Women's Cycling Advocate
Current cycling club?
Phoenix cycling club Belfast
What is your current age?
What cycling discipline are you involved in?
I race in cyclocross, road and track
What age did you get involved?
8 years old
Why did you start cycling?
I started through Cycling Ireland’s sprocket rocket programme which some members of our club had introduced into our club.
What has been your involvement in cycling, your story?
When I was younger our family would have always cycled but we never knew there was a whole community of cycling and we never knew of all the events and races happening in Ireland. I started Sprocket Rocket at 8yrs old. The group of kids who I went to sprocket rocket with were called the Phoenix Sparks and we were all apart of Phoenix Cycling Club, the club which my dad cycled for. From sprocket rocket I then started doing some cyclocross races with the other kids and loved them. We all had so much fun racing together and watching the senior races.
As I got older I kept at it and when I was 12 I tried my first road race, it was nerve-racking but I’m so glad I did it as I’m still racing road and it’s my favourite discipline to compete in. Then, when I was 13, I gave track cycling a go at Orangefield, Belfast just to see how it was. I loved it, I carried on going to track every week it was on.
Do you have a quote that you live by or inspires you?
“Believe you can and you’re already halfway there”. This is inspiring in times where self belief is necessary to make a start.
What’s been your cycling highlights?
I have too many, although a standout would have to be winning the U16 National Criterium Championships 2021 in Gorey, Wexford. It was at the end of the weekend of racing and it felt unreal to win. A second highlight isn’t from me racing, but watching a race. I went to watch the 2021 World Road Champs in Leuven, Belgium in September. It was one of the best and most exciting experiences ever. To be that close to the race and my idols was unbelievable. All of the races were amazing to watch.
How do you feel cycling has benefitted you?
Cycling has benefited many aspects of my life. Firstly, it’s great for your mental health, after a long day at school or could be work I find it relaxing to go our on a ride and enjoy your bike without worrying about anything else. Also, Cycling is a community and through cycling you meet so many new people and friends. You meet people you would never have met before, whether you meet them at a race, on a club spin or at a sportive, everyone is willing to talk. Another benefit from cycling would be exploring new places. When I’m out riding I’m riding to places I’ve never been before and never would have been if it wasn’t for cycling. Or if I’m racing overseas I get the experience to ride somewhere new and exciting.
What is your favourite thing about cycling?
My favourite thing would definitely be exploring new places. You can get to a lot of places by bike that a car couldn’t reach and travelling to events in places you’ve never been before is definitely an added bonus.
What would you say to other females who may be interested in cycling?
Try it! Give it one go, you never truly know if you like something until you try it. I would advise you to search up your local cycling club and contact them to find out if they have any riding groups for beginner, everyone will be willing to help.
How do you feel about becoming an Advocate?
I’m so pleased to become an Advocate! Not just to encourage women who are contemplating starting cycling but also young girls who either cycle for fun or race. I hope to encourage young girls who ride for fun to give racing a go , we always need more girls and females racing.