A Chat with Fast Group Regular - Peter Loveridge

Q. When and what made you start cycling

A. My first bike (age 3) was a purple tricycle with a chain-driven rear axle. You had to be careful not to corner too fast for fear of “rolling” it! The trike went well up until my mate James sat on it and snapped the frame (sorry for mentioning that again James). Then on my 5th birthday my parents presented me with a “hot red” Raleigh Tomahawk (kids version of the chopper). Happy days! It had an 11 inch front wheel and a 16 inch rear wheel, plus the same Hi-Rise handle bars and padded saddle as the Chopper, but it did not have the Sturmey Archer 3 speed hub and it was not very “aero”.


Q. What sort of riding do you enjoy

A. I would say I enjoy aspects of road cycling at both ends of the endurance spectrum. In recent times I have gotten into Audaxing, which to me is a great excuse for a whole day out on the bike. The low-key nature of Audaxes, and the emphasis on self-sufficiency really appeal to me. Not to mention the compulsory café stops to buy cake as “proof of passage”. I would encourage other club members to give it a go. I also “enjoy” riding 10 and 25 mile time-trials. It is hard to put my finger on just why, but I find them strangely addictive.


Q. Is cycling the only sport you do

A. Yes it is. Prior to joining MDCC I was firmly in the “utility cyclist” category. I had done a bit of running in the past and was interested in amateur athletics, particularly aspects of training and self-improvement, but for some reason the potential of cycling as “a sport” rather than a mode of transport had not dawned on me. That revelation came when I took part in my first club time-trial, while drilling-it around two 5-mile laps through lanes south of Maidenhead with a number on my back. And as soon as I had crossed the finish line I found myself analysing how I could improve… be that through physical training, equipment, strategy, motivation, etc… and I was hooked.


Q. How often do you ride

A. Pre COVID I was riding more days than not and had worked a whole bunch of riding into my weekly routine (commuting, mid-week time-trial, Sunday club run and anything else I could fit in). Lockdown, and shielding a vulnerable family member has played havoc with all of that! I hope to make a return in a Maidenhead Jersey at some point in 2021.


Q. Other than cycling what are your other hobbies do you have

A. I don’t have other significant hobbies. Fitting cycle training around a job and young family is already quite a challenge. I tend to spend any extra spare time cleaning and maintaining bikes…


Q. What is your most memorable ride

A. A key cycling memory that stands out for me is the moment I realised I was about to go under the hour for the first time in a 25-mile TT. “The Hour” was my primary goal for the season and had come to symbolise whether or not I could become a “proper cyclist”. Of that ride I can honestly say there has never been an occasion in my life when I wanted so badly to stop doing what I was doing and yet still managed to keep on going! I am very proud of that effort, and have high-hopes of a return to form in post-COVID times to come.


Q. Why did you join MDCC and what do you enjoy most about the club

A. I was aware of the club having seen the Sunday morning groups gathering at the clock-tower but had put off joining for over a year for fear of being unable to keep up with a “real club” ride. When I finally pitched-up it was with the aim of keeping my riding going through the winter, rather than giving-up and ending up back at square-one when the warmer weather returned in the spring. It worked! I have enjoyed being part of the club and feel my group-riding has improved a lot. I am also a big fan of the Summer Thursday evening 10-mile TT series organised by the club and would encourage others to get involved if they have not previously tried it. Time-trials are a great way to race your bike while avoiding the dangers of mass pile-ups seen in bunch racing!


Q. Does anyone else in the family cycle

A. I have two primary-school age children and they both cycle a mile-and-a-bit each way to school every day. Does that count?

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

A. On the subject of dream bikes: in 2018 I invested in a Giant Trinity TT bike, chosen primarily (if I’m honest) because Tom Dumoulin had just won the world championships on one. At that point I had already spent a season competing in time-trials on an ordinary road bike and wanted to find out how much faster I could go. The answer by-the-way is “two minutes faster”. There, I have just saved you the expense of buying a time-trial bike!


Yes, I know I could do with replacing my rather old/basic Specialized road bike. I have noticed that a lot of people “panic-bought” bicycles during lockdown. Hopefully this will lead to a flooded second-hand market next year so I can pick up a bargain!


Q. How have you managed in 2020 with all of its challenges

A. I seem to have spent most of 2020 eating and getting fatter. Is there a downhill cycling discipline? I might be good at that one…