FINDRA: Tell us a bit about yourselves and how you each got started in cycling…
Isabel: I loved cycling as a kid. I grew up in the North-West of Spain. We had a pine forest next to the beach where we spent our summer holidays and it was a great place for cycling. I had to share my bike with my big sister, which sometimes was a bit frustrating when I wanted to ride myself. I didn’t cycle much as a teenager or when I went to University though. When I moved to Scotland I bought my first own bike, a very heavy yellow MTB from Halfords and the bike/love story re-started.
Anna: When we first moved to Peebles, we used to see some of the local kids riding together whenever we went for walks in Glentress Forest. After learning about the local kids club that Peebles Cycling Club organised on Saturday mornings, my parents signed me up for PCC when I was 6 years old. I had my first taste of racing at some of the first PCC Dirt Crits which were held on Thursday evenings at Glentress. Hardly any girls my age actually raced at that point but I was inspired by some of the older girls in the club to start racing at the Scottish Cross Country series and I pretty quickly became hooked.
FINDRA: Do you go cycling together?
Isabel: Not as much as I would like since Anna is a very busy girl at the moment with her cycle training and racing and of course her studies. Also, she is much faster than me already and much more skilful on the descents. We enjoy cycling as a family whenever we can. The Cairngorms and the Rochiemurchus are some of our favourite cycling spots in Scotland.
FINDRA: Are there any other activities that you share?
Anna: We both enjoy going for wee runs together, with our favourite route being up Cademuir. During the holidays, our family is always doing something outdoorsy, whether it be open water swimming, hill walking, camping or, of course, exploring on our bikes.
FINDRA: Isabel, what has it been like to see your daughter grow from her first
time on two wheels to now being an athlete?
Isabel: Since very young Anna has been a very sporty and determined girl. I suppose in her case becoming an athlete has been a natural progression. She learnt how to cycle, joined PCC kid’s club, tried her first race at Glentress when she was around seven years old, then some SXCs (Scottish MTB cross country), caught the bug for racing and she has been racing ever since… She is now part of the “Scottish Cycling MTB Youth Performance Squad” and that helps her with her training and preparation for races.
FINDRA: Isabel, we’re sure you’re very proud of all of Anna’s achievements –
Tell us which one sticks in your mind most and why.
Isabel: Probably when Anna came second two years ago at the British MTB championships at Hadleigh Farm (Essex), the venue for the London Olympic games. I wasn’t there at the time, but I felt really proud when she phoned me to tell me her great achievement.