This week we met up with former British Olympian and three time UCI BMX world Champion, Shanaze Reade to hear about her illustrious career so far.
What/who got you into cycling
I first got into cycling in 1999 and it was my uncle who asked me to go along to the local BMX track because I was always mad into all different types of sport. I went along and loved the thrill and adrenaline BMX had to offer, I hired out a bike for a £1 and it was the best £1 I have spent.
What is the most memorable competition you took part in?
It’s a tough call because there are quite a few! Going to my first Olympic games in 2008 was unreal! The stuff dreams are made of. I felt so honoured to represent my country at the biggest sporting event! But winning my first world title in 2006 was a feeling I have never quite had since going around the last corner and thinking oh my god I am about to become the world champion was an electric feeling!
Who is your role model both on and off the track?
My role model off the track would have to be my granddad. He gave me the best up bringing and always kept me well grounded and offered me (and still does) sound advice.
On the track would be Sir Chris Hoy on the velodrome and on BMX Maris Strombergs. Both for all their incredible achievements but also for their true professionalism on and off the bike.
How difficult was it to make the transition from BMX to track racing?
For me I always like to keep things simple.. It’s all just pedalling ? so not too hard. But I did struggle with the whole sitting in the seat thing to pedal. For 11 years or more in BMX I have always been stood up right!!
How did it feel when you got picked for BMX Olympic team for the first time? Would you say that’s your career highlight?
It was unreal!! All my teenage life I had read autobiographies about these amazing Olympic athletes and there I was 19 years of age the youngest cyclist from GB at my first Olympic games. I honestly felt super excited, nervous and proud. To have a sport that not many people knew about as it was the first time the sport made its Olympic debut and the likes of David Beckham and Princess Anne were in the stands watching!
You do a lot of work around getting kids into cycling, what do you enjoy the most about it? Do you have any tips to pass on to our readers who are trying to get their kids into cycling?
I think its incredibly important that I put my energy into getting more kids on all different types of bikes. If that’s just for them to have fun or to compete. The health benefits and social aspects cycling can offer are underrated. My biggest tip would be safety always comes first so get the correct equipment; helmet, lights on bikes, protective clothing. The bike itself needs to be the correct size so you feel safe and in control. That’s why I pride myself working with a great brand like Insync as they offer a great range of bikes of all sizes. Lastly and most importantly HAVE FUN!
Where is your favourite place to ride?
My home BMX track in Crewe which I am lucky to have been named after me The Shanaze Reade track at Tipkinder park.
What are your cycling ambitions?
The same on and off the bike – be the best version of myself!
What motivates you to get out of bed and keep doing what you’re doing?
To try and be better than I was the day before! And know that if I don’t want it bad enough someone else out there will!
You have recently been testing out one of our Riddick gravel bikes, how was it and how do you think it performed against some of the other bikes on the market at a similar price point?
The Riddick gravel bike is so much fun! I have been using it on and off road.. The colour ways are very classy and the way the bike handles is super responsive. When I sprint away at the traffic lights the back end is nice and stiff and you can really feel the power going through the bike, no negative energy is lost. For me the price is excellent! It would more than compete with anything out there for the money! Definitely a thumbs up from me!
After meeting Shanaze, it’s clear that she is a real competitor with a lot of heart and passion for the sport she has dedicated her career to. There will be plenty more from Shanaze so this certainly won’t be the last time you read or hear about her! We’ll have much more to share about our work with Shanaze in the future. Watch this space!