07 Feb “Meet the team” – Nicky Rolls
How did you first get into riding?
I rode my bike to and from school and upon leaving school, did triathlons. So I’m used to riding a bike but the last 3-4 years have been a very steep learning curve in regards to bicycle racing. Criteriums are particularly challenging for me, as everyone is so close at speed and zooming around corners. It can be scary and the crashes aren’t very pretty. I’ve never had a coach before either, so the training I do now on the bike is far more structured, and has more variety, than what I used to do.
Why do you like road racing in general?
Road racing is an opportunity for me to compete and keep fit. “The old, grey mare, she ain’t what she used to be”. I can’t run anymore, so cycling gives me the opportunity to train hard and not break down (touch wood). Why Splatt Lawyers Racing? I’ve raced either with, or against, all of these girls and it’s exciting to be offered the opportunity to race with them in an NRS team. About how many days a week do you ride your bike? 5 on the bike and 2 gym days (sometimes 6 days on the bike)
If you had to pick a favourite cycling moment, what would it be?
That’s a hard one, trying to think of a “moment”. Cycling has given me many joys and opportunities, mostly through the friendships I’ve made and shared experiences of suffering eg: descending Passo della Stelvio in the snow. I’ve never been so cold in my life. It took immense concentration to negotiate the countless switchbacks and control the bike while I was shivering and shaking. It took me 45 min to stop shivering once we got back down to the village of Bormeo. That day will stick in my mind forever. One of my friends was so cold she could hardly talk once she got to the bottom. We were all elated that we’d made it down without incident.
What is the funkiest bit of kit you own?
I am not cool (and weirdly proud of this). I wear sun sleeves with holes in them. You would not use the word “funky” to describe me. “Endearing and lovable” maybe.
If you had to pick the best hill climb across the globe for cyclists, which one do you think wins first place and why?
I don’t know all of the hill climbs across the globe but, out of the ones I have done, I loved Col d’Aubisque in the Pyrenees. After struggling up Col du Solour, the rest of the climb up to d’Aubisque isn’t too hard and the scenery is spectacular. We “had” to do it twice, as the first time was so misty and rainy that we literally saw diddly squat. It was well worth going up a second time on a beautiful, clear day with breathtaking views. If you could cycle any route in the world tomorrow, where would you go? I’d need to research that. As a safe bet, I’d head back to Europe. I’d like to do Passo dello Stelvio again as I was sick the first time/s I did it (we did it three times in one week, each a different route).