Next up in our rider interviews is Jane Poulter. Jane completed Cyclone24 in 2016 in our challenge at Wales’ National Velodrome. Jane led the very first all female team to take part in Cylcone24, who also managed to fundraise over £2000 for homelessness charity, The Wallich. Here’s what Jane had to say about taking on the track.
What inspired you to start cycling and how long have you been cycling for?
My kids started cycling with a local Go Ride club, Gower Riders, a couple of years ago. I started going out with some of the mums for gentle rides then within a year I was doing cycle cross races and had completed a couple of sportives.
Why did the Cyclone24 Challenge appeal to you?
I had been to the velodrome with the club once before and absolutely loved it…for those who have never had a go it is as close as you can get to flying. I saw the Cyclone24 event online and knew instantly it was the event for me. Having just turned 40 I was looking for something to do to mark the occasion and Cyclone24 was the perfect fit…a little crazy, very sociable, a physical challenge and all for charity.
How did you prepare for the challenge?
I pulled a team of girls together, and we called ourselves the ‘velo vixens’. Us Vixens were a mixed bag when it came to fitness and cycling experience but we were all up for it which was the main thing. We had a number of track sessions prior to the challenge but the longest part of the preparation was the evening spent choosing our team kit!
What are your stand out memories from taking part?
So many to choose from. We all loved the twitter activity, the banter with other teams but my biggest memory, that still makes me laugh, was all the effort we put in over the last hour as we thought we could, if we pedalled hard enough, catch up and overtake the next team in terms of number of laps completed over the 24 hours but with ten minutes to go we realised we had misread the score board and we had been 120 laps behind not 20 laps. We very nearly had a team sense of humour failure at this point and had to play paper, scissors, stone to see who would tell the girl out on track who had, to be fair, been doing more than her share of the work as she was the fittest of us by far.
What was it like coming into the final few hours? What were your emotions?
I think we all felt that we were on the home run at about 7am but obviously still had 5 hours to go so we had to regroup and revisit our plan. The energy in the whole place was building towards the final hours as everyone in all teams gave it their all. I won’t forget the sound of all those bikes powering around the track. It was amazing. I really felt I’d been part of something special.
What would your advice be to somebody thinking of doing the challenge for the first time?
Do it. That is all. Actually that is not all get five mates to do it with you as it’d be a killer on your own!
What three words best sum up the Cyclone24 experience for you?
Bonkers but brilliant.
We also feel the three words Jane chose to sum up Cylcone24, actually sum up Jane! We hear she’s quite keen to take on the track again this year….we hope we can tempt her back!