Home
Almost-royal socialite takes to two wheels to see what 'intimidating' urban cyclists get out of it...

The Duchess of Cambridge’s socialite sister Pippa Middleton has taken to road biking - with none other than Jonathan Edwards, the former Olympic triple-jump champion, as her coach.

Writing in the Telegraph, Pippa, better known for her sporting prowess on the tennis court, says she isn’t a complete beginner, having learnt to ride with her parents on “a solid mountain bike with thick tyres designed to blast through mud and puddles.”

She’s also completed a 30-mile cycle race in Scotland, the Highland Cross, a couple of years ago.

But, she says, she’s ‘intimidated’ by urban cyclists.

“I may mock them as geeks in their “bib tights” (essentially Lycra dungarees), streamlined helmets and triple lens, wraparound sunglasses but, in truth, their hard-nosed attitude – some can be incredibly rude – and self-belief that they are the rightful rulers of the road makes me nervous,” she says.

The clue to understanding them better, she says, is learning to ride in clipless pedals.

So off she trots to Battersea park to meet Jonathan Edwards, who’s been cycling to keep fit since his retirement in 2003.

Now she says, he and she are “helping promote the sport as part of the Telegraph’s Get Slim Without The Gym initiative, which starts next week.”

He’s full of handy beginner advice, such as that  “small, fitted saddle bags are better than a rucksack.”

Hopping aboard a Hoy Sa Calobra bike, Pippa practises clipping in, and clipping out of her pedals, then rides across a cricket pitch a few times to provide a softer landing in case she takes a tumble.

An important concern of Pippa’s is “how do you avoid developing massive thighs like many of the Tour de France chaps?”

Apparently the key is low resistance long distance riding - in case any readers are concerned about the circumference of their thighs.

After a couple of laps of the park, Pippa’s sufficiently experienced to venture into “professional territory – heart monitors and bike computers (these track distance and speed and are great for fitness training: the best brand is Garmin, apparently)” - and it’s already time to start dabbling in carbohydrate drinks.

Pippa’s advice finishes off with a short ode to delicious kale and singing the praises of Wiggle and Buffs - so next time you’re riding in West London, perhaps keep an eye out for a very familiar backside atop a saddle in front of you.

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

44 comments

Avatar
jugster [40 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Yeah thanks for shining such illuminating light on the dark mysteries of urban riding Ms Middleton - and there was me worrying about the size of my thighs...

Avatar
fatbastard [24 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Jesus H Christ! They have to teach her how to clip in to her pedals and give her a free Hoy bike, so she can promote cycling!!!! Just because her sister has married a royal Parasite. The Telegraph should have got someone who knew what they are talking about, and not someone who talks outs of her Arse.  14

Avatar
sm [387 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

This can only be a good thing in attempt to break down the them versus us divide. She'll only truly understand the hard nosed attitude of urban cycling once she leaves the safety of the park and hits the morning rush hour commute.

Avatar
don simon [775 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Good on her, it's about getting bums on seats. I'd like to think that the cycling community is all welcoming and we're there to help the novices and, of course, massage the egos of the Strava gods.  3

Avatar
koko56 [330 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Some bitter people here.. Very lol

Avatar
giff77 [1254 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Read the bloody article fatbastard. She was loaned the bike. And Jonathon was the one mainly handing out advise

Apart from that mainly good advise IF you are wanting to get out of the city and do some exercise on two wheels. For commuting advise I would have handed her a Pashey or hybrid with flat pedals and put her onto the streets of London. If we are wanting more people to commute then we need to convince them that they don't need all the kit and that they don't need to be bombing it round the streets to do so. Some interaction with traffic would have let her understand why some cyclists are so 'hard nosed' (assertive in cycling language)

Avatar
fatbastard [24 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

I did read the "bloody" article. I am sick to the back teeth of so called "celebrities" being wheeled out as "experts" on every subject on earth. Why did she need a loan bike? Surely her sister's mother-in-law could have bought her one for Xmas?

Avatar
SounDaz_7 [48 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

This article needs more pictures. #justsayin

Avatar
jollygoodvelo [1444 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
don simon wrote:

Good on her, it's about getting bums on seats. I'd like to think that the cycling community is all welcoming and we're there to help the novices and, of course, massage the egos of the Strava gods.  3

Agreed. It's been said here before that it's difficult to get women riding and difficult to break down the fear factor.

Well, she's a little girl and yes, happens to be a celebrity - that is precisely the profile of someone that women listen to, so she's ideal.

Avatar
Karbon Kev [688 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

good grief what a twat this woman is, so tiresome ..

Avatar
arfa [761 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Column inches folks, that is all. Read it if you want, ignore otherwise.
Anything written by anyone that encourages people to get around cities by bike instead of cars is ok by me.

Avatar
Comrade [210 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

I agree...this article needs more pictures; does anyone have any ideas that would be appropriate...you know something to inspire a cyclist to follow her?

Avatar
SideBurn [890 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

"Bike for a better bum" I think this means something else in America  39 Their bums need all the help they can get  1

Avatar
mrmo [2080 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
fatbastard wrote:

Jesus H Christ! They have to teach her how to clip in to her pedals and give her a free Hoy bike, so she can promote cycling!!!! Just because her sister has married a royal Parasite. The Telegraph should have got someone who knew what they are talking about, and not someone who talks outs of her Arse.  14

She might be a royal parasite, but she is also not a cyclist and this is a very important point. If you want people to see bikes as normal get NON cyclists on bikes. The more who ride the better, the more drivers who understand why cyclists do what they do, the safer it should become.

Avatar
aslongasicycle [383 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Brill! One more cyclist. And a figurehead for many, meaning more cyclists. Smashing.
Unlike the misogyny and snobbery above. Its also possible that rich posh people in the news can also be nice human beings at the same time.

Avatar
Dizzy [68 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Some of her comments may seem a bit wimpy or even rude to some of the badass hardcore readers on here, but she is a role model to young girls & even some older women, so seeing her out on a bike can only be a good thing. A positive image to inspire them they can cycle too - I would have chosen a different style of bike for her to ride round on as a newbie, but at the end of the day, it's another female bum on a saddle & that's what counts
But FTR...I'm quite proud of my 'Awesome Quads'..I even have a little trophy to prove it  3

Avatar
BBB [414 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

(almost) Royal bum on two wheels will make a better pro-cycling PR than most of campaigns we've seen so far.

One can only hope that she won't turn into another road safety "expert" promoting ideas of compulsory helmet/high viz kit and stuff...

Avatar
Primus84 [1 post] 2 years ago
0 likes

Is it just me or is there no pedal attached to the crank on the non-drive side of her bike?!

Avatar
Trull [81 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

I think that even the Daily Mail would be inclined to put a nice spin on this rather than the usual hatchet jobs. So for that angle I'm happy.

Avatar
workhard [397 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Some impressively elitist comments upthread

Anything that might get

more torygraph readers
or
more women
or
more Londoners
or
more people in general

out on bikes has to be a good thing. imo. ymmv.

Avatar
roughwaters99 [8 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

A celeb promotes cycling, how is that bad? Some of the comments above are as small minded and myopic as those one would expect from the anti-cycling lobby. I believe that too many cyclists are happy playing the role of persecuted minority. That has to change!

Avatar
antonio [1126 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Twats on saddles! Bums on seats! What variety we cyclists encompass.

Avatar
Cyclist [295 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

 29

Avatar
AWPeleton [3347 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Great story, perfect person to get more young un's onto bikes, as many have said she is a role model now.

As with all articles though you will always get muppets who disagree but dont offer anything in return......  13

Avatar
ragtimecyclist [158 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

The headline 'Pippa Middleton ditches the tennis skirt and learns to ride a bike' hints at pictures of her arse. Is that why this news item has attracted so much attention?  3

Avatar
Simon E [2744 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
fatbastard wrote:

Jesus H Christ! They have to teach her how to clip in to her pedals and give her a free Hoy bike, so she can promote cycling!!!! Just because her sister has married a royal Parasite. The Telegraph should have got someone who knew what they are talking about, and not someone who talks outs of her Arse.  14

If the Telegraph had used a normal person then their parasite-worshipping, celebrity obsessed target audience would never bother reading the article!

So I'd echo the comments by arfa, mrmo and workhard - at least it's a famous person talking about cycling in a positive way  1

Avatar
WolfieSmith [1323 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

The more women that cycle the more cycling will achieve in political circles. Thd more famous women that cycle the more women will cycle.

I live in a country with a royal family but I'm no one's 'subject' but Pippa's doing more good than harm here.

Avatar
farrell [1950 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

On the plus side, if she does get killed cycling then perhaps she is posh enough to make Boris actually do something about road safety in London?

He doesn't seem to be arsed when it's plebs dying so maybe a bit of blue-ish blood getting spilled on the cycling superhighways might put a Royal rocket under his arse?

Avatar
Argos74 [401 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Slightly posh lady on a bicycle, who wasn't on a bicycle before. I think on the whole this is a good thing. Well, any new person on a bike is a good thing.

Did have to Google who she was though. Sounded like a nice but working class person from an Enid Blyton book.

Avatar
phazon [28 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

The comments on this site regularly plumb depths only seen elsewhere in the Youtube comments section. It's unbelievable. Here is an article, not perfect by any means, but which takes cycling and helps open it up to a new audience and potentially break down some of the life-endangering barriers that exist today. And some idiots post the ignorant, bitter tripe seen above

Get over it, for all our sakes

Pages