Q & A: Charlie Johnston (Spokes Cycling)

Q&A with Charlie Johnston who races for the Spokes Junior Race Team in Scotland who says “the best thing about being part of Spokes is the whole team setup which is so professional”.

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Q & A: Charlie Johnston (Spokes Cycling)

Charlie races for the Spokes Junior Race Team in Scotland. He says of the team “the best thing about being part of Spokes is the whole team setup which is so professional. The fact that all of us in the team are close to one another means we all wish for each other to race well and achieve in races”.

1. How did you get into cycle racing …
Charlie: Having seen my older brother, Harry Johnston, succeed in cycling, I wanted to replicate that, so I took up cycling.

2. What’s your favourite discipline in cycling?
Charlie: Having previously tried mountain biking, which I despised, there is no doubt my favourite discipline has to be road, however I do enjoy a bit of cyclo-cross throughout the Winter months.

3. What is the best thing about bike racing?
Charlie: The atmosphere. There is nothing as exciting as coming down the finishing straight or to the summit of a climb with crowds cheering you on.

4. What was the highlight of 2016 for you and why?
Charlie: The highlight of my season this year was getting ninth in the Errigal International Youth Tour. Although I didn’t have the perfect tour, the experience gained and the overall enjoyment of racing youths from all over Europe was fantastic.

5. What was your favourite/most fun race of 2016
Charlie: The Ingliston season starter was my favourite this season as it was the first indication I had that I was going to have a successful season. Also, all of the Scottish mountain bikers raced so it was fun to smash them – well some of them!

6. What was the toughest race of 2016 for you and why?
Charlie: The toughest race was the Youth Tour of Scotland as during the first stage I punctured meaning I had to chase solo and then a bunch crash during stage three left me feeling sore for the remainder of the tour.

7. If there was one thing you learned most in 2016 to help you go faster/better, what was that?
Charlie: To believe in myself. Having previously doubted myself when racing, I found myself being spat out the back, however once I gained confidence in myself, I began to win races and succeed.
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8. What is your warm up routine for races – rollers or turbo? Music or no music?
Charlie: My warm up usually consists of efforts on the rollers however it varies depending on the race and course. Music is a must for me when warming up.

9. When will you start training for 2017 and what comes first – long steady miles or a mix of miles and efforts?
Charlie: For me, keeping efforts going throughout Winter is a way of keeping focused but are never as full on as summer efforts. Long miles are essential – especially when going from youth to junior.

10. What are the goals for 2017?
Charlie: My goals for the 2017 season are: Win at least three road races, get a top five at Scottish Junior road race championships and gain my Cat2 licence.

11. Does winter training consist only of riding the bike or running/swimming/gym work (cross training)
Charlie: The majority of the work is done on the bike, although much of the work for me is also gym work, consisting of core and other exercises.

12. Finally, what have you learnt over the years to best deal with the winter months on a bike!
Charlie: Listen to music and explore. I just ride some roads I haven’t done previously and just enjoy myself, often going KOM hunting is my preferred option just to keep things interesting!

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