A Forfar female face for sportive

CYCLING: Kirsty hopes to continue cycling and encourage more women to take part in cycling and events.
CYCLING: Kirsty hopes to continue cycling and encourage more women to take part in cycling and events.

A KEEN Forfar cyclist has become the first female club member for Velo Sportive.

Kirsty Cameron (25) is the first female member of Velo Sportive which is a nationwide cycling club for anyone to join who has an interest in Sportive riding.

Their goal is to get cyclists from all around the United Kingdom communicating on the website forum, arranging midweek and weekend training runs, entering and attending events throughout both the United Kingdom and Europe and meeting up at these events as a club.

Kirsty, who is originally from Kirriemuir, recently moved to Forfar.

Her first ever cycling event was the Etape Caledonia where she completed an impressive 81 mile journey is just over five hours.

The Highland Perthshire event, Etape Caledonia, attracted 5,500 competitors to take part in the tough 81-mile course last May, it was the first closed road cycling event of its kind in the UK and has encouraged growth in such events over the last seven years.

Kirsty has been cycling for three years and has previously taken part in sportives. She said: “I was contacted by Rob Simpson, who is the Director of Velo Sportive, because he had seen that I had previously done sportives. He thought it would be good to be the face of the club as it could encourage more women to join and has welcomed me on board.”

She added: “Sportives are great! They are basically an organised cycle with closed roads and signs which show the cyclists where to go and there are often feeding stations which offer refreshments for the cyclists. You can get a chip that tells you your speed and at the end you get a certificate which tells you which rank you came in. It’s great fun.”

Velo Sportive are planning to organise a club run in the very near future in Forfar after Kirsty boasted of the “beautiful scenery and cracking cycling routes” that are available.

Rob, the Director of Velo Sportive, said: “The Kinross Sportive and the St Andrews Sportive are others that Kirsty has taken part in. We hope to see Kirsty wearing the Velo Sportive colours up and down the country throughout the 2013 Scottish Sportive calendar.”

Kirsty has got a launch in Glasgow to look forward to, on behalf of Velo Sportive, in March.

Rob’s love of cycling started in his teens when he was introduced to mountain biking. However, he suffered a serious injury breaking both elbows and turned his attention to road cycling.

Since then he has participated in a number of Sportive Events around Scotland, and it was after a conversation with a fellow cyclist that he decided to pursue his dream of creating his own website specifically for Sportive cyclists.

He said: “Several months on and the Velo Sportive website is now live and the attention and support Velo Sportive has had within the cycling world has been great.

“My goal is to create a Sportive community within the UK where cyclists will join the Velo Sportive cycling club and get cyclists from around the United Kingdom communicating on the website to arrange midweek/weekend training runs, entering and attending events throughout the UK and Europe and meeting at these events as a club community.

“We have the ‘Tour of the Shire’ Velo Sportive which is the first ever Sportive event and is scheduled for September.

“There is an exciting year ahead for all involved in Velo Sportive.

“We will be attending several domestic training camps around the UK preparing for the season ahead. The club will be attending a training camp abroad and there are plenty of events we will be taking part in throughout the UK and Europe.”

Many cyclists use sportives to challenge themselves in a personal battle against the distance and then, the clock. Some participants in sportiveswill ride the event like a race.

Although sportives are not races, entrants’ times are recorded and riders are given their finishing position and a certificate.

Sportives can encourage the fastest cyclists to push their pace, with faster riders working together to increase their personal best.