Name: Claire Martin
Team: Team 22
Racing since: 2012
Race squad sponsors: Total Cycle Coach, Padon Contracts & Bioracer.
Sports Therapist: Stu Lee, Mulberry House, Edinburgh.
I didn’t discover bikes until my mid 20′s. My first experience of riding was a mountain bike ride in the local hills, in November. I don’t think I’d ever been as cold, wet, muddy or tired in my life. I remember going straight to bed after I’d got clean and eaten the contents of my fridge! It was a slippery slope from there…mountain biking was my first love for a long time, with my favourite being long epic rides. I was in my late 20s when I bought my first road bike, and haven’t really touched my mountain bike since then. Fast forward a few years, I was talked into doing an APR which got me hooked on road racing.
I decided after that I wanted to race properly but had no idea of what to do, how to train and all the other dos and don’t. I started racing properly in March 2012, and its safe to say that it was a steep learning curve! In my usual style (throw myself in at the deep end!) I chose a 4th cat mixed race for my first proper race. It was a huge shock and I got dropped just after the neutralised section due to poor positioning, lack of experience and not being fit/fast enough. I wasn’t put off, picked myself up, trained hard with the help of ERC coach, Gareth George and by the end of my first season, I’d gained my second category licence, had many successes and stood on the podium too!
My learning curve continued in 2013 with the help of new coach Colin Batchelor and I tried racing in England, and finished my first international stage race (5 days, 6 stages). Having raced pretty much as an individual for 2 seasons, I’m super excited about racing as part of new women’s team, Team 22.
My blog is a personal account of my racing covering the highs and lows of racing and training in the hope that sharing my experiences, mistakes and successes will encourage other women to race.
Cycling and racing has taken me to many places I’d never have otherwise seen, I’ve met some great people, made many new friends and learned so much.