So, I'm Coach Alison, founder of veloqi. I started cycling in 2012, like many of us, I was inspired by the Olympics coming to London. I was challenged by my gym buddies to enter a triathlon. I said yes despite not being able to ride a bike! Fast forward a few years to 2015 and I'm a regular club rider, Level 2 British Cycling qualified skills coach, volunteering at a community cycling club in East London and a Breeze Champion leading rides in Essex.
I went on to start racing in club time trials, local criteriums and road races, whilst getting into long distance rides and Audaxing. I had even qualified for the UCI World Amateur Time Trial final in Denmark and got to race in GB kit! Cycling had taken over my life!
Here I am now, with a degree in Cycling Performance, a desire to share all that I've learned along the way and help as many others as possible. My coaching style is born from my own experiences of training and being coached for racing and long distance cycling, whilst working fulltime and caring for a disabled family member. I also draw on experiences from my previous life as a dancer, training full time, where I learned how important being well condition is essential for avoiding injury and an investment for later in life.
You need a coach who is aware that mental health is as important as your physical health, that our busy lives also impacts our ability to stress our bodies in training, who understands the ebbs and flows of motivation and the importance of building resilience to deal with the curve balls life sometimes throws at us, as well as being mindful that we, as women, need to train and eat differently to the advice given in mainstream publications, but mostly, the need for cycling to be protected as something that's fun and, for some of us, a way to refill our reservoirs of joy!
As a women and a person of colour I've experienced for myself how it feels to go to a cycling club or event and be the only person that looks like me. Through other ventures, such as the Women of Colour Cycling Collective, Ride for Unity and the Ultra Distance Scholarship, I actively try to improve the diversity and gender equality in cycling. Representation truly matters.