Name : Will Meers
Age : 21
Will Meers was inspired to take up cycling because it was a good way to get to the pub, it was the sight of a club member eating a "death burger" that convinced him he'd found the right club. Fuelled no doubt by burgers, ale, cakes and tea, he's now one of the club's fastest riders.
What made you start cycling : I always cycled to the pub and back as it was cheaper and the savings from not getting the bus allowed me to get another couple of pints in at closing time. When I got kicked out of university for a year I decided I needed a hobby other than drinking. I bought a second hand racing bike, joined the Kingston Wheelers and never looked back.
Why did you join Kingston Wheelers : I wanted to meet some like minded people and learn some more routes. Someone on the Cycling Plus forum recommended the Kingston Wheelers. I went along to the club run one Sunday in October and found myself doing the club hill climb champs. My mind was made up when, before the start someone (James McVey probably) bought a death burger from Ryka's Café and still did well.
Date you joined the Club : October 2004.
What bike do you ride : A steel Chas Roberts (debadged since it was repaired and resprayed) for training, a Cervelo P3 for TTs, a Holdsworth fixie for the pub and a carbon Mike Kowal for the summer.
Give us a brief cycling background : :I went on numerous cycling holidays when I was very little. I then rediscovered the bike as a cheap, reliable and fast mode of transport and eventually purchased a road bike back in September 2004.
What was your best performance or favourite ride : Best performance has to be getting 57.28 in a 25 in the last race of last season. Was a beautiful day and everything came together nicely.
My favourite ride was a 110 mile monster in the Pyrenees with club mate Naz Peralta. We rode from our B&B to the Col D’Aspin, down the other side, up the Col du Tourmalet stopping for a quick photo, down the Tourmalet and back over the Col D’Aspin. I’ve never felt so tired in my life when hauling myself over the third Col of the day and was all over the shop on the descent. We had a quick coffee then hammered it all the way home, doing the last 25 miles in just over an hour, making it back just before sunset. Then there was the legendary day when Naz and I had five café stops in 50 miles...
What was your worst day on the bike : :I’ve never really had a terrible day on the bike. There are numerous indifferent days when it rains all day and you get no enjoyment whatsoever from the bike, but you tend to blot them out. Flanders is always a tough one… the weather last year was awful, but at least it took my mind off the hangover. Doing a 100 mile TT on zero training last season was pretty fearsome – my longest ride in the preceding four months was only 30 miles. I was fine up until 60 miles, but then the course went onto rolling B roads and I just hung on for the last 40.
Who is your favourite pro or inspiration : I love all the stories of testers of old – Alf Engers doing a ‘49’ back in the 70s, the battles between Boardman and Obree (I’ve got the result sheet of when Boardman broke the 25 comp record). Of course, local hero Frank Cubis is a legend.
What is your favourite race food : I don’t really eat much on the bike. If I’m hungry I’ll stop and have tea and cake. The tea rooms in Seale are particularly good.
Where is your favourite cycling location : Mallorca – I’ve been in March/April for the last couple of years and absolutely love it. The climbs are steady and not too steep, the food is perfect for cycling and the weather’s great. I’m going again in early March next year and can’t wait.
Most likely to say : "Let’s have another one more for the road."
Least likely to say : "I'm not drinking; I’ve got a race tomorrow."