In partnership with Evans Cycles & Gore Bike Wear, we’re pleased to welcome Millie Citton as a guest writer to the Coffee Stop blog. A keen London commuter and road cycling enthusiast, Millie will be sharing her commuting tips, essential winter kit bag and heaps of motivation over the coming months to keep you riding throughout the cold seasons.
In the first of this series, we find out more about Millie and how she first got into cycling…
Who is Millie?
I was born and raised in the land of grappa, Bassano del Grappa, Italy, which is in itself very valuable information about yours truly. I grew up thinking of myself as a cross between professional athlete (all in my head, unfortunately) and a dog whisperer. I remember descending slopes with my skis at the age of 5 thinking I was in line for a proper trophy when in reality I was terrible on the snow. Years went by and I kept whispering to dogs, but changed a couple of sports. I tried a bit of everything, including roller skating (too girly for me, as it turned out), and swimming.
In my early twenties I had to ditch the grappa for the pale ale, and moved to London where I have lived since. Here, I discovered the joys of bodybuilding. Now, before you think I was going around looking like a little Schwarzie, let me tell you I never actually gained that much muscle mass..
How did you get into cycling?
In London I developed an allergy to public transport and human odours, which is why I started cycling in the first place. My first rides in London were on a ‘Boris’ bike [ed. now Santander Cycles] and – absolutely illegally – on pavements. A couple of months into commuting on the hire bikes, I decided it was time to upgrade to an annual membership to the scheme, but my online transaction failed and, well, the rest is history.
The day after, I bought my first bike, a shiny white Pinnacle Neon One with orange decals. And, yet again, I found myself thinking I was a professional athlete. Little did I know that I wasn’t really all that fast, but it did mean that I showed my face in Richmond Park a couple of times and embarrassed myself on those (now barely noticeable but back then scary!) hills and descents.
Do you cycle outside of commuting?
My cycling journey broadened, when my hybrid got stolen (always lock your bikes with D-locks, kids!) during the summer of 2016 and I decided to make the change to a road bike. I went straight back to Richmond Park with my new shiny road bike and smashed all my previous records! After three weeks I decided I was fit enough for a century. So I left my home on my own, and ventured out into the Kent countryside embarking on the route of the Hell of the Ashdown (to date, one of my favourite routes!).
Essentially, once I got on the bike, I never got off it. I had to say goodbye to the abs and say hi to the quads. Being a speed junkie, road cycling is hugely appealing. Since I picked it up, I have been known to like my bike more than people and spend hours on end clocking up the miles. Cycling gets the best out of me, and it has definitely changed my life for the better.
Stay tuned for more from Millie and follow her on Instagram here.