The next in our ‘Why I Cycle‘ Series is Olympic track medalist Steven Burke who won gold both at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Now that the hysteria of the games has calmed a little we found a few moments to find out a little bit more about his love of cycling…
- At what age did you start cycling?
I started cycling at the age of 13 at the Manchester Velodrome for a club called Eastland Velo. I used to play football before then for the local village and school teams.
- What inspired you to start cycling?
My family have always been into cycling. My Mum represented Great Britain for road cycling a couple of times in the 80s, my Grandad has been a road and track cyclist since he was young and my Dad competed in Time Trial events for a while. Also, I remember watch Jason Queally win Gold at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 for the Kilo Time Trial on the track. That really inspired me to try track cycling.
- What do you enjoy most about cycling?
The racing, especially the Team Pursuit! I enjoy the adrenaline rush just before the racing, and the satifaction after the race when it has gone well, knowing that the hard work has been worth it.
- Is there anything you don’t enjoy about cycling?
The early morning training sessions because I do like a lie in at times!
- Who is your favourite person to cycle with?
Chris Latham, a Bolton lad who is also in the Great Britain Cycling Team and Team Wiggins. We really get on and he always makes me laugh on rides.
- If you could cycle with anyone (dead or alive!) who would it be?
Eddy Merckx, the greatest cyclist of all time!
- Have you ever cycled or do you plan to cycle for a particular charity?
I have never really had the chance before because of training and racing commitments. However, I would love to help raise money for Pendleside Hospice in Burnley. My girlfriend Katie sadly lost her Mother early this year so I’ve seen first hand what wonderful work the hospice does.
- Tell us about your number one cycling highlight?
I have 2 which are joint favourites! Winning gold medals in the Team Pursuit at London 2012 and Rio 2016 breaking World Records in the process.
- Tell us about your favourite place to cycle?
It would be Tuscany, Italy. I used to live there for three road seasons as a Great Britain Under 23 Academy rider. For a cyclist, the place have everything including great food, long climbs, fast decents, scenic views and mainly fantastic weather.
- Finally, if you could cycle anywhere in the world where would it be?
I would love to have a cycling holiday some time either in the Alps or the Pyrenees, riding the famous climbs of le Tour de France. I have never trained or raced much in that area of the world being more of a track rider.