Quick Brown Foxes | Chapter 3: Yewande Goes Further
I met Yewande (Yewie) last summer during her first season of racing. It was a pleasure to catch up with her a year later and simply be blown away by all of her progress. I’m really stoked about how this project is coming together, and honored that I get to share these stories. I hope you’re enjoying them too!
How did you get into rowing?
I got into rowing while I was at school. In year 8 (aged 13) my P.E teacher decided to enter me into a borough indoor rowing competition. I did that every year until year 11 (aged 16) when I decided I wanted to get on the water. For a junior I started pretty late!
What kind of bike was your first bike (the one you refuse to give up)? My first bike was a road bike, a Trek 1000 SL. It's had some components changed since I bought it four years ago but I love it because it was my first bike as an adult and because of it's bright orange frame. Now I use it at work and for winter riding.
What was the biggest obstacle for you in feeling comfortable with the idea of racing? My biggest obstacle in me feeling comfortable with the idea of racing was my confidence (or lack of) in my bike handling skills and also being slow. I didn't want to take someone else out because I couldn't ride a bike properly. I think this worried me more than being slow. I knew with the speed element I could get faster with training and for me racing at the beginning was just for experience.
Do you regret doing those two road races? What did you learn from that experience? I don't regret those road races at all! It was about giving something different a go and pushing my comfort zones. I learned how important positioning was, hanging out at the back of a bunch going into a corner is a sure fire way to get dropped. The last road race I did, I surprised myself with my climbing ability, always being near the front of my group as we reached the climb up to the finish line each lap. This gave me a lot of confidence as I never saw myself as a good climber.
What’s the most exciting thing about bikes for you? The most exciting thing about bikes for me is being able to go fast! I love the opportunity to sprint, whether that's on the road or the track. Off the bike, it's been really exciting to meet so many different people. I've learned so much from them - it's helped my progression and confidence and I probably wouldn't be where I am without that.
When you’re not cycling, what do you like to do? When I'm not cycling I like to sleep! I'm pretty busy, outside of cycling I'm coaching rowing part-time and also doing a PhD part-time. But when I have the time for it I really enjoy baking (I'm a feeder) - I have my staples like banana bread and blondies but like trying out new things too.
Do you think you’ll be focused cycling forever, or is there another sport you’d like to try? I'd like to think I'll be focused on cycling for a while. I spent six years rowing, so I've still got at least four more years left in cycling! I really enjoy working hard for cycling, especially track, because it's something that suits me as an athlete and I'm not sure there are many other sports I could say the same about. So I think it's safe to say that I'll be a cyclist for a while.
That’s that folks! If you haven’t already, check out the Audio Chapter and don’t forget to support my Patreon. Thanks!: