Earlier this year we caught up with Mimi Anderson, endurance athlete with numerous Guinness World Records to her name!
Tell us a little about yourself?
I'm 61 years old, a mother of three and grandmother to four gorgeous grandchildren. I spent over 20 years as an endurance runner taking part in some of the toughest races around the world where I set a world records, course records and on several occasions beating the men! I consider myself extremely lucky to have been able to participate in something so amazing. Cycling has been part of my life since 2018 and am the proud owner of three bikes, Mavis, Pebbles, and Sylvia.
How and when did you get into riding?
In 2017 I attempted to run across the USA to set a new female World Record, unfortunately after completing 2,215 miles in 40 days (I was on track to break the record) I had been having issues with my right leg getting to the stage when I could barely walk, let alone run. An MRI scan showed that I had no cartilage on the lateral side of my right knee, so bone on bone - excruciatingly painful. With all the information that was given to be by the consultant it still took me over an hour to make the decision to stop. As you can imagine I was devastated.
After returning to the UK I felt completely lost as I could no longer do the thing I so loved. A friend suggested that I enter an event called Ride Across Britain, a 980 mile 9 day staged event from Lands End to John O'Groats. I was rather hesitant at first as I hadn't cycled more than 10 miles! But I took up the challenge as it was a great way to celebrate my John O'Groats to Lands End World Record (running) I had set 10 years previously. I discovered that I could cycle over 100 miles a day for 9 days and even me nether regions came out smiling! I was hooked.
What are the best and worst things about riding?
The worst thing for me is a side wind and the cold! The best thing about riding is the freedom is gives you to have adventures. You see the world completely differently on a bike and spot things that you would miss if you were in a car.
Tell us about your most memorable ride to date?
In July/August this year I took part in the North Cape 4000 starting in Turin, Italy cycled across 10 countries finishing in the North Cape in Norway, 4,400km in total. It was quite simply amazing. I was nervous about doing the event on my own just in case something went wrong with my bike Pebbles, but you meet fellow competitors along the way which gave me a real boost. I covered anything from 200-290km each day and would either camp or stay in a hostel that I booked that morning. Cycling up Saint Bernard's Pass was tough but definitely worth it when I eventually got to the top to see the wonderful views. I loved eating the pastries in France, crossing 4 countries in one day and seeing the Reindeer in Scandinavia, magical. Finishing in the North Cape and standing on the globe with blue sky behind me was something I will never forget.
What's the best piece of riding advice you've ever been given?
Don't wear underwear under your cycling shorts! (Simple but essential!)
What do you bring with you on every ride?
The one bit of kit I have on every ride is my Buff - either I wear one as a headband under my helmet or around my neck in the winter, a great bit of kit.
How do you keep your bikes secure at home and on the go? Share your best tips to help others keep their bikes safe.
My husband keeps suggesting that my bikes should be kept in the garage but they stay firmly in the house as I feel it's much safer! When I'm on my trips I use a lightweight café lock to give me just a bit more security when I pop into get supermarket food! I also have a heavy duty LITELOK that is used when on the back of my car. Many people have GPS trackers on their bikes, so this is something that I am looking at purchasing next year.
When someone asks what kit you recommend, you say?
A good pair of cycling shorts!!
What's on your riding bucket list?
As I'm still relatively new to the cycling world I have SO much I still want to do and lots of countries, places yet to visit - the list is endless!
To learn more about Mimi's adventures click here!