All posts by Inspireajen

This is what a bag of clothes looks like, unpacked

Kit and Ting

It’s all go over here in my Stoke Newington Bat Cave/shared rented flat. In the last week, there have been tears, tantrums, cider and quite a lot of questions about what type of tyre Beyonce has – the answer to which, alas, I do not know.

This week, instead of the relatively important task of planning my route for the first couple of days (how am I in a position that I know my route for almost the ENTIRE journey, bar the first couple of days?), I’ve been doing things like: writing things for other people about how women are undervalued in society and stroking my chin. I’ve been stroking my chin so much, I actually don’t know how people find the time to have real jobs.

When I wasn’t stroking my chin and buying more vegetables than I can feasibly eat in three days I was, as above, crying etc. I was also putting things in a holdall, trying to lift it, then crying some more when I thought about those jeffing mountains. Now, sitting in the abject chaos of my bedroom writing this, acutely aware that I need to wash my hair before I go and drink with my pals until I cry again, the question I ask myself is: WHY? WHY DO YOU KEEP COMMITTING MYSELF TO DOING STUPID THINGS? I digress.

So, for those of you with an interest in the type of tyre Beyonce has, I still can’t tell you, but here’s a list of the other shiz I’ll be cycling up a mountain with very, very soon.


Bike & Bits

Beyonce (she’s a Specialized Dolce)

Comedy horn, generously donated by my handsome prince, John Dinnewell.

2 x Ortlieb rear panniers (courtesy of Lyon Outdoor)

1 x Handlebar bag (courtesy of Lyon Outdoor)

Chain lock


This is what a bag of clothes looks like, unpacked

This is what a bag of clothes looks like, unpacked

Repair Kit (partially lovingly provided by Bella Velo)

2 x Inner tubes

Puncture repair kit

Multi tool

Spare cables

Cable ties

Gaffer tape


Swiss army knife (technically not for repairs but incongruous in any other list)


This is what some cycling kit looks like, unpacked

This is what some cycling kit looks like, unpacked

Cycling Kit (all lovingly provided by Specialized & Bella Velo)


Specialized jersey & shorts

Bella Velo jersey & shorts

Specialized jacket

Pair of Specialized armwarmers

Pair of Specialized warm gloves

Pair of Specialized cycling shoes


Fitness Wear (all lovingly provided by Vevie Active)

This is what a flash bikini & other bits look like, unpacked

This is what a flash bikini & other bits look like, unpacked


Long leggings


Brooks running trainers


Other clothes & bits

Journal (it’s sparkly)


Generic toiletries stuff & bit of the old war paint

First aid kit


Lightweight sundress


Hareem pants


3 x vests


This is what camping and other stuff looks like, unpacked

This is what camping and other stuff looks like, unpacked



Sleeping bag

Self-inflating mattress


Bungee ropes





Electric Shiz


Sony Action Cam HDR-AS 100 V (lovingly provided by Sony)

External hard drive


Battery pack


So there you have it. If you think I’ve missed anything vital, you’ve got approximately 12 hours to tell me. GO!






He looks pretty docile, right? But don't mess with him. Unless it's with Pepper Spray.

Mountains of Things/Bears

I know, I keep saying it, but it’s true, I’m cycling around America, H-Town (Harwich) to H-Town (Houston),  in LESS THAN A MONTH on a senselessly-complicated spiritual journey of awesome lady empowerment via the medium of Beyoncé (the bike AND the person).

Things are coming together nicely, albeit alongside waves of panic and/or nausea when I think about my lack of understand anything about map reading including how to decipher the code of big roads and little roads, and bears, which I’d forgotten about until the other week and have subsequently used to project all of my trip-related anxieties onto, so humour me for a moment. Read more…

Do you feel lucky, punk?

99 Problems (but a Croc Ain’t One)

You remember, ages ago, I said I was going to cycle across America on a journey of sporty, spiritual, lady-empowerment? Then I repeated the sentiment a month or so later? I thought it was probably time to reiterate again, just so you know I’m not pissing around, because I’ve even decided on a route, sort of. When I say “route”, I mean a vague set of directions (I settled on Alabama, FYI) spanning approximately 2,500 miles, that I hope will translate into actual roads and paths and all that. But these are minor details and presently I have more pressing concerns. Read more…

Bella Velo Logo

Bella Velo and Other Animals

So look, you know I said I was going to cycle across America, a while ago? I wasn’t even joking, and shiz is getting REAL in my North-East London bat-cave/bedroom of a small, shared flat.

Read more…

AMERICA! Eff Yeah!

Inspire a Jen Rides Again

Hello! Welcome back, or you know, maybe just welcome, because it is entirely possible that you’ve managed to resist my mum’s frequent attempts to get you to be interested in me, until now. You may still be fairly disinterested, that’s fine, I’m hoping to win you round with my ever so slightly over-indulgent levels of self-deprecation and a Just Cause (which you should read in the accent of Sean Connery in that film which was like To Kill a Mockingbird but the wrong way round. Well done, Hollywood). I digress.

Read more…

HQ Recon

Over the last year or so, I’ve undertaken some quite odd activities: ribbon twirling to the theme from Black Beauty, hanging upside down in a giant silk hammock and throwing myself face-first at a crash mat to name (sort of) a few. However, crouching in the undergrowth of Highgate Wood with some ex-marines one lunchtime earlier this summer has got to be up there with one of the strangest.

Read more…

Here I am, posing in traditionally awkward fashion

Body Fit Burlesque Class

Now I’m back in the saddle, in the business of trying as many physical activities as my now wretched knees, lower legs and occasionally elbows, will allow, I decided to get serious and hit up the Reebok Sports Club in Canary Wharf for some classes – doesn’t ask doesn’t get, right?
“Sure”, was their response, “try as many as you like”, which I was taking as a bit of a result. On further inspection of their timetable, I decided I was essentially winning at life.

Read more…

'Yonce. I heart her.

Dunwich Dynamo

For anyone who’s been paying attention, you may have noticed I’ve mentioned ONCE OR TWICE this daft Olympic project I had on the go, last year, the point of which had initially been to find my very own Olympic sport. I didn’t really find one specific sport that I had a natural aptitude for, though I did find a few that I wanted to keep up. The one that seems to have stuck is cycling.

It’s been a bit of a learning curve, dealing with aggressive MAMILs (Middle Aged Men In Lycra), irate taxi drivers and even one red-faced white van driver from Chingford who actually tried to knock me off my bike. But I’m not one to be told and Beyonce (my road bike) and I have become firm friends over the year we’ve spent together, dicing with death on the streets of London.

Read more…

Surfing Birds (technically standing in this picture)


Prior to all those Olympic shenanigans, I’d thought of myself as quite a fearful person, and it’s quite easy to become someone who you think you already are (profound, right?). However, in the midst of all that throwing myself off high beams, BMX racing and showjumping, I realised I must actually be doubly hard, given the risk of face-breaking involved in all of these pursuits. I can also do a boy’s push up now, so I’m essentially Ripley from Alien (still can’t do a chin up).

Read more…

Tah Dah!

Aerial Yoga

No sooner had OCJOG (Organising Committee for the Jen Olympic Games) Chair, Maya, casually suggested that I try all the Olympic sports and write a blog about them, than she had promptly effed off to Australia for a sabbatical. So when she returned to London, post-JenOlympics, I was keen to drag her along to some activities, for Maya was a sport hater, too. But a strange thing had happened to Maya during her year abroad, and like all of us who let the mystical force of physical recreation into our lives: it seemed to be growing on her.

Read more…