Ruth Nugent
Women's Cycling Advocate

Current Cycling Club?

Ratoath BMX

What is your current age?


What cycling discipline are you involved in?


What age did you get involved?

I only got involved at the age of 24 and I wish I did it sooner! I was always on a bike when I was younger as I was living in the countryside so it meant it was the easiest way around. I only heard about mountain biking in Ireland in my twenties and always wanted to do it but had no idea how to get into it. In 2019 I moved to Ratoath and discovered the Ratoath BMX club and on impulse joined and bought a bike. From there I was influenced to try mountain biking too and I’ve never looked back. 

What has been your involvement in cycling, your story?

I’ve been biking for 3/4 years now. The first day I joined Ratoath BMX club I felt welcomed. I began attending the female coaching held by Eugene Jackson and through that I met females of all ages and experience enjoying BMX racing which immediately drew me in to coming back again. Through that I also met my biking sensai Anna Szmyt who has been a huge influence in my taking up of biking. She has taught me so much and alongside other members of the club encouraged me to get my cycling license and begin competing. 

Recently this year I began competing in MTB enduro racing just for fun after meeting a great group of people to ride with. They’ve encouraged and supported me so much and the days out at a race or at a casual spin have been nothing but great fun thanks to them! 

What is your favourite thing about cycling?

I love that there is always room to improve and more to learn. You can never stop practicing and learning within cycling, there’s an endless amount of skills and techniques to be mastered. I also love the places it takes you and the people you meet through it!

Why did you start cycling?

I am heavily involved in Motorsport and I race cars so wanted to find a form of exercise I would enjoy as I had slowly lost interest in going to the gym etc. Purchasing my own bikes forced me to keep going out on them and I quickly developed a love for how cycling made me feel and how quickly my fitness improved. By the end of last year I found myself relying on it as a break from work and every day life and I just loved the lifestyle that came with it.

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

I always loved “you can’t stop the waves, but you can learn how to surf”. I like it because in sport or in fact in anything in life, you will always have hard times that will test you and you can’t stop them all from happening, but you can certainly learn how to overcome them.

What have been your cycling highlights?

Every time I conquer a trail or a feature I didn’t think I could do is a highlight for me! The feeling you get from beating your own mind and conquering something is so addictive and great. 

Beginning to race enduros is a highlight personally as I was intimidated and didn’t have the confidence to try racing. With the support from a great group of biking friends and the realisation that I can just have fun and don’t have to be “the best”,  I conquered my fear and have enjoyed racing with my friends. 

How do you feel cycling has benefitted you?

Cycling has benefitted me more than I think I ever thought it would. Both physically and mentally! It’s has been the one form of exercise I have not found myself bored of once and therefore I have been able to do it as much as I possibly can which allows me to build on my fitness. Physically I feel stronger and quicker and I love feeling the difference it makes in my body and mind. Mentally, it’s become my headspace that I need every week. Like everyone, with work and everything else in life I get stressed and need a release. 

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

DO IT! I wish I did it sooner. If you have watched a BMX or MTB race and thought “I would love to try that” – go for it! I know it can be seen as predominantly a “male” hobby but it’s not. If you look at a female cyclist competing and think she’s admirable for doing it, why not admire yourself for giving it a go instead? There is nothing you can’t do.