My Mountain Bike Business: Living my Dream
by Helen Smeaton
Cycling is a fabulous, fun way to stay fit and healthy, no matter what your age. I'm 48 years old, I've been a mountain bike addict for 14 years, and I've found a great way to live my dream.
Life is a Rocky Road...So Ride a Mountain Bike
Well, that’s my motto, and it happens to be our business motto, too. One day, back in 2005, my husband Al and I decided to quit the rat race and “live the dream” of running our own outdoor fitness business. We packed our stuff and left the UK with a one-way ticket to Cyprus, the third largest island in the Mediterranean, to start the biggest adventure of our lives.
Why I Started Cycling
I’ve always been a sporty kind of gal, and I originally took up cycling, seriously, after I tore my cruciate knee ligaments in a snow-skiing accident. After six months of physiotherapy, my knee still gave way underneath me, so I could no longer play field sports like hockey, my previous love. Well, I plucked up the courage to go under the surgeon’s knife, got the knee sorted out, and took up cycling as part of my rehab.
Living My Dream
Soon after I started cycling regularly, I met my husband-to-be. I knew he was the “one” immediately, as he felt like a kindred spirit. We had a common love for adventure, which led us to biking and hiking in amazing countries like Brazil, New Zealand, and Ethiopia. (Our first vacation was climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.) Al and I had so much fun roaming around far-flung corners of the world, we decided to do it full time!
I gave up my job. Well, it was a forced job change, but sometimes things happen for a reason, so we decided to start our own biz running biking and walking holidays.
We needed to find a place where we could have a year-round business, and we found the perfect spot. Cyprus has mountains and coastal areas to explore, it has sunshine every day, and it’s affordable. Now, we offer luxurious accommodations at our purpose-built stone villa overlooking the coast, where we rent bikes and give day tours. It’s my dream job.
Cycling Is Good for Women Over 40
I love cycling, as it is super kind to my joints, especially my knee. It’s a low-impact sport, unlike running or jogging, which can put huge pressure on your ankles and knee joints, especially if you run on the road.
The best part is that you can ride a bike, no matter how old or how fit you are. (Well, if you have health problems or you’re a couch potato, check with your doctor first.) However, if you struggle with your balance on two wheels, you can always start with a large tricycle to get out into the fresh air and take in the scenery. You never know where it might lead you.
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