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Love - It's a Beautiful Thing

What did Michael Ball say…? Love, Love Changes Everything!

We were first made aware of cupid’s arrow hitting the target when we received a message on the contacts form on our website, thanking us for our involvement in a relationship that was well on its way to be a marriage.

18 months ago, Chris and Diana met on the Planet X Facebook page and haven’t really looked back. We were so pleased to hear this we sent them some cycling gifts to say thank you, we also asked for their background stories so we could show everyone out there – miracles really can happen.

They have kindly shared the details of their romance and we think it makes great reading.

In their own words:

Diana Said –

“As a little 10-year-old girl in Spain, I used to cycle to my tennis and English lessons at the weekends. These would be very short (3 miles) rides, on my brother's steel bike which was way too big for me. I never had my own bike as a kid.

Fast forward 17 years and I found myself in London, slightly overweight and sharing the mentality of "I can't do any sports" with thousands of other people. But, as transport was so expensive, I decided to buy a bicycle to commute to work (6 miles from Clapham to Farringdon). I decided to buy a hybrid which was recommended by the local cycle shop assistant. This later became a pivotal point in my life.

I started cycling every day to work. For those who cycle in London, we all know how competitive the Thames embankment can be. I found myself trying to keep up with people on carbon road bikes. I didn't know I was so competitive!

It took one outing to Richmond Park on my bike to completely change my mind about cycling. I found myself doing loops on my own and timing my best laps. If one day I had done 2 laps (6.5 miles/lap), the next I wouldn't leave until I had done three! As I started getting into it more and more, I decided that I wanted to join a club.

All local London clubs required that their members have a road bike -  I decided that it was time to make the transition, leave behind my trusted hybrid and get myself a road bike. Following a recommendation from a work friend who had a Planet X Pro Carbon, I decided to have a look on the website and it was love at first sight!

All of this took four months and I went from cycling 6 miles on my commute to going out with the club at the time (London Dynamo) and cycling 80+ miles on Sat and Sundays.

Of course, as a Planet X enthusiast, I was avidly following the Facebook page for updates on bikes and accessories. One day I saw a really nice piece of cycling kit and left a comment asking if they would do a lady’s specific version. A minute later, I received a new friend request from this guy I didn't know at all.

I always decline friend requests from strangers, but as luck would have it, I was slightly bored that day and decided to have a snoop on his profile. I saw that he cycled, rode motorbikes and liked cats! What else did I need? I accepted his friend request and two days later we were cycling together to work. A year and 9 months later, we are engaged and I count my lucky stars that I didn't hit "Ignore". 

Chris Said –

“Well… Here's a short history of my biking years.

I Had a mountain bike when I was a young lad to help me with my paper round and later I got into BMX, I would build dirt jumps with my brother and other local kids and ride them like a hero!

But one day, the inevitable happened and I grew up, I went to University and had to make adult decisions about my future. I basically just stopped riding bikes. 

After University I got a job in the ‘big smoke’ (London), as with most businesses my company offered a 'cycle to work' scheme so I started looking at buying a bike. The deal looked great so I bought an off road Specialized Hard Rock, I really liked having a mountain bike but felt I wasn't using it enough and the dirt jumps we had once made had eroded in time.

The Rock Hopper lived in my flat, I remember looking at it one Monday morning and thinking, 'F it’, I'm going to ride this to work - I surprised myself, covering 15 miles on my first cycle commute. This is brilliant(!) I thought, I'm getting fitter, it costs nothing and the sense of freedom was overwhelming.

I then bought slicks and SPDs which transformed the bike to a hybrid road warrior, I became quicker and quicker and eventually bought a road bike. I now have five bikes, a single speed commuter, a fixed gear track bike, a very light carbon racer, the Rock hopper and an old Raleigh pub bike. 

My older brother had also fallen back in love with cycling and we decided to join our local cycle club, Addiscombe CC. They showed us how to ride in a group, tips and tricks for nutrition etc. and it was great to ride with other likeminded folk who all shared our passion.

It wasn't long before we were riding every weekend with the club, track cycling at Herne Hill and participating in Sportives. Cycling had really taken over a big part of my life, I had joined many Facebook pages including the Planet X page…

One slow afternoon, I was browsing the Planet X FB page when I notice this girl commenting on a cycle jersey, she was asking if it came in a women's version, I creepily stalked her photos, saw that she loved cycling and for the second time thought 'F it’, just add her as a friend - She responded straight away with, "errrrr excuse me, do I know you?"

We hit it off straight away, we realised that we both loved cycling, shared bike pics and inspirational quotes like, “It never gets easier, you just get faster” – Greg LeMon and we met for a drink to check it wasn’t all a bit too weird.

For our second date we planned to meet on our commute to work, both trying to impress each-other. Our second date was a bike ride!! 

Fast-forward 18 months and I steal Diana away from her cycle club and she joins Addiscombe with me. We ride together on our way to work when we can, on the weekends with the club and find ourselves planning cycle trips around the UK and even Europe, we sling the bikes in the back of the old estate Merc and we're off.

It's lovely having a shared passion in our lives, cycling has definitely brought us together and I'm sure it will continue to be a huge part of our lives!”

Now, Really – who cute are these guys really?

27 August 2016

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