Jo Shepherd, Symmetrys

Jo Shepherd Of Symmetrys Shares Her Bike Beats

Jo Shepherd, Symmetrys

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It turns out that one of our most-visited pages is this one, presenting Velocity's playlist for climbing Mount Ventoux. We're a bit worried about playlists: is it right to encourage cyclists to listen to music while they ride, possibly distracting them from the dangers of the road? Half the team here thinks that might be irresponsible; but the other half enjoys a ride with 'phones on, in the right circumstances. We'll come back to this; in the meantime, we agree that if it's what Velocity readers want, then it's what we should provide. So, here is the first in what may become a torrent (ahem) of reader's playlists. Send us yours here.

Ladies and gentlemen, please allow us to introduce to you Jo Shepherd, business development associate at structural engineer Symmetrys.

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"I think there’s something in here for everyone, regardless of taste," Jo tells Velocity. "They have all featured heavily on my gym playlist, helping motivate when I’ve needed a push getting over the cyber hills in spin class. There’s a powerful motivating and energising force with music: its ability to pick you up and help you push that bit further when your legs are telling you otherwise.

"I've always enjoyed making playlists - it's what a lot of us used to do when we were trying to impress a boy, or a new friend; I don’t think I've ever grown out of it. My 'phone is full of playlists for different occasions (I regularly bore my work colleagues with them).

"I've kept the beat going throughout the playlist (the Sigur Ros tune is not their usual ethereal sound, more upbeat, so I think it works). I hope the list isn't too sweary..."

Jo is new to cycling, has just picked up her first bike, a Pinnacle Neon 3 hybrid (aluminium alloy frame, with carbon blades) and has set her sights on, firstly, getting up Muswell Hill in north London without falling over, and then a Brighton-to-Bruges ride next May

"That's a challenge I boldly accepted from someone 25 years younger than me and half my size. What was I thinking?

"I may progress to a road bike if things go well. I started riding because I work in construction. Everyone cycles, don’t they? I started spin classes in March to try and get fit. With my offspring either through or at university it was time to start looking after myself a little better. I love spin, and the progression to actual cycling came after a few really enjoyable days out on hired bicycles, although I have discovered that gym fit and road fit are two different things.

"Apart from the climb home up Muswell Hill, my commute is quite short and traffic is often at a standstill, so a move from four to two wheels was the most sensible option."