Q & A: Isaac Mundy (PMR@Toachim House)

In the latest Q & A to land in the inbox, we quiz Isaac Mundy of PMR@Toachim House on his 2016 season and 2017 goals

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Q & A: Isaac Mundy (PMR@Toachim House)

Isaac will be riding for PMR@Toachim House in 2017 after a couple of seasons representing Oxford University. He says that “the best part of riding for Oxford was having a group of us all living nearby and in a similar situation; balancing a lot of work with training.”

“I don’t know what the best thing about racing with PMR will be yet, but I’m excited to be riding with an established group of experienced guys. Grateful to Paul Morton for the opportunity and looking forward to doing some good work for the team and building some wattage cottages.”

1. How did you get into cycle racing …
Isaac: I saw a local paper ad for Eastway cycle circuit in 2005, and started going along to Lea Valley Youth CC’s Saturday training. This led to some Crystal Palace crits, racing the Beastway series both at Eastway and Hainault, and eventually into 4X mountain biking, which I did for nearly 7 years. I made the switch back while at Oxford mostly because of the lack of opportunity to race down mountains.

2. What’s your favourite discipline in cycling?
Isaac: Doing it less now but definitely roasting round a bowl on a BMX. Nothing like it. Unfortunately there’s nothing like it for injuries either so I’ve reined it in a bit these days.

3. What is the best thing about bike racing?
Isaac: I think the best thing about racing is getting to apply the skills and all the work you do on a bike. I love smashing around, exploring and pinning corners, but once you’re in a race you realise what it’s all for and that leads back into your general riding.

4. What was the highlight of 2016 for you and why?
Isaac: It has to be the National Hill Climb. I thought about it all year and was just so happy it all went smoothly, there’s a multitude of little things that could have gone wrong but nothing did. I felt like I produced the ride I was aiming for, was stunned to come away with silver and so pleased for Adam Kenway. To have so many people out supporting was a huge privilege, the whole weekend went off.

5. What was your favourite/most fun race of 2016
Isaac: British University CS road race back in May was a great race. It was full gas all day, super hot, super berg-filled circuit, suffered a lot but it was worth it. Having some Oxford Uni CC boys supporting/bottles was a massive help and added to the joie de vivre, and we came away with some decent results.

6. What was the toughest race of 2016 for you and why?
Isaac: The Victor Berlemont Trophy was definitely up there. Patrick Kavanagh has been doing a great job running the longest Nat B in the UK and it was just brutal. I also rode like an idiot. Clocked some all-time power PBs for my eventual dribbling in last. Half the field sacked it off, we got pulled a lap early and he’s added another lap for 2017, taking it to 180k…

However, I do think it’s really good to have challenging races at a level below the Premier Calendar, to try and reduce the step up. It also seems like the UK has lost a lot of historic races in the last few years, like the Archer GP and Winnats Pass HC, due to the difficulty posed by increasing traffic levels, and it’s nice to see one event starting back up and getting to use good roads for several hours.

7. If there was one thing you learned most in 2016 to help you go faster/better, what was that?
Isaac: The most productive thing I learnt this year was how to avoid hill climber’s existential crisis, which hits about 2/3rds of the way through and calls on you to quit, because you’ve already got it wrong and anyway isn’t this cycling lark awful.

8. What is the best piece of equipment (clothing/bike/gadget) to do with racing you are proud of most?
Isaac:I’ve got a stem that’s been on my mountain bikes for the past nine years, after I won it in my first 4X race. It’s seen a lot, that stem, and somehow isn’t broken.

9. What is your warm up routine for races – rollers or turbo? Music or no music?
Isaac: If I’m able to take my rollers, then those, they’re an absolute must for hill climbs. Occasionally music but really depends on my mood. At road races I might just spin around and it’s nice to talk to people, whereas for HCs it’s all about concentration.
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10. Will you stay in the UK to prepare for next season during the winter or get in a training camp or two abroad to get in some serious miles?
Isaac:I’ll just stay at home working for the next couple of months, but heading out to Spain (Calpe, where else) in February with the team. Bit of a relief from the weather, and proper hills.

11. When will you start training for 2017 and what comes first – long steady miles or a mix of miles and efforts?
Isaac: The hill climb season took us to the end of October and then in November I did a lot of commuting, junk and the odd bash around, so I’m only just starting structure again. Trying a mix of things to get a good base, the only thing I’m not doing currently is hill reps and real top end stuff – plenty of time for that.

12. What are the goals for 2017?
Isaac:I think like a lot of people I could say like, get round a prem, (try and) win a Nat B, etc. etc., but the main thing is just hopefully to keep progressing and be happy both with and during my riding. However, there are a few races I’ve drawn a red circle around.

13. Does winter training consist only of riding the bike or running/swimming/gym work (cross training)
Isaac: I went swimming once last week and absolutely hated it, I’m terrible at swimming. So no more of that. I do regular low-key gym and physio stuff at home so keeping on with that, and I work a pretty physical job in a theatre so that keeps me moving around and lifting stuff.

14. Finally, what have you learnt over the years to best deal with the winter months on a bike!
Isaac: That without October, November, December, January, February, March, April and May in the UK, that first ride with no base layer or gloves in June wouldn’t be quite so special. Hold that thought for the next 6 months!



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