My Three Machines

by Lydia

Study the past if you would define the future.” – Confucius

1. ‘Freddie’ Giant SCR3W

I bought Freddie in the Summer of 2009 with very little knowledge of cycling or road bikes. Since buying it it’s had some major upgrades; new wheels, saddle, groupset, full mudguards (could be seen as a downgrade!) and many many miles.

When buying it I don’t think either of us had any idea of what was to follow for the next few years. After two months I did my first race, a team TT with Orwell Wheelers in Dublin. I crashed! (All Brian Hammond’s fault…I think he still gets stick for ‘helping’ a poor beginner crash in their first race!)  But we all got back up and finished the course; I knew after, that while I may not have the fitness or skill yet, I loved cycling and racing and the thrill of crossing that finish line.

Soon after I moved to London and here is where is all kicked off.  Freddie and I made some new friends and learned  how to race….and be dropped, but eventually to win!

2011 was our best season yet! We raced side by side with World Champions and Olympic medalists, we won races and we won jerseys. I have raced Freddie to 1st Cat! We have a lot to be proud of.

Freddie already has a win under her belt for the 2012 season, but alas, it is to be her last. Freddie has hung up her racing wheels but we will still share many a training mile and turbo session together.

2. ‘BFG’ Giant Omnium

BFG was the best surprise of all.  I  woke up on Christmas morning 2010 to a big box all wrapped up with my name on it. I had absolutely no idea what it could be. It took me a good few minutes to get through all the wrapping and bubble wrap to see that there was an amazing track frame underneath. People always say how they remember the christmas as a kid when they got their first bike; not many get to experience that joy twice! Thank you, Toby!

A little history: Growing up, endurance was never my strong suit, I was always the sprinter; that annoying kid who always won the 100m sprint on Sports Day. So when I first got on a road bike in Dublin, Aideen of Orwell Wheelers (she’s amazing), told me I had to get on a track and try some track racing. So when I moved to London, that’s what I did! And boy, did I love it! After a few months of doing the training sessions at Herne Hill I eventually plucked up the courage to race (on a hire bike).  And later that season borrowed a bike (with a bigger gear) for the London Track Champs. I finished 2nd!! I was hooked!!  But needed my own track bike for the following season; BFG was born!

For 2011 BFG and I wanted to race more. We set out to do the National Omnium Series and eventually the National Championships in Dublin in September. I remember the first team meeting LMNH RT had back in November 2010 and I said to the girls: “I want to be National Champion”. I think we all had a bit of a chuckle. But I did it…oh my god, I did it! I am National Champion! I have never been more focused for a series of races than I was for the match sprints at the National Champs. There’s something so pure about just going head to head with another sprinter. I had a bit of a scare in my first sprint, but managed to win the title undefeated. I screamed loudly as I crossed the finish line. I ran to Toby and my friends. I couldn’t believe what I’d just done. Even now, that amazing feeling of achieving something I had set out to do the year before is still with me. No one can ever take that away from me and BFG. We are, and always will be, 2011 Irish National Track Sprint Champions!

For 2012? More of the same please!! Except this time, I get to wear a very special shamrock skinsuit!

3. ‘?’ Ribble Stealth

My new carbon awesome-ness. As yet, unnamed.  This bike has been about a year in the making, built just how I wanted it. “Study the past if you would define the future.” The future is limitless. Who knows what ‘?’ and I will achieve together. All I know is, I am fitter and more excited than ever! Bring it on 2012!

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