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)