Spotlight On …….. Alice Miller aka @tiny_pigeon

We spoke to Alice Miller, Alice is a keen rider racing road bikes for the @EliteVeloRT team as well as competing in Cyclo X.  Based in the South West but she travels around the country with her love of riding.

  • What made you get into cycling?

It’s faster than running…! I first cycled to travel about, enjoy the outside and to get to know my local countryside. I joined my university club to meet other cyclists and ride together and slowly progressed from there to racing competitively. My bike is still my main form of transport and it goes pretty much everywhere I do

  • What has been your proudest/best cycling moment?

My proudest moment so far in cycling has to be winning bronze in the South West Regional Road Race Championships but competing at the Bedford Three Day stage race with my team eliteVelo-Kalas is also something I’m very proud of – not least I survived all five stages, but also finished nicely mid-field in a highlight event of the women’s national calendar.

  • What has been the biggest challenge you have faced?

I think that has to be getting out of bed everyday! I am a natural bed bug but I work a normal 9-5 job so getting up early and training before going to work is the only way to fit it all in. The early morning sessions have paid off though and this is my best season yet 🙂

  • Who is your inspiration, and why?

Am I allowed more than one? Marianne Vos, Chrissie Wellington, Pauline Ferrand Prevot and Helen Wyman – these ladies are all on top of their game but still take the time to give back to their supporters. Vos is the queen of basically every cycling discipline, Chrissie never stops smiling, PFP proves you can be bad-ass and cute at the same time and Helen is so approachable and down-to-earth. I hope that even if I don’t quite achieve the same level of results I will be able to inspire other girls to try sport and have a good time!

  • What are your future goals?

At the moment it’s road race season so I’m looking to continue gaining experience of the national circuit, ready to hit it up properly next season. In Autumn it will be the start of the cyclocross season so I’ll be looking for a top spot in the South West league, improve on my fifth place at this year’s South of England Champs and place in the top ten in national events.

  • What would be your one piece of essential advice to someone looking to get into competitive cycling?

Don’t let all the kit and ‘pro’ looks put you off – yes, expensive gear can make a difference at the top end but even with the lightest bike/most aero equipment, if your head is not in the right place you won’t be successful. My bike is now five years old and made up from second hand parts but I know that I can still train harder and that will make more difference to my performance than shaving 10g off my bike. 

Also, don’t forget – it’s supposed to be fun!

  • What is your favourite piece of cycling kit?

I’m going to have two – a gilet and a casquette/cap. A gilet is so useful, especially when you live in a place like the UK with changeable weather; it packs away small in your pocket when you don’t need it but you can whip it out if it gets a bit windy, there’s a shower or you’re going down a long descent. I wouldn’t go without a casquette in the winter – it’s so useful for stopping the rain getting in your eyes 🙂

  • What’s your favourite thing about cycling?

Spending hours outside! There’s not many other ways you can travel so far, exploring all the secret lanes whilst also getting a good workout. Cycling brings together people from all types of backgrounds so you also get to meet lots of different people 🙂

  • As it’s Women in Sport Week what do you think is the biggest challenge for women cyclists, & how do you overcome them?

I think the biggest challenge (and this doesn’t just apply to women) is finding the time and effort to prioritise training; changing your outlook so that you fit your life around your sport rather than the other way around. Obviously this is hard and sometimes things do get in the way unavoidably, but keep persevering! 

In the wider sense I believe the main priority in getting women involved in sport is making sure they never stop being involved in the first place! Girls and boys both love sport at school but this tends to drop off into teenager-hood (especially for girls). Keeping girls involved in  exercise all the way into adulthood would make a healthy lifestyle a way of life.