Name: Kaarle McCulloch
Year of birth: 1988
What do you ride?: Track Sprint
How did you start racing?: I didn’t think cycling was very cool when I was first asked to give it a go. I didn’t find the idea of riding around in lycra on a bike with no pedals very fun! But I loved it from the moment I started. I had my first race when I was 17 only two weeks of being on a bike!
Explain the scariest situation you’ve had on a bike: All my scary moments have happened on the road when cars don’t see me. I think cycling has made me a better driver because I am far more aware of what other people are doing. On one occasion I was descending a hill going pretty fast and a car turned in front of me. I had to brake really hard and almost went into the gutter. I still don’t know how I kept it up.
Explain the best moment whilst riding: I am sprinter because I love to go fast! On the track for training we do an effort called a motor acceleration where we chase a motorbike and try to go as fast as possible. This is my most favourite training because I forget the pain and just enjoy the adrenaline rush!
What are you thinking on the start line?: I always have three things that I am focusing on for the timed events. For example with a start its usually something like: explode (out of the gates), ride the black line, be aero. This helps me to focus on what I can control rather than focusing on the outcome. If its a match sprint I try to be both as relaxed as possible but also make sure I am in a state where I want to destroy my opponent!
Who are your heroes? : Bike Heroes: I draw a lot of inspiration from lots of people. But particularly I will always think very highly of Ryan Bayley who as Olympic Champion could see I was so nervous before my first senior world championships and came out and helped me warm up which I will forever be grateful for. Away from the bike I look up to J.K Rowling firstly because her books are my favourite but also her story of overcoming adversity and pursuing her dreams really resonate with me.
What’s the most flats you’ve had in one day?: I went through a time where for some reason I had a flat on every road ride I did for at least 2 months. My team mates hated me! I think in one day I have had three.
What’s the most important thing you’ve forgotten to take to a race?: I am pretty organised so I do not often forget things but I have forgotten my head phones before and that was so annoying for me as I love to listen to music to distract myself while warming up.
What motivates you to keep riding?: The idea that I believe I can be better and for as long as I see improvements I will continue riding!
What do you like doing when your not riding: I like to read, watch movies, spend time with the animals on our farm and my family.
What would you say to kids starting out?: Its really important to enjoy what you are doing because when you are having fun its easy! Until I started to focus seriously on cycling I did every sport I could, I studied hard at school and having those outlets helped make cycling the most favourite part of my day when it came around! If you want to be the best its a long term investment, it doesn’t happen over night so enjoy yourself, do the hard work but be happy!
If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?: Having travelled so much because of my career I realise that the misunderstandings we have about other people and other cultures are really very simply just that…mis understandings. I always make a point to try and immerse myself in the culture of whatever place I am and I always learn something and gain more respect and tolerance for others. I think as a human race we could show far more tolerance and empathy and perhaps then a lot of our worlds biggest issues would be not so big.