Meet Gagan - one of the clubs younger members

Q. When and what made you start cycling

A. Like most in our club I always enjoyed riding locally with my dad and with friends in my teenage years. The first challenge I took part in was London to Brighton in 2012 on a hybrid bike, this paved the way for future challenges. However I first really got into road cycling in 2016, when I signed up to ride from London to Paris in aid of the Cure Parkinson's Trust, ever since I have been riding consistently for the past four years.


Q. What sort of riding do you enjoy

A. Mostly road cycling and club runs, very occasionally I take the hybrid out and it makes me feel like a kid again!


Q. Is cycling the only sport you do

A. Occasionally I will run and very seldom I will partake in a sponsored hike or walk.


Q. How often do you ride

A. 3/4 times a week, with longer rides on the weekends.


Q. Other than cycling what are your other hobbies do you have

A. Cycling definitely is the main one, but when I am not cycling or watching GCN videos, I enjoy cooking (Jamie Oliver style), eating and spending time with my nieces and nephew.


Q. What is your most memorable ride/s

AIt has to be day three of London to Paris. It was an 80 mile undulating ride (which seemed unimaginable back then!), to make matters worse I had injured my knee two days prior and was struggling to extend my left leg. So in preparation for the big day, I overloaded on energy gels, an amateur mistake! The combination of sugars and pain killers had my gut churning, which led to should I say the need for a very unpleasant pit stop on the side of the road, 10 miles from the finish point! I'm not quite sure how I finished that day, but what a relief it was to reach the hotel/restaurant!

The second most memorable ride has to be on a cycling holiday in Mallorca, where we descended switchbacks into the beautiful port of Sa Calobra only to ascend back to the start through hairpins and incredible views.

Lastly my most memorable rides have to be Slough to Brighton (and back), both the first attempt and second attempt. Myself and a few friends (and friends of friends), set ourselves this challenge of around 200 km (around 130 miles) in the day. I went about creating the route in Komoot, which stated the elevation gain would be around 5500ft, this wasn't case it ended up being 7500ft (a big error margin!). A lot of the riders that day had never ridden this sort of mileage, or elevation, however as we were raising money for several charities, there was a lot of energy in the group to achieve it.

 Getting to Brighton went relatively smoothly and almost a mini celebration on the beach as a few were dropping off there, although the reality was we had another 100 km to ride with several big climbs on along the way! My ride ended on the return leg around 73 miles in the total journey, due to dreaded puncture in my tubeless tyre, these tyres are known for being incredibly difficult to get off. After lot of fiddling, I regrettably had to call in the broom wagon to pick me up!

A few months on one of the guys' who had  previously completed the journey, thought it would be a good idea to have another go at it for a 'casual' Saturday ride! This time I was well prepared and ensured my wheel was fully tubeless! Fortunately there were no major issues or punctures this time around, although, I was lacking decent front lights on the way home, never a good idea in pitch black country roads!


Q. Why did you join MDCC and what do you enjoy most about the club

A. After my experiences at L2P a few riders encouraged me to join a local club and seeing as I had invested a fair amount of time and money into my bike and equipment, I only wanted to continue riding and improve on my abilities. I looked for local clubs and initially rode with a group in Windsor, but was discouraged as I was dropped within 10 minutes! After some time I was approached by Hewan on Strava, who asked me to come along with MDCC and haven't looked back since!


Q. Does anyone else in the family cycle

A. Most of my family can ride a bike but it's only ever very leisurely.


Q. If you could have any bike what would it be

A. This is a difficult one, I recently upgraded to the Canyon Endurace, which I am really really pleased with but if I could choose any bike I would probably choose their brand new 2021 Aeroad (I'm sure this will change in the coming year!)


Q. How have you managed in 2020 with all of its challenges  

A. Fortunately I was able to continue working from home during the initial lockdown and if anything the working from home lifestyle has allowed me to ride more often and frequently with local friends on early morning weekday rides!