Feature Interview: Emily Doris Meakin

If ever there is a versatile rider it’s ‘Doris’ – Emily Meakin (The Independent Pedaler) who is not only the 25 mile time trial champion, but races abroad in Road Races and last weekend was competing in Glasgow on a Tandem… sensational Emily!

RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

Feature Interview: Emily Doris Meakin

If ever there is a versatile rider its ‘Doris’ – Emily Meakin (The Independent Pedaler) who is not only the 25 mile TT champion, but races abroad in Road Races and last weekend was competing in Glasgow on a Tandem… sensational Emily!

Her success in time trials (25 champion, equal 3rd in the 10 championship) as well as second in the closed circuit championship, has given her a reputation as a being ‘tester’ but Emily is far from that. Emily was competing in Belgium in March in road races and I have to say Emily’s palmeres sets her out as being an even more special rider than I thought she was.

Emily being very brave and letting Jonny Wale pin her number on ;-) 

So, here is VeloUK’s Q&A with this talented young lady!

1. Are you missing the racing yet?
Emily: No – I am currently still racing – as I’m focused on the track and the individual pursuit! I’ve been training in Glasgow for about eight weeks focused on track – piloting for Laura Cluxton.

2. What was the big highlight for 2019 and why?
Emily: The National 25 mile Time Trial championship – I had a goal to podium at the 10/25 – but I wasn’t brave enough to say I wanted to actually win it, and then it all came together! There’s nothing better than a win- but when you see Beryl Burton’s name on the trophy it really hits home, and being the only rider on the day to go sub 50 min was pretty special. I hadn’t quite realised how special winning the 25 was but when riders like Sean Yates explained how that it was the most prestigious Blue Ribbon event it really hits home!

3. Do you concentrate on time trialling or other disciplines as well?
Emily: This year I took a sabbatical off work which has enabled to me to go full time, so I have been road racing in Belgium for Isorex-NoAqua – so I’ve been focusing on both road and TT’s.

4. What is your favourite distance and why?
Emily: I don’t think I quite have the threshold to go deep and hard enough for a 10 so I’d say 25/50. The BC Nationals course of 17 miles was also long enough to do some damage too!

This moment will live me forever as Emily rode past me so quick it shocked me just how fast she was going …. quite incredible.

5. Do you have a favourite type of course – circuit/dual carriage way etc.
Emily: The BC Nationals course I really liked – slightly undulating I think, as I am not great at sitting at a constant power so I would rather a bit of incline to give it some gas on, then recover and go away, that seems to suit me! I really like circuits, as it brings so much more in to play, however I still have loads of improvements to make in my handling skills (the prologues in Belgium certainly worked on those).

6. What type of course do you find safer to ride on?
Emily: Closed roads 110% – I am not a risk taker – this was quite evident in the TTT – I was almost dropped at times for being over cautious – whereas open roads you can unleash hell and not have to worry about your lines etc in fear of a car getting you!

7. What event stands out for you to ride – ie, what is a must ride event for you?
Emily: All the Nationals – 10/25/50 (we couldn’t do the 50 this year due a date clash) Circuit Champs and Team Time Trial. The British Cycling National Champs is a HUGE goal for 2020!

8. How often do you like to race?
Emily: This year I have maybe over done the racing slightly – so I will reduce this slightly and target more specific races! Training races are always good though – you go so much harder with a number on your back, as well as getting familiar with your pre-race routine etc!
… continued after advert

9. Do you ride to power or feel or both?
Emily: Power – but it can do more damage as in make you a rider who is slightly conservative. I couldn’t have done what Chloe Dygert did at the Worlds – WHAT a ride – on feel, maybe I should start? HA HA!

10. You’re about to catch your minute rival – do you keep the same effort or ease back and then surge past them?
Emily: I actually caught two riders at the BC National TT Champs – it completely distracts you and you definitely go harder than you should – but that’s all part of it – and you get such an adrenaline buzz – I would never strategically hold any back! EVER!

11. Gears are getting bigger and bigger – what is the set up on your TT bike gear wise?
Emily: On our The Independent Pedaler bikes we have 60 Pyramid chain rings with 28/32 depending on how hilly it is. I love it! I am a very high cadence rider and it seems to work well for me.

12. What are your favourite tyres to race on?
Emily: According to Dan Bigham – Vittoria Graphite Tubeless 2.0

14. What have you done to make yourself as aero as you can be? (Wind tunnel/bike fit etc)
Emily: Not as much as I could, which actually fills me with confidence as I know I have loads of upgrades to make next year. I did an aero test with WattShop at Derby Velodrome however it was on my old bike, and in a non UCI legal position – so a lot has changed since then – so this year it was just on guess and a bit of fiddling to be completely honest!

15. How have you got faster in time trials overall? Is it just natural progression or specific efforts in training to be able to ride at high speeds for the distance required?
Emily: I have got faster overall – if someone had said you can do a twenty minute 10 mile time trial or a sub 50 minute 25 mile time trial this year – I would have bitten their hand off, but not quite believed it! So with the amazing kit from TIP (The Independent Pedaler) and my training, I think I have improved quite rapidly. I wouldn’t say training has been that specific for example that was only the second 25 mile time trial that I have ever done.

Emily’s bike at the 10 champs

16. Do you train on a time trial bike or both a road bike and TT bike?
Emily: BOTH – I am big believer though in as much time as possible on the TT rig – four hour rides just to get used to the position, as well as doing as many high intensity efforts on there as possible.

17. How many hours a week are you able to dedicate to training?
Emily: Completely varies – I try to get blocks of volume in (25 weeks) but then as soon as you are racing obviously you can’t do as many – that is why some races have to be training races – it all depends what your sole focus is and main goal.

… continued after advert


18. Have you ever motor paced on a TT bike?
Emily: no – I’d love to give that a bit of a go – however sitting behind John Archibald must count – he is my personal motor pacer!

19. Do you take a break from riding the bike during the season or after the racing is finished?
Emily: Sean Yates was my coach so occasionally I would take three days off. I think I did that twice this season and I had a training week in Italy where I just rode long with no efforts, so that to me is a break mentally and physically. After the track in November, I will have a few days off. I think a week of steady good fun riding is enough to give me a break, just ride for the fun of it and pure pleasure.

20. Does your training in the winter go through phases like just riding the bike to maintain fitness and then structured efforts?
Emily: I’m still quite new to this so I wouldn’t say I have definite pattern but next year I want to enter the season sharper so I will spend the winter working on my top end (as that’s my weakness) as well as building my base.

Stressed pre race – nope! Emily having a chat with the marshall who will be holding her up on the start line

21. When do you expect to start your racing in 2020?
Emily: March probably – I haven’t seen the dates yet but definitely no later than March. I will hopefully be doing track in Jan and Feb as well.

22. Finally, the team is one of the highest profile teams in time trialling – how does being part of such a strong team support you and does it help motivate you even more to bring the team more success?
Emily: Yes indeed!! I am so inspired by my team mates – as well as the girls being my biggest competitors. Myself and Joss are really close and the support she has given me has been huge. Even when we pin a number on and compete against each other – so much so that at the 10 – she wanted me to win so much – she completely forgot about herself, and then went and did that stellar ride!

Joss, Chris, Emma and Emily

In competition we are rivals but off the bike we are such a close tight knit unit – it’s something very special at The Independent Pedaler – that not everyone would be able to do, but Aaron inspires us and mentors us all so well. It’s been an incredible year and I have been so grateful to be part of a team that has revolutionised the TT scene.

It’s been history in the making without even realising it at the time. This is what is so nice about this time of year when you take a breath and you can look back at what you have achieved, rather than staying focused on the next event and what you have to do to the best!

Our thanks to Emily for that insight into her racing and time trials …


Cycle Division’s Shop

Send your results as well as club, team & event news here

Other Results on VeloUK (including reports containing results)

Other News on VeloUK