Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Cyclist Takes Wrong Turn and Ends Up in Triathlon! ; TEACHER ON LEISURELY PEDAL AFTER BUYING SECOND-HAND BIKE IS ROARED ON BY CROWD AS SHE COMPLETES 18-MILE COURSE ALONGSIDE TOP ATHLETES

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Cyclist Takes Wrong Turn and Ends Up in Triathlon! ; TEACHER ON LEISURELY PEDAL AFTER BUYING SECOND-HAND BIKE IS ROARED ON BY CROWD AS SHE COMPLETES 18-MILE COURSE ALONGSIDE TOP ATHLETES

Article excerpt

A NOVICE cyclist ended up riding 18 miles - after getting inadvertently caught up in a triathlon.

Alison Carrick, 55, had set out for a leisurely pedal as part of her plan to get back in the saddle, having not ridden a bike in years.

But instead of the straightforward cycle she was expecting, the mum-ofthree ended up riding almost 20 miles as she was swept along with 250 riders taking part in the Rossendale Triathlon.

Plucky Alison, from Helmshore Road in Haslingden, said after inadvertently joining the 21km ride near the start at Marl Pits Leisure Centre, she decided to go with the flow and 'stick it out.' .

She said: "I didn't have a clue what was happening at the start.

"I realised it was a triathlon when I saw wet cyclists with numbers on their backs. I thought 'Oh my goodness', what does this mean for me. I just didn't realise we were taking the same route.

"I should have stopped and made my way back but I just felt like I had to keep going.

"I kept thinking it can't be that much further. I don't think I realised how far the cycling part of it actually was."

Alison, who bought her cycling gear from Aldi said: "I have only been cycling for a fortnight so my fitness levels are not great. I was hardly up for a triathlon but I got caught up exactly the moment they started. It felt like I couldn't get off it, I ended up cycling about 18 miles."

Despite Alison riding a hybrid second-hand bike - which she had haggled down to just Pounds 200 - and pedalling considerably slower than the triathletes, the spectators started cheering her on.

They even encouraged her to keep going when she attempted to stop and get out of the race. Alison, who works as a teacher at Greenhill Primary School in Bury, said: "The experience was amazing, people were all cheering me on. I wasn't pretending to be part of it, I didn't have any of the right gear but people were encouraging me to keep going when I got off and pushed the bike. …

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