Karen Jaggs is following the Fitness Rider programme in Cycling Weekly’s Health and Fitness for Cyclists. As a complete beginner at the start of spring she is already making fantastic progress.

Picture the scene. I’m religiously following my training programme on holiday in New Zealand. I get up early one morning, borrow a bike from the hostel I’m staying in and hit the open road just as the sun is rising for a brisk mornings workout.

Dedication or stupidity? I’ll leave you to work that one out. So back to the story… I’m going super fast (hope Michelle’s reading this) and working up quite a sweat when I’m interrupted by blue flashing lights and sirens wailing excessively loudly for that time of the morning.

I pull over to let them past, thinking to myself I’m not hogging the road that much just drive past me you £$%$%*! Imagine my horror when they stop behind me, get out and following the longest, most humiliating lecture of my life, fine me $80 for not wearing a helmet. To add insult to injury I then had to walk my bike home.

So for you all budding cyclists out there, there is a moral to this story… stay in bed, sleep and save yourself $80. Or seriously wear a helmet at all times and in all countries.

My first distance challenge on my road bike, The British Heart Foundation 25 mile bike ride, has been undertaken and achieved. The event was great fun and had a really good atmosphere. After a slightly stressful start caused by hundreds of people (we’re talking kids, grannies and Daisy the dog) all starting at once and little old me clipped on to my road bike, desperately wanting a clear road ahead of me so I could go fast enough to stop wobbling everywhere.

After finding my pace, the internal competitiveness appeared as I aimed for my target time (for me to know and you to not find out!), and I am pleased to say I made it. I’ve been tackling lots of hills and there were quite a few during the course of the ride but they were probably just bumps in the road to many of you.

To some pro riders 25 miles I’m sure would be a mere warm up, but by the end of it I would be lying if I said I wasn’t happy to finish. No matter how much time I spend in the saddle I’m thinking any extra time can only be a bonus.

Karen