Rebecca Charlton, Cyclist

Rebecca Charlton, Cyclist

For day four of the Profile Series, we catch up with Rebecca Charlton. Rebecca is a well known name on the London cycling scene, she started out on two wheels when she could barely walk and went on to ride competitively throughout her childhood. These days, Rebecca presents and writes for a number of cycling media as well as having co-authored two books. Despite this jam-packed schedule, Rebecca always looks glamorous on and off the bike.
 
What sparked your love for cycling?
 
My mum and dad were and are passionate about cycling and they introduced me to racing on the velodrome when I was eight or nine years old. I fell in love with the sport straight away and when the season ended for the year, I was devastated. Until I discovered cyclo-cross, then I was happy again!
 
What’s your favourite kind of cycling?
 
Track cycling. I love racing it, watching it and reporting from the velodrome, it's my passion and I find it the most exciting form of cycling.
 
What would you say is the biggest barrier stopping more people from cycling in London? 
 
I think you need to be well prepared to ride in London and many people think it's madness when I say I ride in central. I think you need to be armed with a good amount of knowledge on route planning and bike handling skills to react as fast as possible, and to avoid any junctions you're not familiar with negotiating. It's inevitably unpredictable but being prepared places you as well as you can be to be as safe as possible. Be bold and be seen.
 
What do you love most about London? 
 
People always told me I'd become bored of living in London but I can't see that happening, it's fun, diverse and buzzing 24 hours a day!
 
What is your favourite route to cycle in London? 
 
My home from home is Herne Hill velodrome, I just love to ride in circles!
 
Quick fire: 
 
Tell us an interesting fact about you. 
I put a hole in my wall when I got a bit over confident on the rollers. After mastering no-hands I decided to advance to riding with only one foot clipped in. It went wrong. 
 

 

What tip would you give a new cyclist in London? 

Familiarise yourself with any busy routes you're planning to ride. The more confident you can be, the better. Do not ride around Hyde Park Corner three times because you don't know which exit you need…(yes, that was me.)

Who’s your favourite person to cycle with?

I have such an incredible network of friends and family who I ride with and I'm very lucky. Cycling with my mum and dad is always a lot of fun, and a tough workout, they're fast!
 
I couldn’t live without my
My friends would definitely answer 'her phone' as I'm a little Twitter obsessed but I'd say my bike. Cycling has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. 
 
When I’m not working, you will usually find me…
 
At the moment, I'm always working! I'm very lucky to work as a journalist and TV presenter within a sport I love so I'm constantly on the go.
 
To find out more about Rebecca, visit www.rebeccacharlton.com/