Making the somewhat daunting step from cycling novice to racer can seem scary – but Boot Out Breast Cancer’s Scholarship rider Kelly Murphy made the leap within just six months.
Murphy will be riding as an ambassador in the cycling club that Dame Sarah Storey has set up to support the Podium Ambition – Sports Tours Pro Cycling pro team.
Though she only began racing last year, having got into cycling via her six mile commute to work, Murphy impressed Storey with her performance at the Ras Na mBam women’s stage race in Ireland this September.
The Birmingham PhD student explained her route from beginner to scholarship rider, saying: “Initially when I moved back home after uni, my office was around 6 miles away – it took an hour and a half on the train which was ridiculous so I started commuting, and I just fell in love with it.”
It was local riders who encouraged her to take riding further – she says: “I was already quite sporty. I was a lifeguard at my local leisure centre, and there were quite a lot of cyclists that rode there – I told them that I’d bought this bike and they all said ‘oh you should come and join us on a ride’.”
“The first few rides I did with them were about 30 miles, which at the time seemed like A LOT. When I actually did it and didn’t feel horribly worn out it was like a huge achievement”
“I built up gradually – the first few rides I did with them were about 30 miles, which at the time seemed like A LOT, but they took it really steady, really easy – when I actually did it and didn’t feel horribly worn out it was like a huge achievement – I was like ‘let’s do that again’! I couldn’t believe that I’d done it.”