Every ride enriches our lives. From the morning laps to the 200km audaux, every mile provides something unique. Last week, I had the chance to spend a few miles in the saddle with Tiffany Cromwell, Pro Cyclist for CANYON//SRAM and Aussie expert of fashion and being fast.
A FRIDAY MORNING WITH TIFF CROMWELL
We met Tiff at 0745 in the morning. She walked through the door head to toe in the Rapha CANYON//SRAM kit and was joined by her, equally aesthetic, CANYON road bike. There’s a lightness and freshness about Tiff that gives the impression that, even when the hotel explained they didn't serve Chai or Matcha latte’s, nothing is an issue.
The plan was to head to Regents Park before cycling to Swains Lane. We talked about the Queen’s birthday and how appealing London is for shopping before jumping on our bikes and starting the route. I, very wrongly, worried that the Friday morning traffic would phase Tiff. But with that aforementioned lightness and freshness, she began showing us how riding in London should be done. With her low profile and enviable bike skills, Tiff moved effortlessly as if dancing with the roads. She was a cycling superwoman and I felt privileged to be riding with someone who has such a poetic and natural relationship with their bike.
We reached Regents and picked up two more riders before heading to Swains Lane. We explained that the hill was quite infamous in London. It may not compare to the cobbles but it’s where most of us have both found and lost our legs.
As we turned the corner of Swains Lane, we picked up Simon Mottram (Founder of Rapha) who was joining us for the hill reps. It was at this point it suddenly hit me that I was in a group of very strong riders about to cycle up Swains Lane... YOLO!
We completed three reps. Some people may have been disheartened with the gap between myself and the group - especially when I noticed Tiff not only wasn’t out of breath, but she was gliding over the gradient whilst still conversing with the others. Yet the moment was so enjoyable that even the heat in my lungs and fire in my legs couldn't burn out the positive thoughts.
The morning finished with the inevitable and ever glorious caffeine refuel, as we sat outside the newly opened Gail's Bakery with a coffee filled table. Tiff enjoyed the carrot cake, as we chatted about weekend plans, racing in London and how much I loved their new team vans. We talked Yorkshire (where Tiff was heading next), the psychology behind racing and how the UK and Aussies are obsessed with breakfast. Amen!
The lightness and freshness of Tiff is infectious. She's proving that female cycling can be beautiful and bad-ass. Strong yet elegant. My dad may have always wanted me to support Everton Football Club, but my team is CANYON//SRAM. And I can't wait to wear the strip this summer.
Follow TC's colourful journey: @TiffanyCromwell
The Vox Women interview that was filmed on the day will be live this Tuesday.