Cycling couples photography project - Edel & Stuart

Today on the blog, Edel and Stuart. This is the second story from my project "Ride together stay together" about couples who cycle. In this series of the interviews, I am exploring how cycling influence relationships combining my two passions for cycling and photography.

What I found so far, cycling is amazing at bringing people together, so if you are single and don't cycle, maybe it is time to take up this amazing sport (wink, wink). 

The couple in the spotlight today is Stuart from Wolverhampton and Londoner Edel. Stuart grew up in Ascot and have lived in Germany and the US and runs a web design and development agency with offices in London and Minsk. Edel is a lawyer working in the public sector. Edel has lived in London most of her life, with the exception of jaunts up North for university and she also lived in Japan for 3 years. The guys had their first baby boy Oliver this year and planning a wedding next year. Here is their story:

How did you meet?

Stuart: We met on an Richmond Park Cycling Club ride to Brighton followed by a London Nocturne.

Edel: I first met Stu on a club ride to Brighton - I was frantically training for the Mallorca 312 so romance was not on my mind! However, I liked Stu immediately. I met him a few more times at different club events and we held hands for the first time at the Nocturne… then we were a couple!

How long have you been cycling and how did you get into it?

Edel: I started cycling about 4 years ago. A crazy friend of mine talked me into doing the coast to coast from Whitehaven to Sunderland on a hired hybrid, along with hired paniers too! I then went on a cycling holiday in South America which I loved! When I got home, I joined a club and started cycling regularly and just loved it.

Stuart: As long as I can remember. I’d ridden MTB, and motorbikes for years but got a road bike 4 years ago to help me get fit for Motocross.

What do you like about cycling overall and specifically about cycling together? 

Stuart: Cycling is so many different things to me from social,  adrenalin filled fun, exploring, a thinking time and just keeping fit. 

We don’t really get much of an opportunity to cycle together at the moment but hoping when Oliver is old enough to go in a child seat we’ll be able to start going on adventures again.

Edel: Cycling gives me the opportunity to be active, outdoors and social, all at the same time. It has also given me the chance to explore places abroad and nearer to home and to challenge myself physically.

Cycling as a couple is great as you can share adventures together. We now have a little baby boy so we can't wait until he is old enough to join in too.

What do you find challenging about being both into cycling? And about cycling together? 

Stuart: Edel is very hot on (lack off) instructions and signals. I’m hoping that I can coax Edel into mountain biking over time.

Edel: Nothing really, it's something that we both really enjoy and I think we spur each other on as there's always a competitive edge to see who is the fastest!

Your most memorable cycling experience together and why?

Stuart: Isle of Wight Wiggle sportive, our first trip overseas to cycle and with a great crowd but plenty of time on our own too.

Edel: Yes, the IOW Sportive was fantastic! It was a great weekend and our first trip away together.

What impact has cycling had on your relationship?

Stuart: It’s how we met and I’m very lucky to have fallen in love with someone that  shares and understand my passions.

Edel: I wouldn't have met Stu if I wasn't cycling, so it's led me to my soul mate.

Any advice for couples who are only starting cycling together?

Stuart: Take your time and remember it’s not all about going fast. Ride off road and on trails where you can stop and take in the view and not have to deal with masses of cars all the time.

Edel: Stu and I never got the opportunity to do any touring. I think that's a really romantic way to cycle and make the most of it by exploring pastures new.

What about non-cycling couples? Would you recommend them to take up cycling and why?

Stuart: Yes. Get fit, have great adventures, meet new friends.

Edel: I can't recommend it enough, it's a great way to keep fit, make friends, see new places, and have adventures. And there's always a slice of cake waiting at the end of every ride… What's not to like!