Rider Interview : Julie Clark
This weeks rider interview is with Julie Clark who through determination and perseverance has gone from being a new cyclist to now competing in cyclocross races and riding with the fast groups in her local cycling club.
Julie tells us a little more about her journey and experiences below…
Photo by Richard Howes Photography
How long have you been cycling for and how did you start?
My love for bikes started at Rutland water, and this is still a firm favourite of ours for biking. We started venturing out to the Peak District and that’s when we purchased our first decent bikes, the Giant Anthem for Ian and the Liv Intrigue for me. These bikes took us to Pines, Cannock Chase and the trails around the Derbyshire Countryside.
At the end of 2016 we were both invited along to join a MTB night ride with a few members of a local club. The ride started at the canal in Grantham and went around the Vale of Belvoir. I have to say my first ride was a disaster, I could not keep up, I felt unfit and disheartened by the whole experience. I felt like giving up, throwing my bike in the canal and walking back to our vehicle. This is when I knew I was competitive, and that sudden surge of disappointment turned into determination and that’s when I decided to take things more seriously and train harder.
I am so glad I did not quit that night, as cycling has now become a big part of my life and I am loving it. In January 2017 we decided to join our local Cycling Club, The Witham Wheelers. We started off doing Reliability Rides every week and to begin with I was riding In group 1. Back then I was not used to riding such distances, so a few of the rides I found hard work, but again I persevered. I am now at the stage where next year I will be capable of riding with group 3.
‘ With a lot of hard work and dedication this year and with the support, encouragement and advice from fellow club riders, I am now able to ride club rides with the fast group. I have to say, it’s been a massive learning curve but it is paying off … ‘
In April I decided to give the clubs time trials a go, so upgraded my then Road Bike to a Liv Envie and I noticed a difference in my speed and performance straight away. Although I only managed sub 30 three times that season, my goal is to reach at least the 27 Mark next season. With a lot of hard work and dedication this year and with the support, encouragement and advice from fellow club riders, I am now able to ride club rides with the fast group. I have to say, it’s been a massive learning curve but it is paying off. I recently decided to have a go at another discipline and that is cyclocross. I have so far competed in several races this season and feel it is another area of the sport that I would like to persevere with and improve upon.
Cycling is my main focus in life, I like the fact that I can see big improvements in my fitness and pace
Biggest / best cycling achievement?
Im really proud too to be an ambassador for the Rutland Cycling Giant Store. I also recently found out that I have won the vet ladies category for the Lincs Cyclocross League and so i’m super proud at the moment!
What you most like about cycling?
Cycling is my main focus in life, I like the fact that I can see big improvements in my fitness and pace, I love the thrill of riding in a group at speed, the adrenaline rush I get when racing (TT’s or cyclocross) and most of all, all the lovely people that I have met along the way.
What do you do when not riding your bike?
When I am not on my bike i am usually working as a coffee shop assistant, it keeps me active and pays the bills and pays for more cycling accessories 🙂
Where is the best place you have cycled?
I would love to ride my bike abroad but with having a few animals it’s not possible at the moment, but my favourite places I have been are the Peak District and Ladybower.
I love the thrill of riding in a group at speed, the adrenaline rush I get when racing (TT’s or cyclocross) and most of all, all the lovely people that I have met along the way
Liv Langma Advanced SL 0 or a specialised s works Cruz carbon cross bike
Favourite Café Stop:
Sibthorpe fishing lakes, it’s cheap cheerful and they do a cracking breakfast
Best training ride:
Most rides with my partner, he pushes me to my limits on most rides but we also do the odd MTB ride at night riding some of the hills around the vale of belvoir and we also train around Rutland reservoir
Before taking up cycling I used to ride a Ducati monster 796 and have taken part in a track day, but decided I felt safer on a push bike.
Love Velo CC
Rutland Cycling | #teamrutland