Meet Connie, our newest Columnist

So, hello there and welcome to week one of Connie’s column. If you didn’t know already, I am Connie Hayes, I was born and bred in the best city in the world, London and I am very proud of my London postcode!  I race bikes for this super cool u23 girls squad called AWOL and get to travel Europe doing what I love best and feel super grateful for this. I am also a full time student studying Human Geography at Queen Mary University of London which I absolutely love. 

Here is a little introduction to me as a person. As a rider a lot of people jump to brand me a tester when in reality I call myself an all-rounder- I love every aspect of racing my bikes whether that be smashing it out in a TT or climbing huge bergs to being covered in mud racing cyclocross. Road has the largest place in my heart but my relationships with Cross and Track are both starting to blossom which I think is nice as doing one displine would be a bit one dimensional. My best result last year is a tricky one to define on paper it was probably my 16th at the elite national crit champs. Yet, personally I think it was getting round the UCI races I managed to finish as just a few years prior I couldn’t get round a youth national yet alone a professional level race. As a person I am well known for being very quirky. I am quite introverted which I think really helps me with my mental drive when it comes to training, I like to think having the mental strength to hack out 3 hours on the turbo with no Zwift is a skill that everyone wants in life… My preferred place to ride in the UK has to be the peak district (sorry Essex) I love hills and the beauty of the landscape. Racing all over europe, I think my favourite race to date has to be GP Isbergue, I loved the rolling climbs and the atmosphere. Away from cycling I am often found studying for my degree, I have a strong interest in Geo-politics and Housing hence why I choose to do a geography degree. I opted to study alongside cycling as I wanted a degree to fall back on and I also wanted to keep cycling fun and not make it a ‘job’ at 18. Its been a tough winter balancing it all but I am so happy I am at university, especially as my uni give me lots of support (more on that in a future post). 

I wanted to write a column to give people an insight into what life is like trying to be the best rider I physically can be whilst trying to balance this with my academic studies at a top flight uni so when I got approached about writing for the chain gang there was no second thoughts.  I also have both Dyslexia and Dyspraxia and I want to raise awareness of this in a bid to show people that if you put your mind to it there are no barriers to anything in life and feel a column would be a great place to do this. In my posts I will talk about everything from races, training, things I do away from cycling and topics that I feel are important within the sport of cycling and further afield. I hope you stick around and read the future posts in this series and enjoying gaining an insight into my life on the road. 

See you next week 

Connie

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