Yakkablog is dedicated to the bike adventures of Sharron Yaxley. I am a 58 year old psyclepathic ambivert living in Turners Beach, Tasmania – the island state of Australia. By week day I wear professional looking clothes claiming to be an accountant/project manager /program manager for the state government in the area of economic development.
Out of hours that all gets tossed out the window and forgotten, and like Superman I metamorphose into something else and don lycra and hop onto my bike. Maybe some think that such public flaunting of lycra wearing should be stealthy and surreptitious – however, I beg to differ!
I first started riding a bike as a child, predominantly as a form of play with neighboring friends. Later I used the bike as a form of transport to visit friends who lived further away.
Bike riding took a back seat in 1980 after being involved in a grass skiing accident resulting in a significant knee injury – I tore my ACL, medial ligament and medial cartilage, necessitating a knee reconstruction and 2 years of rehabilitation to be able to walk with out a discernible limp. Since then I have had a further 3 knee surgeries, including the removal of the lateral cartilage in September 2015.
In my twenties I produced 4 children in 5 years, dedicating myself to their upbringing, school and sport, simultaneously juggling full time work leaving no time for Sharron.
I rediscovered riding in 2007 – purchasing a cheaper mountain bike and really just pottering around halfheartedly.
Later that year I travelled to England, where I rode from the source of the Thames River, in the Cotswolds, following the meandering river path, ending up at the Thames Barrier past Greenwich. The average daily distance was around 32 km and I thought that was a lot!
Enthused by this adventure, I ultimately progressed onto bigger and bolder trips necessitating a significant improvement in my overall fitness levels.
In 2013 I fulfilled a longer term ambition to ride from Lands End to John O’Groats – some 1750 kilometres, averaging around 80 km per day.
In 2015 I rode from Calais to the Mediterranean, finishing up in the medieval citadel of Carcassonne, averaging around 100 km per day.
In 2016, I rode 2200 km, and climbed over 20 000 metres with a prologue ride in the Chilterns (England), London to Venice, and then 3 days in Tuscany.
2017 saw me spend one week in Bordeaux, then ride across the Pyrenees to Bordeaux. Christmas was spent South Island New Zealand riding Alps to Ocean.
2018 – New Zealand multiple trips including Auckland to Wellington (950 km) and a solo Auckland to Cape Reinga and return (1150 km). Then it was off to Europe for my sons wedding…taking my bike, breaking two ribs and riding to hospital. Then I rode from Zurich to Asolo (Italy) to hook up with the Giro d’Italia, ending up in Rome. Final three days cycle touring through Tuscany ended a brilliant trip. December we headed back to New Zealand for another big loop south of Auckland.
2019 – 5 week, 8 country, 3300 km ride in Europe was nothing short of challenging and brilliant as Central Europe experienced their wettest winter in 30 years. Starting and finishing in the Czech Republic, we also rode through Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Croatia, Italy, Austria and Germany. A few months later I did a solo trip tomSwitzerland for a week, sneaking rides into France and Germany. End of year, back to New Zealand for a loop north of Auckland.
2020 – plans galore including Sardinia, Corsica and I picked up a gig supporting Italy Bike Tours at the Giro d’Italia…but Covid stuffed that! Later in the year we did a lap of Tasmania to blow away some touring cobwebs.
2021 – plans galore …hoping New Zealand South Island later in the year….
I am probably as fit as I have ever been in my life – I ride every day – it is a passionate love affair!