Name: Laura Cluxton
What type of cyclist are you?
How did you get involved with/ start cycling?
I bought a tandem to ride with my husband and started off as a hobby. A couple of years later I started riding on the track at the end of Feb 2013 as I decided I wanted to try it out and I progressed from attending the drop in sessions weekly to competing. I was invited to join the SC performance squad in Nov 2013.
Tell us more about how you train as a visually impaired cyclist?
As a visually impaired cyclist I rely on having a pilot to get out on road training rides and track training sessions. When I am unable to cycle with a pilot I have to use a turbo trainer to allow me to train on my own so I probably do more turbo training than a solo cyclist. If I am doing gym work I need to have a coach to work with to ensure I am doing things correctly and safely.
As a visually impaired cyclist did you find it hard to get involved in the sport?
Yes as there was no pathway for a visually impaired cyclist to go from it being a hobby to competing. I was the the first person to enquire about attending the drop in sessions and use the tandems at the SCHV. There is now a forth nightly disability drop in session.
Tell us more about your guide dog Pixie whos in the picture with you?
Pixie is 5 yrs old and is Labrador retriever cross, she is always happy and wagging her tail and was the cycling team mascot. I have had her 3 yrs and she has changed my life by giving me my independence back and I wouldn't be doing what I am doing now without her.
What’s the best thing about cycling?
The best thing for me about cycling is the feeling of freedom when out on the road I also love the exhilaration and excitement of the fast speeds on the track.
Who inspires you?
All other para-athletes inspire me as they as they face all the barriers able bodied athletes do and more to achieve their goals and I feel if they can do it so can I.
What’s you’re cycling highlight?
Winning my match sprint against the Welsh team at the SCHV at the Commonwealth games. It was a really exciting race and I had awesome support from the crowd which helped me to win, it was one of the best feelings I have experienced in my life and I felt proud to be representing Scotland.
How did it feel to compete in your first Commonwealth Games – especially at home?
It was amazing!!! It was an overwhelming experience which I could never have fully prepared myself for, it was a huge platform and I was a very new rider. The home support was incredible and if I make to any future games the experience would never be the same.
What would be your advice for someone wanting to get involved with cycling?
Just go out there and try it, join your local cycling club as there lots of friendly people with advice to help you get started. Don't be afraid and don't give up at the first hurdle every minute you spend on your bike makes you become a better rider.
What one thing would help encourage women, like you, to get involved in cycling?
To create a pathway for para-cyclists in Scotland.
And every cyclist loves cake… so what’s your favourite?
All of them but if I had to pick......carrot cake.