Q. Who Produces Our Club Cards? A. Mark Reynolds, Read On to Find Out More About him

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Q. When and why did you start cycling?

A. Snow and ice climbing was my consuming passion from teenage years to my early forties but the inherent risks seemed inconsistent with the responsibility of raising a young family so we turned to running as our main sporting interest. The kids grew up assuming that spending evenings and weekends at the Eton track was “normal” family activity.

Wrecked knees and recurring shin splints forced me to stop running at 60 and I wandered in the wilderness for 3-4 years with little or no active sporting interests. I dabbled with mountain biking but was constantly falling off and breaking things (it’s a bit like skiing - if you don’t fall off from time to time, you’re not really trying, right?) After breaking my wrist on a downhill run in Morzine and messing up a shoulder more prosaically cycling to Eton along the Jubilee Cut, I thought I’d give road biking a try. Sure, you fall foul of the odd pothole but by and large you are rolling along a level road with time to spot any objective dangers. It’s a whole different ball game to riding an MTB where you are always running into unexpected boulders, roots and holes. I bought my first road bike in 2014 as a 64th birthday present to myself and, if I have one regret in life, it’s that I didn’t discover cycling when I was younger.

 

Q. When did you join MDCC?

A. I was intrigued by the idea of riding with an experienced group and went out for a Sunday morning trial run with the Clock Tower group but got dropped after 35 miles with bad cramp. I’d never ridden more than 25 miles at a stretch before and didn’t have the nerve to try again for another year. When you’re new to a sport, you can’t conceive that someone could possibly sit in a saddle for several hours at a time and cover 40, 50 or more miles without stopping (there were no café stops on club rides back then). However, I did start riding regularly on a Sunday morning with Fiona and good friend and neighbour, Gary. It was just the three of us. They were essentially social rides at a gentle pace and based around a long stop for a full English breakfast (unthinkable now) but we gradually built up the mileage and eventually I tried again with MDCC. It was only David and Sarah’s patience and encouragement that led to me eventually signing up with the club in October 2016.

 

Q. How often do you ride?

A.   I usually ride with the medium-pace Clocktower Group on a Sunday morning and in the Summer months try to get out one evening a week for a solo workout. I always thought that retirement would give me more time for cycling but so far it hasn’t worked out that way. A list of long-neglected house-maintenance jobs makes me wonder how I ever found time to work.

 

Q. What is your most memorable ride?

A.   The Sa Calobra climb on Majorca. It’s a stunningly beautiful ride and, although it’s only 2,379 feet at its highest point, it starts at sea level and involves 6,181 feet of climbing via Coll de sa Batalla and Coll dels Reis.


 

Q. You are one of the older cycling members of the club, what cycling ambitious do you still have.

A. I move into Strava’s 70-75 age category this year so maybe there’s a chance, for a few weeks/months anyway, of chalking up some respectable times on the leaderboard. I had also booked a place on the Vätternrundan in June this year and hoped to do LEJOG in late Summer but they are both going to have to wait until 2021 now. One big dream ride on the bucket list is Eurovelo 8 - 7,500 km along the north coast of the Mediterranean from Cadiz to Cyprus. 2022 maybe?

 

Q.   Apart from Fiona, does anyone else in the family cycle?

A.   My daughter, Sophie, likes to ride with us if she comes home for the weekend. I’d give anything to have the whole family out one Sunday morning and bought Harry a Specialized Allez last year by way of encouragement. At the moment it sits in the garage sadly neglected. He’s a competent runner but cycling simply doesn’t float his boat. I live in hope.

 

Q. If you could have any bike what would it be?

A. An S-Works Tarmac or Venge with DuraAce Di2 rather than SRAM Red eTap (although I’d like to test ride the latest BMC Time Machine before making a final decision).

 

Q. Other than cycling what other sports and hobbies do you have?

A.   I love skiing (both downhill and ski touring) and walking. I managed 3 trips to the French Alps this winter and also completed the 200 mile walk through the mountains from Sienna to Rome in 10 days.  I’m also a keen photographer.

 

Q.   How are you managing with the current situation?

A.   Gardening and training an 8-week old cocker spaniel puppy have been absorbing diversions during the lockdown but I think it’s going to be hard work getting cycling fit again when this is all over.