Do you have a top tip for doing hard efforts? Turbo so that you don’t crash into a car by veering on the wrong side of the road as you black out. Solid tunes.
Is sleep important to you? Yes! I need so much sleep. At least 9 hours. I turn evil if I don’t get enough sleep.
How did you spend your off season? I led a training camp in Spain – a whole week of sunshine and fantastic food = glorious!
How did you get into racing bikes? Charlie Easton of Look Mum No Hands! lent me a jersey and got me hooked!
What’s your dream ride? I’d like to explore Mongolia but I’m not sure if the roads would be good enough and I also really wouldn’t like carrying all the extra bags….maybe credit card touring in Europe.
What’s the most useful piece of clothing or piece of equipment you have? In the winter: casquette/cap – keeps your head warm and the rain out of your eyes. And also good for the low light that even the best sunglasses can’t help with.
In the Summer: suncream. I’m ginger.
What’s in your jersey pocket? I have a recent love of Tangfastics as a little treat on the bike. I also very rarely leave home without a gilet in my pocket – you never know when you might need that extra layer – whatever time of year.
Are you a numbers girl? Yes. I’m all about the numbers. If my powermeter/bike computer are ever not charged I feel lost!
What’s your favourite thing to eat after a ride? Yes. I’m all about the numbers. If my powermeter/bike computer are ever not charged I feel lost!
What’s your happiest moment on the bike so far? I found it very rewarding leading the cycling camp in Spain this September. It was fantastic to help ladies achieve things they would never have thought they could do at the beginning of the week.
What’s the most difficult challenge you’ve had to overcome in cycling? Ever since I had a bad crash right at the start of becomming a ‘real’ cyclist (I fractured my neck, puctured a lung, broke some ribs and paralysed my arm) I find it difficult to remain relaxed on descents and blind corners. I have to work hard to stay focussed and just go with the flow.
What’s the best race experience you’ve ever had? Really early on, when I only just started racing (I was still a 4th cat!) I got the opportunity to race some of the Tour Series events. It was fantastic to be lining up alongside junior world champ Lucy Garner and all the BC girls in the lead up to London 2012. (I was terrified of causing a crash and ruining their olympic dreams!)
Why do you race? To get strong sock tan lines! Oh and also to challenge myself physically, psychologically, improve my skills and run my luck!
I enjoy the atmosphere at races, pre and post- us ladies are quite a friendly crowd!
What are your strengths as a bike racer? I much prefer the longer undulating rides!
What’s your day job? I’m a primary school teacher in a fantastic Pre-Prep school in Taunton, teaching Year 1’s. Thats right 5 and 6 year olds! Fortunately, I am part-time and so my work life balance is spot on!
Do you train alone or with friends? I started of with friends ( aka cycling Mums, Dads and Grandads!) and still try and go out with them every few weeks. I live for the coffee ride!
However, to get quality sessions in and to improve is to go solo!
Top tips for doing hard efforts? Ohhhh I am amazing at avoiding them! Got a niggle in my knee, can’t get my power up, called in to work…I’ve used them all!
But when I do them…I beast them out in the morning and feel virtuous for the rest of the day.
Do you have a mantra for when it gets really hard? I always think: would my competitors be having a day off? NO! Get on with it Han!
Do you listen to music when you train? No, never. Well maybe when I’m on the Wattbike in the gym. But then I listen to podcasts.
How much do you sleep? I like to be in bed early and I wake up early. I love the mornings. I find I under-recover when I don’t get enough sleep.
What’s your standard training ride? If I need a pick me up on the bike I go out with my group of friends who are mostly retired gents! They are in the same spot every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 9. They are reliable, loyal and fun!
What kind of cross training do you enjoy? I like weights, swimming and walking my crazy border collie.
What’s your dream ride? I really fancy Lejog but then to cycle hills and mountains abroad would be a truly amazing experience.
Does your bike have a name? Olivia!
What’s in your jersey pocket? Always my phone, card, cash and a Nak’d bar! Then additions may be a gel, an energy bar, oh, and a power banana!
What’s your favourite thing to eat after a ride? Poached egg, smoked salmon and smashed avo on sourdough toast.
What’s your happiest moment on the bike so far? A brilliant bank holiday weekend in the Cotswold where my team mates and I placed 2nd, 3rd and 4th! Followed by racing round the route with a youth rider who truly appreciated racing alongside a lady rider!
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome so far? I was hit by a car whilst on my bike 4 years ago and I punctured my lung, fractured 7 ribs, collarbone and shoulder blade. I really wasn’t sure if I was ever going to get on the bike again. If it was up to my parents I wouldn’t be!
What’s the best race experience you’ve had? Surely my first race! I had no expectations and really didn’t know what to expect. The group split on the first hill and I managed to stay with a group of 10 riders chasing the leading 4. It was a game of cat and mouse. So exciting! However, we didn’t catch them but I did come 10th. I’ll take a top 10 anytime!
What’s the most embarrassing moment when you first started cycling? Setting of on my first ride with the racing snakes in my club and came straight off. Who knows how! A great first impression!!
Do you do any other sports? I started off as a hockey goalkeeper where I played county level at school. However, I became slightly overweight at university so took to running which I loved and would still be doing more of now but me knees can’t take it. I love to swim too but I need competition in my life!
What don’t we know about you? I don’t eat meat! Oh and I’m originally from the bright lights of Blackpool!!
Why do you race? Because I love it! It’s a massive adrenaline rush and it’s always exciting to see how far you can push yourself!
What are your strengths as a bike racer? I just keep going 🙂
What’s your day job? I am the health and fitness team leader at Exmouth Leisure Centre. I spend my days running the gym&group ex and delivering sessions to our members.
Do you cycle alone or with friends? It’s nice to have a bit of company but I tend to cycle mostly by myself. I’m too competitive and just want to beat everyone!!
What’s your standard training ride? I’m blessed with amazing scenic rides around me, although it’s nearly impossible to avoid any hills! Luckily I’ve learnt to love them! No specific ride is my favourite but I like a good combination of hills and flat/fast sections.
How did you get into bike racing? I started off in triathlon but the bike section was always my strongest and favourite, reoccurring knee problems makes running a bit uncomfortable so decided to make the change to cycling 🙂 haven’t looked back yet!!
If you could cycle anywhere, where would you go? I’d love to cycle down through France-Spain-Portugal then back! Mountains, Coast, and sun – perfect!.
Are you a numbers girl? Oh a bit of both! I rely on how my body feels but I like to use the geeky stuff to monitor progress!
Who inspires you? There are so many amazing people out there, all with different qualities. I think it’s important to always remember who you are, where you’ve come from and focus on being the best that you can.
What don’t we know about you? When I was younger my dream job was to be a baker!!
Why do you race? The adrenaline.. I am a self-confessed adrenaline junkie and the buzz I get from races is brilliant. That feeling of knowing you’ve given your best, whether that be to get into the placings yourself, or to help a teammate.. or just to get up the hill better than you had expected, it’s a great feeling.
What are your strengths as a bike racer? I always give 100%, and if I’ve something left in the tank, my sprint is getting pretty useful at the end!
What’s your day job? When I’m not on my bike I can usually be found sat at the kitchen table drawing and colouring -in! I’m an Illustrator 🙂 I have to be pretty disciplined with the bike to work ratio, but working from home does mean I can get usually out on my bike in the morning and then work late (or pull all nighters when I’ve got big deadlines). I’m also a qualified Sports Massage Therapist and spent 4 winter seasons working in a Sports Injury Clinic in Austria before the bike addiction started. It’s a “handy” skill to have and I still treat a handful of clients in and around the colouring in.
Do you train alone or with friends? I do both but I generally prefer to cycle with friends. It’s nice to share the fun with friends and you always learn something from the people you ride with.
Top tips for doing hard efforts? I strangely like the mental battle that goes on before and during those nasty sessions. I love the feeling of finishing a hard session, and that feeling is even stronger when you’ve had to overcome that nagging voice in your head that’s persuading you to give it a miss.
Do you have a mantra for when it gets really hard? “more is in you”
Do you listen to music when you train? Not really, but sometimes I listen to the radio when doing a turbo session.
How much do you sleep? Following my TBI, I sleep so badly which is not ideal. Some days I’m really wiped out, even if I’ve not been near a bike. However, over the years I’ve learnt to pace myself and keep on top of my nutrition, as these are big contributors to fatigue. Cycling is like a mindfulness exercise, when I ride my bike all i think about is riding my bike, which in turn rests my head and helps with the tiredness. Strange hey!
What’s your standard training ride? I do have a soft spot for the Wednesday morning club BOS run (which is only to Burnham-on- Sea). I think it’s probably because it was my first “”big”” ride with the club.
I live at the foot of the Quantocks so there are lots of lovely routes up and around the hills. Actually, I also really like a little loop to the Driftwood cafe in Blue Anchor via Donniford and Watchet and back home via Monksliver. On a sunny day its lovely to be by the see and there are a few cheeky hills en route to keep you in check.
What kind of cross training do you enjoy? Yoga, gym work and walking the dog
What’s your dream ride? I’ve worked 4 winter seasons in St Anton, Austria and so would absolutely LOVE to go back when there’s no snow and cycle some of the roads and mountain passes that I used to see from the chairlifts.
Does your bike have a name? One is called Charlie Too and the other is called Charlie Also.
What’s in your jersey pocket? Pump, 2 tubes, tyre levers, mobile phone, coffee money and food.. usually a banana or a natural energy bar.
What’s your favourite thing to eat after a ride? Greek yoghurt! Or a recovery shake made with Juice Plus, banana, avocado, almond milk and water.
What’s your happiest moment on the bike so far? Goodness, I cant pick one. I am pretty happy whenever I’m on my bike.
How and when did you learn to ride? My first bike was a baby blue Raleigh bike called “”Bluebird””! It had those jazzy spoke things, a basket, white wheels and stabilisers. I can’t remember learning to ride but i guess that one day my parents decided to take off the stabilisers, push me down the road and hope for the best!
I bought my first “”proper”” bike in September 2014 and have loved cycling from day one.
What’s the best race experience you’ve had? Avoiding an early crash and getting in the break with Hannah and Heidi. We worked hard with (I think) 6 other riders to stay away with Heidi taking 2nd, Han 3rd and me 4th. It was awesome to celebrate together.
What’s the most embarrassing moment when you first started cycling? Not unclipping quickly enough and toppling over after leaving a cafe FULL of cyclists. EVERYONE saw.
Do you do any other sports? I used to snowboard, wakeboard and compete horses. When I was working the winter seasons I had the luxury of being able to snowboard 5 days a week. I don’t ride horses anymore and haven’t really wakeboarded since my accident. I miss living in the mountains greatly but at the moment I’m very happy with cycling as my main sport.
What don’t we know about you? I don’t like chocolate (unless its the bitter 90% coco stuff)