Hi, I’m Lyla and I have been asked to say a little about cycle speedway and my experiences with it.
I should probably start with a bit about me. I’m 14 years old and I live in Fife, and I have been involved in cycle speedway for about four years now.
I came to cycle speedway after I had already been in a cycling club who did road, mountain bike and cyclocross, although I never really raced much, it was more a training thing. My Dad is also a keen cyclist. The son of a friend of my dad did cycle speedway, and we were invited to an open session to have a go. We both really enjoyed it and decided to give it a shot as a sport.
One of the things that I think is really good when you are starting is that the club, and I think all the Scottish cycle speedway clubs, basically provide everything you need, gloves, helmets and bikes. I’ve got my own bike now.
That’s another really good thing about the club too, is that they are always looking of ways of getting more people involved. When I started there was only one other girl regularly racing, so we were just included in the open categories for our age groups. That was good, but the club have been really keen to promote the sport with women and girls, so introduced a women’s category in the Scottish open, and now a women’s event in the Scottish league. It’s really good that now more girls are taking part, that it is getting harder to win races, which is really good because when I do it feels more like an achievement.
So now a few years in and there are three women specific events for us, the Open, the Scottish League and the Scottish Individual Championships, as well as being able to take part in the open events too.
This year I wasn’t able to race in the Individual championships, but I was able to race and win both the open title and the Scottish league title, in fact this is the third year in a row I have won the Open.
One of the best things about the sport is the sense of family. We know all the riders from the other Scottish clubs really well, and most of the riders from the North of England too, and everybody gets on. On the track the racing is tough, but off the track we are all really friendly.
And being the races are short, it is really exciting to watch. Everything is right in front of you, so you see all of the action. Nobody wants to see somebody hurt, but some of the crashes are pretty epic, and well it’s part of the sport.
Would I recommend cycle speedway to other women and girls? Absolutely. It’s fast fun and free!!!! And best of all, is that because of the way the races work with points, everybody contributes, from the person at the back in their first race picking up one point, to the rider at the front picking up 4, everybody can contribute to the score and team results.
I’d love to win 4 open titles in a row, but I would also love to have a full field to compete against even if that means not taking the title again, more riders would make it feel like a win, and if anybody else reads this and decides to have a go, I would be really pleased.
I feel like I’ve been talking for ages here, I’ll probably stop now, but one last thing. As our manager Craig says “get your backside trackside”
Want to discover the discipline of cycle speedway for yourself? Find out more here and where to join a local club here, or please email Ruth, one of our Club Development Coordinator’s on: [email protected]
If you would like to share your experience of cycling for our monthly Scottish Cycling Blogher article, please email Melanie, our Women and Girls Development Manager on: [email protected]