Meet the Wheeler: Mags Tym
Mags is a new addition to the club but is already a friendly and familiar face, getting stuck in at events and flying the flag as a part-time model for our winter kit! She came across the Wheelers through the audax scene and her journey into cycling is both eventful and inspiring.
Tell us about your journey into cycling
Similar to others, I was cycling a lot as a kid and then life took over. I went back to cycling and running for my son, to show a good example. I’m not sure if it worked for him, but it definitely helped me and I was commuting a lot. Eventually, I started using a road bike, which was a funny experience at first. I did the Richmond Park Duathlon and loved it and then an accident happened. A lorry was not indicating, eventually went over my right hand leaving me with a chance of losing it. Then… my cycling became my therapy. Physically it helped with regaining my mobility. Psychologically it helped with all those fears that started growing in my mind. I have done a few Audaxes and Kingston Wheelers I met were looking like a cool bunch. I have joined the club to push myself to the next level (whatever that was supposed to be).
What do you like about riding with a club?
Riding with the club gives you friends, help when you need it. You feel safer, you learn a lot, and what’s most important, it gives you the reason to wake up early in the morning when you don’t feel like it, to go for another ride that you will eventually love.
How can the cycling community encourage more female participation?
First of all, I am against raising walls where we don’t need them. I do understand that some women are intimidated by men cyclists and prefer to cycle with other ladies. I wouldn’t really encourage this. Cyclists should not be divided due to their colour or a gender but due to their cycling abilities. I remember my first ride with Wheelers, the guys I met were most helpful even though they were much better than me. It felt great and I felt stronger. I believe that most important is to show male cyclists as normal, helpful human beings. Ladies will feel better knowing that there is somebody to help them and that not everything is a competition.
What advice would you give to riders new to the sport?
Just ride. Give it a try. Don’t act like all those posers that buy their kits first and then never cycle. Start cycling even on your friend’s bike and find pleasure in it. During lockdown cycling kept me sane and gave the idea of freedom. It is beautiful!
Why would you recommend Kingston Wheelers?
Because we are amazing 🙂 We do care. We try to encourage people to cycle and, I think, we seem a bit less snobby than a few other clubs out there. Since I’ve joined Kingston Wheelers I don’t have to worry about cycling alone and that feels good.