Need a little inspiration to kick start the new year (or just fancy a good read with a cup of tea, what with it being cold and dark outside)? Meet Ness Knight, Jill Kintner and Lora Turnham.
A while ago I posted about the Remarkable Women Who Ride interviews that I had been working on for Evans Cycles: the series had featured some truly amazing women riders, including paralympian Lora Turnham. Six months on and there are some wonderful new women riders to catch up on in the series including adventurer Ness Knight and gravity rider Jill Kintner, both of whom have really inspired me both to build my riding skills and to broaden the horizons of my ambition.
If I were to write anything as grandiose as a ‘review of the year ‘ featuring my own work*, then these three women would be the top of the ‘highlights’ list. Each was a privilege to interview – for different reasons – and I hope you enjoy reading about them as much as I enjoyed writing about them.
(*dont worry, I’m not going to!)
Links are here, so put the kettle on and prepare to be inspired!
Adventurer Ness Knight just blew my mind – I could have written about ten posts about her travels, not just one. I hung on her every word from start to finish (the bit about the lions! Oh my!!). Read Ness’ story here.
As a mountain biker, it was fascinating to interview one of the world’s most talented and versatile gravity riders, Jill Kintner. I have carried this piece of advice with me on every ride:
“Learn to read the terrain as you would fall lines with skiing (high to low, low to high, looking ahead to go straight, linking things together), open up corners to carry more speed, and work on braking and cornering drills for timing (like grass slalom with cones). Also learn to pump and jump over stuff (timing).” Read Jill’s interview here .
Finally, I interviewed Lora Turnham ahead of the Para-lympics and she gave me a fascinating insight into her life. Read my interview with Lora here:
Footnote to the above: In Rio, Lora went on to win a gold medal in the Pursuit with partner Corrine Hall, and a bronze medal in the time trial. On returning home, she married her partner Neil Fachie…and was awarded an MBE in the New Year honour list.
Oh, I do like a happy ending.
I’ve been working on an ongoing project for Evans Cycles Coffee Stop blog recently, for which I am interviewing a series of women who inspire us to ride. I’m thrilled to be part of it because I believe that highlighting the positive energy in women’s cycling is as important as discussing the not-so-good stuff that occasionally knocks us back. Every single one of these cycling athletes is awesome – and each in different ways. These are my favourite quotes from each interview (although to be honest it was very hard to choose!).
My first interview in the series was with former The Hour world record holder Bride O’ Donnell who told me:
“I wish we were braver in our 30s and 40s, and worried less about ‘what if?’ – our children need to learn that women’s bodies are strong, capable, resilient and fast; that being a mother or a wife doesn’t mean your physical and mental health and wellbeing needs to be discounted.”
You can read the full interview with Bridie here.
Next in line is British and European CX champion Helen Wyman:
“I have basically given up my career as a physio and possibly the whole family thing, possibly the expensive Bahamas holidays, newest car etc. But I don’t really see this as much of a sacrifice. Sure I have had moments when I have had to sell stuff to pay my rent or when I didn’t know how much money I have to spend on food that week, but I have also had the most amazing experiences a person could ever have.
Right now I am one of the luckiest people in the world. I get to ride my bike every day, travel the world, meet incredible and inspiring people – and do all of this alongside my husband – while calling it my job. Seriously who wouldn’t want that? My life is hugely rich in experiences and for that alone I would say I haven’t really sacrificed anything just switched philosophies!”
You can read the full interview with Helen here.
I spoke to British Downhill Series champion Manon Carpenter who gave this excellent piece of advice on braking (and yes, I am certainly guilty of this when I ride!!):
“Have fun and, once you are confident in your skills, trust yourself and let go of the brakes: comfort braking will slow you down, tire you out and make the ride rougher, so only brake when you need to.”
Read the full interview with Manon here.
Paralympian Lora Turnham gave a fascinating insight into her life as a professional athlete, as well as her relationship with her tandem pilot Corrine Hall:
“As soon as Corinne and I got on a bike we just clicked. We’re similar I guess but we also have slightly different strengths which compliment each other. She is an extremely good bike handler and also very good in a race environment as she has done it all her life. I sense her confidence and this reassures me.
Although we are good friends it is important to confront any problems we have straight away so that it doesn’t become an issue. We spend so much time together that we are like a married couple at times: we can finish each others sentences and also at times will say exactly the same thing. It’s also good to respect each other and recognise when we just need a little space or sometimes a good talking too and I think we’re both good at this.”
Read the full interview with Lora here.