Interview with Ann Ferris

Number of bikes?

One hybrid, one flat handlebar road bike.

What do you do for a living?

Retired. Until last year I was working for a charity in Croydon

How did you get into cycling and what made you join Penge CC?

I went to a couple of adult training sessions then started going out on Sunday afternoons on basic beginner rides – round South Norwood Country Park, Crystal Palace Park, and to Ladywell and back. I had a very heavy mountain bike at the time and found it really hard going so gave up.

The following summer I tried again on a hybrid and found it much easier so started going on Breeze rides. The year after that I started joining the Steady ride on Sunday mornings. 

In 2015 I trained as a Breeze Champion and started leading regular women’s rides, and also leading the Steady ride on a regular basis.

How long have you cycled with Penge CC?

Four years.

Which group do you cycle with?

Steady or Short 1 and in the summer I joined the Long 1 as I was training for the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100.

What do you like about riding with Penge CC?

It is inclusive, friendly and sociable.

Why do you think Penge CC is a good club for women?

Women are treated on an equal footing as men. Quite a few have come through from Breeze and I certainly recommend it as one of the most welcoming to women.

What is your proudest achievement in cycling?

It should really be the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100, but it is probably the first time I rode to Brighton in 2015.

What was the most enjoyable thing you did on a bike this year?

I rode the Coast to Coast with my daughter Rachel. I also really enjoyed the Fairly Flat Fairies 150km audax.

What advice would you give to someone getting into cycling?

Don’t try and be too ambitious too quickly. You don’t have to go faster and further just because everyone else seems to be. Stick to the level you’re happy with.

Which inspirational female sportsperson do you most admire and why?

I’ve always had a soft spot for Kelly Holmes. I was lucky enough to go on her ride in July and met her. She is now a keen cyclist and getting up Yorks Hill seems to give her as much of a sense of achievement as her Olympic gold medals.

What’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve done on a bike?

I rode into a post on the Waterlink Way and went flying. No serious injuries, fortunately.