Megi Rychlikova takes to the gym as she prepares to ride the Tour de Yorkshire cycletta for women.

My legs are feeling a bit sore as I write this. They’re not complaining after a long ride, they’re complaining about the work-out with weights they had in the gym yesterday.

The first time the trainer at the gym suggested I use weights, I was very sceptical. I’m a middle-aged mum. I don’t want bulging muscles in places where a woman wants to look slim. But he was persuasive and the weights were small, so I gave it a try.

That was in January and my legs protested vehemently by cramping painfully the first time I tried squats followed by lunges. But I took it gently, persevered and apart from a couple of sessions when I slipped into bad technique because it was easier that way, I have kept at it.

I haven’t noticed any developing bulges but I have noticed that when I cycle, I am consistently using a gear higher than last year without trying. My legs are definitely stronger. So yesterday, after a long ride mainly on the flat the day before, I gave my legs a full work-out with lunges, squats, step-ups and a stint on the rowing machine. Today my legs are insisting on a rest.

I’ve also learned the benefits of stretching and core balls. Your core muscles are the ones that help you balance and if they are weak then the other muscles have to overwork to compensate. Since my legs are going to have enough to do propelling my bike up the hills of the Tour de Yorkshire Cycletta the more my core muscles do what they are supposed to do the better.

Again, the trainer suggested weights and after a few months with the core ball, I have discovered that I have abs.

They’re not very big and they are certainly not a six-pack but they do help in making me look a little slimmer and they are probably contributing to me spinning a bigger gear than before.

But I still think squats and lunges were invented by a sadist.