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Sophie, the Single Speed Superwoman!

Wed 26th October

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RLSCC member Sophie David has won the 2016 French and UK Women’s Single Speed Championships!

Sophie picked up the French crown at the end of August and returned to the UK to claim victory in Atherstone week later.

Incredibly, Sophie has only been riding Single Speed for four years.

“I used to ride horses on bridleways and I had bikes that I used to enjoy riding down there,” she said. “I rode with the Godiva Trail riders and a load of them were taking part in the Single Speed European Championships in France four years ago. I was persuaded to get a Single Speed bike then. I found it really hard at first but when I entered the race in France it was so much fun so I stuck at it.

“I would never qualify for the European Championships for normal XC mountain biking but Single Speed competitions are not as serious. There are lots of unusual bikes and people are very silly – they wear fancy dress and it is like a big party with lots of food and drink.

“The UK Single Speed Championships race in September this year started with having to find our bikes (the organisers hide them all over the place – they even hang them in trees) before you could start racing!

“Then it’s the fastest person doing a set number of 10k laps around a fairly flat course. I didn’t go in to win. There are usually faster people than me but I am competitive and if I am ahead I try to make sure nobody passes me! I still can't believe I won though!"

Sophie is trying to encourage more people to take up Single Speed.

“It is an incredible workout. If you don’t have much time to get ready, if you go out on a Single Speed you really feel it – it’s like resistance training. It makes the terrain more interesting. But although it’s challenging, it’s also a lot of fun!”

Next year the European Championships are in Inverness and the UK Championships are in Cumbria. Sophie is gearing up for them...fancy joining her?

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