When and how did you first get into cycling?
I’ve been cycling for almost four years and racing for almost two and a half years. My husband bought me both road and mountain bikes, honestly, I hated it. We’d get about five miles out and I’d want to come back. However, as I’ve always been very sporty and annoyingly competitive I decided that after standing on the side lines watching my husband at ‘Sleepless in the Saddle’ one year I thought let’s give this thing a real go!
What do you love the most about the sport?
aintaining fitness and of course the atmosphere. Endurance events are particularly great, and provide a phenomenal atmosphere. Mountain Mayhem, Enduro 6, Thetford Summer Enduro and Bristol Bike Fest are but a handful of the events where you can really breathe in the fun and enjoy riding your bike with people of all levels.
Image c/o Anna Maunder
What was the highlight of your 2013, and what are your goals for 2014?
My best achievements were in the solo endurance events, particularly winning Isle of Man End to End and coming second at Thetford 6hr Summer Enduro – the hardest thing was having to go to the toilets in the bushes, as far away as I could so no-one could see me, and believe me, wearing a skin suit complicates things even further!
What does the future hold for women’s cycling? Are you optimistic or pessimistic?
I’m really very optimistic and how can you not be. Cycling is what you make of it, there are more and more ladies that are riding and it will of course take time to get the message out there. The sport is growing at such a rate that I’m sure the men to woman ratio will even out in a few years’ time.
In 2013, a lot of fans have been getting more involved in women’s cycling. Any ideas what we can do to help even more?
Hmmmm just generally getting women cycling I’m not sure as I ride with lads most of the time! Perhaps more events and get more people in clubs and teams to mentor or help with events, I would be happy to assist with women’s cycling events, increasing the profile and awareness of woman’s cycling would be such a good thing!
How can the cycling world – fans, riders, race organisers and the UCI – encourage more women and girls to start racing?
Increase the communication, approach local clubs, look for talent and broadcast. Talk to people and events – so many of us girls are so happy to help ! In time it’ll catch on and filter through to the masses.
What are you reading at the moment?
Hunger Games, Catching Fire.
What’s on your Ipod?
Sub soul, Rudimental, Chase&Status, Bastille and The Foals to name just a few!
Here’s a time machine which you can use to meet any rider from any point in history. Who will you be meeting?
Rachel Atherton, pretty much at any of her races. She’s simply awesome!
Last question and it’s the one that top psychologists agree reveals more about a person than any other: which is better – cats or dogs?
DOGS, DOGS, DOGS – that’s a no-brainer question. I have a dog called Dave (we use his full name “David Steven” when he misbehaves!), he’s a gorgeous Border collie who often runs with me and my husband when we mountain bike. He also runs with me in the mornings.