We speak with the club's European Champion - David Dyer


Most of us know about David's cycling exploits, but do you know he was last year's European Duathlon Champion in his Age Group? Read on to find out more about one of the clubs key committee members:


Q. When did you start and what made you start cycling?

A. I used to cycle to school every day from the age of 11 and I continued to use my bicycle as a primary means of transport at university and after.  The London terrorist attacks of 2005 prompted me to buy a Brompton so that I could avoid the tube and I soon discovered I much preferred commuting by bike.  However my first longer rides were not until a couple of years later when I bought a hybrid bike because a friend suggested cycling from Land's End to John O'Groats.


Q. You are a very successful duathlete, what titles have you won

A. Thanks!  I have competed for GB at World and European Age Group Duathlon Championships 7 times, most successfully winning the gold medal for my Age Group at last year's European Championships in Transylvania.


Q. What sort of riding do you enjoy most now?

A. There is so much that I enjoy about Audax rides.  They remain mostly low key so that they go unnoticed by the wider world.  Although they can test you as much as you want, you go out at your own pace as they are not competitive.  Other riders are friendly and supportive, organisers can find some great routes that you would never otherwise know and you usually get to eat lots of cake on the way round!


Q. Cycling is obviously not your only sport, but what sort of training do you like the best?

A. Nothing can beat a good cycle ride, but having said that I do really love the simplicity of running - much less technical, can be done virtually anywhere and in virtually any weather.


Q. How often do you train?

A. I am also a member of Berkshire Tri Squad (although I have only ever done one triathlon!) and in normal times I usually go running with them each Tuesday (followed by yoga) and spinning each Wednesday.  Then at weekends I usually do a parkrun on Saturday (when I am not the Run Director) and join the MDCC Sunday morning rides.


Q. You do some crazy long distance events, what is the motivation?

A. Many runners say that when they stop getting faster, they switch to going longer!  I like trying to push myself and if you like something, then why not do it for longer?!


Q. Do you have any non-sporting hobbies?

A. I do like travelling (although I must admit a lot of this is fitted around sports events).  I am a member of the MCC and since I retired a few years ago I have seen the England cricket team tour in New Zealand, India and South Africa, while duathlon events have been extended to holidays in Australia, Canada and all over Europe.  I enjoy cooking and having never previously played a musical instrument, I have also taken up trying to learn the guitar (I'm still struggling so I wish I had done it earlier!).


Q. What is your most memorable ride?

A. Without a doubt, last year's Paris-Brest-Paris 1,200km Audax.  An epic trek across Northern France and back with so many incredible highs and lows packed into 90 hours in the company of my great friend and fellow MDCC member Sarah Davies.  The many locals along the whole route provided a unique memorable atmosphere, it was a truly international field of over 6,000 riders and was an event that tested me to my absolute limit.


Q. Why did you join MDCC?

A. We went on a week's family holiday to the Pyrenees while the Tour de France was taking place and on our first day there we were surprised to encounter loads of cyclists riding through the village where we were staying.  The event was L'Etape du Tour.  Having seen them, I thought I could do that, so I found somewhere to hire a bike and managed to make it (slowly) up the Col du Tourmalet.  When I got home, having now bought a road bike, I looked at joining a local cycling club to train for L'Etape.  I saw MDCC were running their 50 mile Reliability Ride so thought I would join that.  Out of interest (and thanks to the record keeping of the late Peter Bell) I can tell you that my first ride with MDCC took place on 13th Feb 2011 and my fellow riders were Alex Hughes, Matthew Blagg, Gurpal Panesar, Sarah Davies, Rob Brockwell, Nigel Shurben, George Kennedy, Sam Hilton, Mike Woods, Andrew Payne, Malcolm Brewer, Paul Todd, Paul Redman, Brett Ansley and Joanne Baillie.


Q. Does anyone else in the family cycle?

A. When my sons were younger we all really enjoyed cycling holidays in Europe.  Generally they would involve alternate days of a gentle ride of about 20 miles and staying in a new hotel for a couple of nights.  My sons cycle less frequently now but I am pleased that they both do parkruns most Saturdays.


Q. How are you managing with the current situation?

A. It's been difficult seeing all the events gradually disappear from my 2020 calendar, particularly this month's London Marathon and the Vätternrundan 300km cycle event for which 7 MDCC members were planning to travel to Sweden to take part in during June.  However my wife and I are lucky that we managed to visit my sons in the north of England the weekend before the lockdown and we are all keeping well at home.  BTS have moved yoga and spinning online and still suggest running sessions for us to do on our own.  I have bought a turbo and am learning how to use Zwift so that I can do virtual MDCC group rides.  In addition my wife and I am going on smaller rides and walks in the local area.


Q. Are there any other events that are on your "bucket" list?

After Paris-Brest-Paris I would like to ride the UK equivalent London-Edinburgh-London which hopefully will take place in August 2021.  If I don't ride it, I will definitely look to volunteer at one of the controls again as I really enjoyed this experience when it was last held.  There are plenty of other shorter UK Audaxes to ride one day and I dream of one day possibly taking part in an audax in somewhere like Australia or India.  On the Duathlon side, the ultimate ride is the long distance World Championship which takes place every September in Zofringen, Switzerland.  I don't know whether it will still take place, but any hopes of qualifying this year have been scuppered so far by the cancellation of the UK qualifying races.