Team LFCC: Dee Harrington
Love Velo CC this week speaks with Dee Harrington about her cycling…
How long have you been cycling for and how did you get into it?
I went to see the Tour de France in Cork when it came to Ireland back in 1998. It was a novelty and a spectacle and I was hooked into watching it for the rest of the Tour. I bought a bike and cycled a bit in University but then lost interest in that and also following it on telly. When I lived in the US I cycled a bit along the Mississippi River on a borrowed old Cannondale from the Cipollini era to train for a super sprint triathlon. When I moved to the UK in 2013 it was my colleagues than inspired me to start cycling in earnest and my first Cyclescheme bike that allowed me to get the miles in.
What’s your biggest cycling achievement?
When I got onto a podium at the 2017 Girona Cycling Festival. Not many people attempted the optional timed Rocacorba hillclimb at the Girona Gran Fondo because of the heat on the day. I said “feckit it, I will give it a go”. I am not the strongest of climbers and as I was one of the last onto the climb and the so slow with the rest of the miles that I finished last. The whole ceremony was delayed until I arrived. I had no idea I was going to be on the podium! Finishing under those conditions and declining the broomwagon when many others opted to get in has given me a strength that will power me through tough times for the rest of my life.
What do you like most about cycling?
I like the idea that the bike can actually save the world – imagine in a country like India bikes are used to get nurses to rural places to deliver life-saving medical attention to women giving birth! Bikes are used in Africa to allow young girls to access education. Here in the UK cycling can improve public health and the environment and reduce healthcare spending.
What do you do when you are not cycling?
My work as a University lecturer keeps me very busy and I do long working days. There is great flexibility though so I am lucky. I also get travel options with work so I am always on the go (latest work trips are Rome, Mozambique and India). I also run with a local running club on the road and cross-country and enjoy drinking coffee and beer.
Where is the best place you have cycled?
Girona hands down. Girona is an actual real life, day to day, community outside of Barcelona. Anyone can pay money for a week training camp in impersonal sports resort somewhere sunny. Riding in Girona is like popping in to see your family for a few days! Lots of pros live there, the food is excellent and there is a wide variety of terrains to train on.
I know so little about bikes that I couldn’t even answer this with anything other than “one that isn’t squeaking”
Favourite Café Stop:
My favourite café stop is one that is close-ish to home, is cheap, doesn’t have a huge Q and has a good combo of sweet and savory options. The caff at the Rothley Great Central Railway stop ticks those boxes and is fun because of the trains!
When I lived in Louisiana I went to see a prison rodeo and I won a brick from a sugar cane plantation in a running race.
Love Velo CC
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