Olympic and world champion, Katie Archibald got into cycling after winning handicap races on a Highland Games grass track. She writes a column for Cycling Weekly each week
It’s 6.30 on a Monday morning and I’m on a train from Glasgow to Manchester. I’d feel very important were it not for the knowledge that the first train, and with it the truly important people, leaves at 4am.
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That’s if you want to make it to Manchester for a 9am meeting but aren’t sure the clocks won’t go forward just as you arrive.
I am also on my way to a meeting. But it’s a meeting of British Cycling riders and the BC senior leadership team so we’ve arranged an 11am meet.
Sleep is the most important form of recovery, recovery is the only way you improve, and I think we can all agree that the sweetest hour of sleep is the one preceding 9am when the rest of the world is up — but not you. This thought process must be what led to an agreed 11am meeting.
A nagging voice in my head says that if your profession isn’t bike riding you have to turn up to work at 9am regardless of the time your first meeting starts, but that voice can rarely be trusted. Like that time it said I’d already eaten enough and didn’t need to see the dessert menu. The voice is a cretin.
This is my first time attending such a meeting, though a few have taken place already. It’s a product of our newly-formed rider representatives commission; an endeavour UK Sport has nudged us into but that’s been taking baby steps and the odd toddler jump into a meaningful operation.
Each squad has a representative attend what will eventually be a quarterly meeting, but at the moment — until progress reaches pre-teen skipping — they are every other month. We discuss issues that affect all squads and issues that affect only some but could do with group action.
Then three of these rider representatives, today including me, trot off to a meeting with the leadership team and set the world (specifically our own personal world where getting people to ride bikes is supreme) right.
Wish me luck.