How did you get into cycling and what made you join Penge CC?
I started cycling more often when I turned 10, and, as an alternative to what I had been doing before on Saturday mornings, I joined Penge CC. It turned out cycling was something I enjoyed, so I kept coming back. It all progressed from there.
How did you find out about Penge CC and GoRide?
In 2016, I graduated from my French school, which runs on Saturday mornings. My parents wanted me to do another activity as an alternative. They looked around, and found that Penge CC ran kids’ sessions on Saturday mornings, so I went.
What was your first day at GoRide like?
It was… interesting! My bike was way too small for me, so they allowed me to borrow a Dawes Espoir and then it was a little bit better. People were friendly and well aware that I had zero cycling experience! At the end of the session we did a relay, and I crashed into the rider in front of me whilst going super fast. But there were no injuries, and I loved it.
How has GoRide help you progress?
Without Go-Ride, I would still be at beginner’s level, and probably not competing at all.
Do you think Penge CC is a good club for girls and women?
Of course! There aren’t many other girls my age, but that’s perfectly OK. I think we have something like 40% women? That’s at a guess…
What advice would you give to someone getting into cycling or thinking about joining GoRide?
Just start – it’s the hardest part. And the coaches are all supportive and friendly. If you don’t like it, that’s OK, but at least you can say you tried. And, chances are, you’ll enjoy it.
Tell us about your first race?
I came 3rd (out of 4), but I was super pleased with the result; I had been expecting to come last. It was good fun, and because it was being hosted by Penge CC, I knew the course well and I was super excited beforehand. Of course, the dismal result didn’t stop me from wanting to continue, and I did so, winning my first Go-Ride race in early December (after having had one of my rivals trash-talk about me!).
What is your proudest achievement in cycling so far?
Tough question. I’m not too sure. Winning a Crystal Palace Crit is definitely up there (even though there was only me and one other 10-year-old). Most likely it’s competing in the London Youth Games, where I came 5th in 2018 (I was 0.279 seconds away from 4th!) and 13th in 2019.
What was the most enjoyable thing you did on a bike this year?
Probably Bigfoot to Brighton. That’s always good fun. I also enjoyed the cyclocross race at Frylands Wood in December 2018, although my derailleur broke and I couldn’t finish.
What’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve done on a bike?
I’ve done too many stupid stunts to choose one! The most memorable one is when I was riding around Crystal Palace Park, and stupidly decided that I could suddenly do a wheelie. I tried, and brought my front wheel up so high, I slid off the saddle!
What’s next? What crazy thing would you love to do one day on your bike?
I’d love to learn how to bunny hop on one wheel and learn how to jump hurdles.