Ladies That May, Or May Not Ride Bikes
We have many customers who stand out for what they've achieved both in life or on a bike. Here at York Cycleworks we like to do our best to help people when we can, but for us, there's one who's head and shoulders above the rest. Lydia Mellen isn't an ordinary girl who rides her bike a bit, she's a superstar who's been selected to represent Great Britain at the World Transplant Games next year. Now, these athletes don't enjoy the same National Lottery funding that athletes like the Brownlees enjoy, they have to raise their own funds to actually get to the Games. This is where we want to help. So, on the 22nd February we're holding a Ladies Night here at York Cycleworks. Starting at 7.30pm we will have fizz, canapes, fun talks and activities as well as relaxing hand and arm massages provided by Molton Brown. All of this for just £15 per ticket with all of the money going towards sending Lydia to next years Transplant Games.
Anyway, I'll hand you over to Rich, Lydia's Dad to tell you more about why she's a superstar. He tells it better than I ever could...
"Lydia is a young lady who lives her life to the maximum. She grasps every opportunity with both hands and runs with it. She is really quite unique amongst her peers of other 15 year old girls. Less interested in make-up, boys, or latest fashions. And definitely not one of those teenagers who refuses to exercise. Lydia loves to be active and actually gets twitchy if she has to sit still.
This hasn’t always been the case however. Up until nine years ago Lydia was a very poorly little girl. She was born with a very uncommon liver disease which was progressive in it’s nature and terminal. At the age of six she was offered a liver transplant after doctors found cancerous cells in her liver following a routine ultrasound scan. This was the moment Lydia was ‘reborn’. She changed, almost overnight, from a very poorly child who had so little energy she could hardly play, to a double British Transplant Games Champion and GB Team member. This is her story so far…
Lydia always loved to cycle. As with all children, from a very early age she loved to ride up and down the street. It wasn’t until after her transplant that she got the ‘cycling bug’ in 2011 I bought her first racing bike. It was tiny but she loved it. She rode everywhere. We enrolled her in the coaching sessions at York Sport circuit and quickly found she was a natural. Her second (and current) bike soon followed. It was super- light and super-fast and now she was really flying. Lydia tried a few local Go-Ride races and really loved it. But what was apparent was she unable to keep up with kids who were healthy or not had a transplant. It was then that the organisers of the British Transplant Games (BTG) changed the rules and allowed children to compete in the cycling events at the games. This was like a red rag to a bull for Lydia. She was so focused. She knew she wanted that gold medal. She knew she wanted to win and she knew she was going to win. She pestered her father to take her out on her bike more often. Riding further and faster each time. She was getting so strong on her bike. Her first race ever at the BTG was at Newcastle in 2015 at the age of 14. Her first race was only a 3 kilometre time trial, this was so the children didn’t crash into each other and was safer for all concerned. Lydia managed it in little over 6 minutes. She was the fastest Girl in her age group. She was the fastest person in her age group. She was also faster than the winner of the age group above her. She was incredible. She flew around the Newcastle circuit. I have never seen her so happy. The nursing staff who came along to support also couldn’t believe it was Lydia. The girl they’d know since she six weeks old.
A year later in Liverpool 2016, she was moved up an age group. Now 15 and able to compete in both the time trial and the road race. Again the focused Lydia came to the fore. She trained so hard on the run up to the games. She was even picked up by a local team who gave her lots of kit and supported her through her training. She knew she wanted to win. She even had aspirations of beating the current World Champion - Otti Quince. We got her a new shoes and pedals and a bike fit by the great team at York Cycleworks. We did everything we could to prepare her. New tyres, spare wheels, rollers everything she might need.
Race day came and Lydia was so nervous. She climbed onto the rollers and blocked out the world and got her nerves under control. First up, the Time Trial. A 5 kilometre TT this time. She rode like the wind keeping a little back for the road race later that day. BOOM! She blasted the field. Winning by over a minute. She was Champion again! Now we had to calm her down and focus her for the Race. She lined up on the grid with women of all ages. She was the youngest by around 20 years. The flag dropped. Otti Quince smashed it from the line and solo’d to the overall win. Lydia however sat in the peloton. Until 5 kilometres to go when she attacked. And attacked hard. Making over 30 seconds on the chase group. Sadly the strong winds on the day got the better of her and in the last 200 metres she faded and was caught getting pipped on the line for 3rd place overall by one second. But, most importantly, she won her age group. She crossed the line punching air like she had just beaten the World. And in some way, she had. She had beaten liver disease, liver cancer and so many other health issues. In that one most beautiful moment she had beaten everything life had thrown at her and shown who was boss. Lydia was crowned the under 18 British Transplant Games Champion.
A few weeks later, a letter dropped through the letter box. It read, you have been selected to compete for Great Britain at the World Transplant Games in 2017. After a few minutes of excited whooping, the serious focused Lydia returned. She knows what she wants and she will get it. I wholly believe Lydia will win the World Championships in 2017 in Malaga Spain."
Get 'Em Now!
Tickets are on sale NOW for the Ladies Night. Bring your £15 in cash to the shop and secure your place for what promises to be a fun night!
If you or your business can offer support, please contact us and we can put you in touch with Rich.
Can't make the 22nd but want to donate, click the button below!