There was a changing of the guard this November as Scottish Cycling announced a new President at the Annual General Meeting in the shadow of Stirling Castle.
After nine years at the helm, Alasdair Maclennan stepped down, handing over to Tom Bishop. A late convert to the world of cycling, Tom brings a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm to the organisation. We ask how he got started in the sport and his aspirations for the future.
When and how did you first get into cycling?
I got in to cycling when I was 40. I signed up to do the Etape du Tour in 2005 from Mourenx, to Pau via the Western Pyrenees in order to raise funds for Cancer Research UK as my Dad had passed to the disease. I wanted to do something to honour his lifelong love of cycling.
Do you remember your first bike?
I bought my first road bike a few months after I entered that sportive…
What do you love most about the sport?
When I joined Dunfermline Cycling Club I was immediately taken by the social dynamics in a recreational sense and complex tactics that come in to play in racing.
Favourite ride snack?
Cadburys Brunch bars
Favourite cycling route?
Local 60+ mile loop from Dunfermline taking in Knockhill, Glendevon, Gleneagles, Braco, Dunblane Causewayhead (café) then home to Dunfermline via Alloa and Culross. This route is great in either direction.
Most memorable cycling moment?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Watching Neil Fachie and Craig Maclean win their second gold on the track sprint when they came from 1-0 behind in the best-of-three final to win 2-1.
As President of Scottish Cycling, what are your aspirations for the sport?
I am keen to see the sport of cycling grow with ever increasing standards: better riders and better races. I also want to see the strong network of clubs develop and thrive as the domestic level of our sport is reliant upon them. We need to build on our great relations with our partners sportscotland who grant us funds via the Lottery which enables us develop the sport and the competitive aspects of cycling in Scotland which is spread across a multiplicity of disciplines and geographical areas (not an easy task). Also partnering with British Cycling who through HSBC developments show great early promise of supporting the growing appetite for mass participation in cycling that in turn will raise the profile of our sport and demonstrate the case that cycling is more than a sport and warrants attention as a method of transport and promoter of healthy lifestyles and for us governing body for the sport, potentially a rich seam of interest, support and perhaps a magnet for new riders.
2018 is going to be a big year for sport in Scotland, what are you most looking forward to?
Hard to choose between the Commonwealth Games in April in the Gold Coast, Australia and the European Games at the beginning of August with Glasgow working in partnership with Berlin. I am delighted the cycling will be in Glasgow! This promises to be another brilliant multi-sport event. Scottish Athletes are well positioned to excel in both ‘Games’ and I for one can’t wait to see all of this, but clearly the prospect of top level cycle racing in Scotland is what I look forward to most.
Thanks Tom. We look forward to seeing you at races, events and out of the road in the near future.