1. Can you introduce yourself and let our readers know a little bit about you?
Hi - I am Amanda! I love all things cycling - any bike will do, I love CX, road, TT, and MTB! I race for RT23 and love being part of their team! I run my own business - Aspire Performance Coaching, offering Cycle Coaching and Personal Training. My cycling achievements this year included winning the Women’s Vet 40 RR Champs, the Scottish Cycling TT Bar and the SVTTA Bar.
Photo: Roy Milne
I have an amazing family who are equally into cycling and are super supportive! The whole family is involved with cycling, and are always cheering each other on. We have two girls , they have also dabbled in racing – Katy (9) prefers MTB and embraces her no fear love of jumping, while Libby (7¾) seems to favour CX! Our favourite family days out involve heading over to Tarland Trails for the day, taking the camping stove with us to cook food and us all having a ball on the bikes.
I am so passionate about cycling and in particular increasing the number of women cycling in general, as well as encouraging more into racing. I’m an active member of the Scottish Cycling Women’s Development Group, I enjoy doing my bit up in the NE to encourage women to take to their bikes. So life is pretty hectic in the best way possible!
2. How long have you been involved in cyclocross?
I have been racing CX since 2015 - the last 2 years have been quieter on the CX front as races often clashed with courses/exams that I was sitting.
3. What got you into the sport in the first place?
Jon Entwistle is largely to blame for me finding my love of CX! I had been chatting to him about getting a decent winter bike and he suggested a CX bike. So I got my CX bike and I fell in love with it!! I’ve always enjoyed mountain biking, and this was a great way to incorporate winter training on and off road!
4. Can you remember the first CX race you went to, and how did it go?
Haha - I can, and I am sure you can too Gordon! It was the fab CX at Alford event in 2015. I had the District Hill Climb Champs in the morning, so ended up in the 'Racing Snakes' category to ensure I'd make the race start! After a quick mile up Cairn Mon Earn in the morning, taking the win I headed over to Alford, quick change and a quick practise lap as a warm-up! I loved it - the course was superb!!
About half way through the course I was going way too quick from grass to gravel and overshot the turn! I came down hard, but quickly jumped back on - a quick assessment once I was on the go again and I could see blood from my arm and my knee - the knee was particularly nippy, but adrenaline and a high pain threshold saw me through the race!! Managed to collect my case of 6degrees North beer for 2nd (and technically last) female!! Quick check after the podium as a number of folk kept saying I should get checked out by the paramedics that were on site.......long story short, a trip to A&E later and I had stitches in my knee and arm. So I have several scars as a wee keepsake of my first ever CX race!!
5. What's the craziest thing you've seen at a cross race?
Craziest… Crikey! On the start line the craziest thing that I have seen was at Irvine … A certain someone forgot their timing chip!!! David ran off for it and logically figured the quickest way back was to go by bike – the only one at hand was my road bike. It just looked comical seeing him on my wee road bike, bombing it through the mud and grass.
6. What's the most embarrassing thing you have done at a race, on or off a bike?
That's easy – it was at Knockburn Loch, being local there were lots of friends there supporting, they knew the best spot for some comedy is always the sandpit. I made it through the sandpit at Knockburn and was celebrating to them only to then fall off the bike!!!
7. Do you have a favourite course, either to ride, or to spectate?
Now that's like asking me to choose between my bikes… Knockburn has always been a good course, Irvine Beach is a belter, love the Big Dipper and the sand!! Dunfermline for the muddy challenge, Alford for the sheer CXness that it was.
8. Are there any riders you particularly admire?
Cameron Mason – I love watching Cameron’s journey – great to see him progressing and the Vlogs are brilliant! He seems to have a great manner about him and is a young lad that will go far.
9. Any particular highlights from last season?
Lochore – felt good to get back out racing CX. That course is like an off-road TT, the spiral of doom, what’s not to love?!?!
10. Finally, what are you looking forward to for the coming season.
Getting a full season of CX!!! The girls love racing CX too, so the plan is to try and all race the series………Just need to figure the logistics between our races!!