Stewie Martin

Name : Stewie Martin

Age : 35

Stewie Martin, a new member of the club who has already ridden a lot in a short time, from some fast times for a novice in a ten mile time trials to some giant rides in the Alps.

What made you start cycling : When I was at school I used to cycle a fair bit round my home near Amersham. Got put off the sport aged 12 when I smashed my face and my smart green Dawes into a parked car. Wrote off the bike and my front four front teeth. Although my school was big on athletics I do remember some kid a few years below me who got hauled up in assembly to receive a national school cyclo-cross trophy - Roger Hammond I think his name was! I stuck to running but as the years ticked by I kept getting injured - particularly metatarsal stress fractures from too many miles on the roads. Moved to Canada for a period and bought a bike to keep in shape.

Why did you join Kingston Wheelers : A couple of friends who I cycled with socially said I ought to try racing so once I finally had some spare time (kids, work, etc) I trawled the internet and found the awesome KWCC site.

Date you joined the Club : March 2005

Who is your favourite pro or inspiration : Hmm... I have great respect for Armstrong - but Coe, Ovett and Cram are my sporting heroes.

What bike do you ride : I have recently bought an Argon 18 Platinum which was intended to supplement my faithful old Argon 18 bought in Canada. But I am now back to one bike as the old one has literally seized up and refuses to be ridden a single kilometre more.

Give us a brief cycling background : I don't really have a cycling "background" although I have always ridden a bike regularly. I used to be a reasonable runner on track and cross country. I have spent a week in each of the last two years riding in the Alps. Heading there again this year. I like hills.

What was your best performance : Only competed on a bike twice. My Club 10 last week (24 : 25) was 20 seconds better than two weeks before but that was probably down to that I wasn't wobbling all over the place on my new aero-bars this time. Take your pick.

What was your worst day on the bike : A work-mate persuaded me to ride the Raid Alpine two years ago in August. I had shingles the previous week but went anyway. I suffered badly from the heat on the first day (37+degrees) and after 110km I spent an hour coughing my guts up into a flower planter in Megeve watched by bemused tourists.

That was followed three days later by gear failure on Col de Montgenevre which left me with only two gear options :big ring or little ring. The bike shop mechanic in Briancon just shrugged and put the "gone to lunch" sign up when I asked whether it was repairable. So, from there to Antibes I cycled with no working rear derailleur. Going up hills like Col D'Izoard, Col de Vars, Col de la Bonette was hard enough but I found keeping up with the group on the long descents near impossible on a 52x19.

What is your favourite race food : Jelly Babies (Bassetts only - no Haribo imitations please!)

Where is your favourite cycling location : The classic Tour climbs in the Pyrenees or Alps.

Most likely to say : "I have got no idea where we are - does anybody want a jelly baby?"

Least likely to say : "Can we go the flat route today?"