Full Name: Astrid Wingler
Rider Category: 2nd
Disciplines: Cyclo-Cross and road racing.
Career highlights: Placing 3rd in the 3 Peaks Cyclo-Cross race 2012 and 3rd in the London Women’s Cycle Racing League.
Rider strengths: I’m good at endurance events.
Areas to improve: I’m not so good at getting in position for a sprint in a bigger race, so that’s something for me to work on.
Ambitions for 2013: I want to be competitive at national level and do well in the 3 Peaks Cyclo-Cross again.
Greatest achievement: Having been able to do a lot of competitive sport while also having a demanding job.
Favourite race and why: The 3 Peaks Cyclo-Cross race – you have to get off the bike and basically carry it up the mountains, battling against the wind and the rain. It’s a true test of stamina.
Your first bike? When I was 4 or 5 years old I had an orange folding bike.
How did you get into cycling? I used to cycle to school – in Germany cycling is part of every day life. I got into cycle racing in 2009 when I joined the cycling club London Phoenix. I was a competitive runner for almost 25 years, but was getting a bit tired of it and I have also damaged my heels running. Cycle racing was a new challenge for me.
What’s your daily commute like? I ride from Crouch End to Bloomsbury most days. I take the scenic route going past Hampstead Heath and Regent’s Park – it takes me about 35-40 minutes and is a great start to my day.
Your favourite cycling memory? My favourite cycling experience was when, aged 14, I went on a bike tour with two of my friends. We set off from home, going south along the Rhine and stayed in youth hostels along the way. This was our first trip involving overnight stays without any adults and it gave us a real feeling of independence.
Touring tales: I’ve done a bit of cycle touring – e.g. 2-3 weeks of cycling with my boyfriend. We set off in Cornwall at a leisurely pace and ended up in Bristol.
Tips to women thinking about giving cycling a go or getting back on a bike? Be confident and assertive. Don’t let the other traffic push you into the gutter or parked cars. And don’t be put off by thinking you need the trendiest kit or the best bike – basic gear will get you started.