A chat with multi club TT Champion Jon Elliott - And get well wishes

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

 

Unfortunately shortly after doing this interview Jon hit a pothole while out on a ride, and broke his collar bone. The club wish him all the best speedy recovery.

 

Q: When did you start and what made you start cycling

A: Summer 2014. Since my teens I'd focused on basketball as my sport - being so tall (6'9") I was pretty good at it. I owned an old road bike I used for getting about, but once I got a car the bike was neglected and left to rust in the shed. Then my nose got broken playing basketball and I was forced to take a couple of weeks off. I was already pretty fed up with the physicality of basketball and just decided to go out for a ride around the lanes one evening and try something different. I absolutely loved it, discovered Strava, bought my first modern road bike, and it kept on escalating from there! 

Q: What sort of riding do you enjoy

A: Group rides, time trialling, I like to go fast. I enjoy the "race of truth", no interference from other riders and the challenge of pushing yourself and trying to beat your own times. 

Q: Is cycling the only sport you do

 A: Yes. I tried to continue playing basketball once I started cycling but my heart wasn't in it at all and I wanted to focus all my training on cycling. So I stopped completely, much to my old teammates dismay...

Q: How often do you ride

A: Every day (nearly). I have a short commute across London from Paddington weekdays. All through the year I'll do interval workouts on the turbo, maybe only once a week in summer but most days in winter (I'm a big fan of Zwift). Saturdays and Sundays I always try to get out on a decent ride - during the summer I'll try to do a time trial event most weekends.

Q: Other than cycling what are your other hobbies

A: Nothing very interesting. Being a full time IT geek. Good food and eating out. Playing the piano. 

Q: We know you must get very bored with people mentioning your height, but does it present any specific problem for cycling

A: Yes, where do I start... very few frames are big enough, shorts too short, jerseys too short in the body, long sleeves too short, very few shoes available in size EU50/UK15, etc. But I manage, nothing yet that's a deal-breaker!

Q: What is your most memorable ride

A: I think it would be in Mallorca last year, where I made the effort to get out at dawn to ride the famous Formentor lighthouse road solo.  The breathtaking road and scenery all to myself, the warm colours of the sunrise, enjoying the tranquility, the sweeping descents, the smooth road surface. A simply memorable experience that encapsulated my love of cycling.

Q: You broke many of the club records last year, but which did you find the hardest

A: The 100 mile. Knowing from an early stage I was well up on the club record time I pushed myself to my absolute limit to maintain that pace. 

Q: Is staying concentrated throughout a 100 miles TT an issue

A: The constant effort and concentration you've got to maintain for hours I find mentally tough. I try to occupy my mind checking off the miles, checking off the laps, calculating what sort of time I might be on target for, etc, Then there's constantly thinking about staying aero in your TT position, ever present discomfort from the contact points on the bike and judging if the effort level feels sustainable. That sounds awful, but the elation of finishing and sense of achievement makes it all worthwhile.

Q: What advice would you give to anyone thinking of doing a 100 mile TT

A: Build up to it with a 50 first. Set a realistic average power/speed to aim at and don't go off too quick. Have a helper out on course cheering you on every lap who you don't want to let down by quitting. 

Q: Why did you join MDCC

A: I knew I wanted to do time trials, and enjoyed meeting other cyclists and riding as a group on my first taster group ride so it was an easy decision to sign up. 

Q: Does anyone else in the family cycle

A: Yes, the whole family cycles and is on Strava! My younger brother Ben is a very strong rider indeed, with a 19 minute 10mile TT to his name and a 48 min 25TT. My Dad has been time trialling for over 40 years at club level.

Q: Do you have any cycling events planned for 2019

A: A few big TTs pencilled in. It's difficult without a car this year to plan regular events. After focusing on longer TTs last year, my goal is to improve my 10 and 25 personal bests this season.