonderful partner. I loved it and I can't wait to have another shot if only I lived closer to Glasgow.
So what does next year bring? Well, hopefully as much fun and new experiences as this year. Many more audaxes working my way up to a 400k and after some proper training this winter I would like to try time trialing just purely to see what I can achieve.
Meet Elaine Scott
When Elaine Scott stood mesmerized at the roadside watching a time trial last year, she was inspired to make a decision that would change her life.
She decided to buy a bike.
Having previously suffered from anorexia, anxiety and depression, Elaine soon discovered the benefits of cycling to her mental as well as physical health.
Since she started riding, she has been determined to challenge herself to push further and do more on every ride.
That is, until an accident on black ice at the end of the year. A fractured pelvis has temporarily put her out of action, but Elaine is determined to recover and come back stronger.
She’s got her sights set on the 104-mile Ken Laidlaw Sportive in August – a massive upgrade on the 52-mile distance she completed in 2018.
We think she can do it and we’ll be keeping you updated on her progress.
What's in Elaine's kit bag?
This was a replacement for my old helmet which I broke in the accident. I'm looking forward to wearing it when I get back on the bike. I love the sleek design and it feels very comfortable.
Good quality and well fitting. The women's specific pad feels excellent and makes long days in the saddle very comfortable. Definitely an upgrade from my usual bib tights.
A very stylish jersey. Well designed and cut for a flattering fit.
Great fit and quality. It keeps me warm without feeling sweaty.
Fab design, comfortable and a good length. Brilliant quality and they look great with my cycling shoes