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Bike Like Me Women's Cycling Case Study

22/07/2020

Rider: Miriam Staunton

Age: 47

Province: Leinster

Discipline: Road

Club: Dublin Fire Brigade Cycling Club & Pulse Triathlon Club

 



What age and why did you get involved?

 

I started at cycling at 36. I took up triathlon as I moved away from team sports due to family commitments. Biking has always been my favourite discipline of the three.

 

What has been your involvement in cycling, your story?

 

I was a keen triathlete competing in every distance from sprint to full Ironman distance and combined this with a busy career and family life. However, in February 2018 I was diagnosed with melanoma. Surgery and radiation meant I could not swim or run for a number of months, in that time I became very dependent on my bike and turbo trainer. I joined the Dublin fire brigade cycle club that summer and together we trained for a fantastic trip to the hills of Tuscany in September 2018.

 

Unfortunately, in February 2019 my cancer returned in my liver moving me to a stage 4 diagnosis and starting a new treatment. Severe side effects of the treatment hit me in April, leaving me in ICU and now with an additional diagnosis of Addison’s disease. Addison’s is a rare auto immune condition and means I will be steroid dependent for life, I carry an emergency injection with me at all times in case of accident or injury. Getting back onto my bike after this was a huge boost mentally and I completed the DFB CC sportive ‘stay in the saddle for prostate cancer’. Cycling with paramedics giving me the confidence to get back on the road with my Addison’s.

 

In September of 2019 we took a 5-day trip to the French Alps and climbed some of the most iconic alpine climbs including Alpe D’Heuz, Col Du Galibier and Col du Croix de Feu. The sense of achievement was incredible.

 



Do you have a quote that you live by or inspires you?

 

Two quotes really ‘live every day’ & ‘She believed she could, so she did’ The first quote has been what I have lived by since my cancer diagnosis. None of us knows how long we have you should live each day as fully as you can. The second quote is to always back yourself, trust your training and believe in yourself, it has not let me down yet :)


What is your favourite thing about cycling?

 

The sense of freedom, but also the fun of exploring new places and new routes, it is also a lot more social than other sports, stopping for coffee and cakes is one of my favourite cycling things.

 

What have been your cycling highlights?

 

My highlights are the opportunities I have had to bike abroad. I cannot pick between the gorgeous scenery and hills in Tuscany, the iconic alpine climbs and also the Sa Calobra in Mallorca!


 

Miriam with her best biking friend and supporter Liz. Liz is a firefighter and paramedic and supports Miriam every step of the way.


How do you feel cycling has benefitted you?

 

Cycling has been a huge benefit, I’ve met so many people, gone lots of different places and seen things you just do not see from a car. It keeps you fit and gets you places, what more could you want?

 

What would you say to other females who may be interested in cycling?

Cancer has taught me to live every day. Getting out on the bike in the fresh air with friends is really living. I like to encourage people to get out on their bikes. Don’t be afraid of it, sometimes clubs look to be intimidating, in my experience nothing could be further from the truth. If a club is not welcoming, do not give up and find another one. It’s a fantastic way to get fit, meet people and go places. Hopefully, we will all be back out together soon. For now, cycle solo.

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