Journal

  • Local Riders Q&A - Joey Walker

    Joey Walker is a local rider with a bright future. Son of local cycling legend Chris Walker, Joey has been working hard over the years with a set of local development teams and has been part of the British Cycling Academy. After tuning his race-craft riding with RST and the BCA (with some excellent results) this year Joey signed for Team Wiggins. 

    I once read in another interview with Joey that he likes “smelling nice aftershave” - a pretty interesting way to spend your free time! 

    As a racing cyclist, which results are you most proud of and why?

    I’m most proud of winning the Junior European Points race back in 2015. Probably because it’s the biggest race I have won and also receiving a European jersey is pretty special. 

    Which are your favourite stretches of road to ride on locally and what is it that you like about them?

    I think around Sheffield we are quite lucky with admirable roads but my favourite would have to be in the Peak District around the Hope Valley area. Lots of pleasant small lanes and climbs that are long or steep.

     The same question for roads anywhere in the world?

    This would have to go to Mallorca. I love the climbs and roads around there, perfect for riding. 

    What is your most memorable moment on the bike or involved with cycling?

    This again has to be winning the European points race as a junior. I don’t think that will leave my memory for a long time.

    Has racing affected your relationship with the bike? If so, how?

    Only when it’s really grim outside and I have to go out training for racing, whereas if I didn’t race, I’d stay in bed.

    Do you agree with Mickey Goldmill's advice to Rocky that 'women weaken legs'

    No, maybe the opposite as you can gain morale which can have a positive effect on training.

    We are in the midst of a well publicised boom in cycling in the UK at the moment. Has it affected you? Do you have any thoughts about why it has happened and whether it will continue? Do you see any negatives to the increase in popularity?

    I think it’s a very good thing that more people are involved with cycling. I can only see cycling becoming bigger in Britain with the likes of the TDY and big events like that making it more public. The only negative I can think of is new riders on the road not being properly educated with bike handling skills - this could be dangerous. But with videos like GCN this is reduced. 

    All cyclists, whether they race or not, seem to obsess over the weight of their bikes. Why do you think this is?

    To be as fast as possible either in training or racing. It's never nice being dropped so having a lighter bike helps, even if it is just in your head.

    Do you approach riding, or ride your bike, differently now to when you first got into cycling?

    Yes. I think this is because I am more serious now about training and racing, whereas when I first started it was all fun. Don’t get me wrong I still love riding my bike though.

    Who has been your favourite pro riders over the years and why?

    I’ve had a couple since I have started. My first would have been Russ Downing because watching him race Lincoln GP and winning it inspired me to get on a bike and start racing. Then as I started to gain interest in cycling I have always admired Phillipe Gilbert and his attacking nature.

    What was your favourite era of professional bike racing?

    The last couple of years with the British dominating.

    Do you think Bradley Wiggins looks cool despite his long socks or because of them?

    100%. Poetry in motion.

    Mudguards, mudguards and mudflaps or racing bike with clip on guards through winter?

    In the past I used mudguards throughout winter but now I have a nice training bike with just a smaller rear mudguard. I think it’s changing where people just don’t use them anymore.

    Do you enjoy a cafe stop or do you prefer to ride straight round?

    Growing up I never used to have cafe stops on rides. However now after training with Nathan Draper {king of cafe stops} I have the occasional stop. Only on easy rides though, never a hard training day.

    Assos, Rapha or neither?

    Rapha

    What is your favorite piece of cycling kit (either something you currently own or have in the past)?

    It has to be my Mamnick Foul-Weather Wallet. Been in some horrendous rain storms in Italy this year but my phone has always been bone dry. Do I get extra points for that answer…

    Do you prefer to get your head down on the A6, keep a good tempo going on the B roads or get onto the back wacks? What about the rough stuff on your road bike?

    I prefer to ride on the lanes as they are more scenic and there are less cars giving you grief. I do sometimes go off road on a road bike but not often. As my dad would give me the question when I arrive home “Who pays for your tyres?”.

    What do you think about Strava?

    I only use Strava on rides where I think I have got a KOM or sometimes target them for fun. 

    What do you think about Sportive rides?

    I’ve never done one but think they look great. Would definitely like to attend one in the future like the Etape de Dales.

    Do you have any cycling pet hates?

    When I get the weather wrong on a ride and I have to put clothing in my back pockets.

     

    Are there any cycling traditions that you think have been, or are being, lost as a result of changing attitudes and behaviour? And are we better off or worse off as a consequence?

    I think time off the bike for ‘Off season’ is getting shorter and shorter. My dad used to have about 3months off the bike and now the average is about 1month or less. Personally I think its best to have 3-4 weeks off for optimum gains.

    Cotton cap or helmet?

    Helmet always.

    The benefits of spinning a low gear compared to mashing a high gear is often discussed. Putting aside the serious, physiological and mechanical aspects, what cadence you think looks right?

    I think about 85 - 90 rpm looks about right. On rides I usually average around 80rpm, less if I’m feeling tired.

    White, black or coloured socks?

    White for sunny days black from rainy days.

    Frame pump or mini pump?

    Mini pump for me.

    What do you like to talk about when you are on a ride with friends/team/club mates? Do you prefer to keep the subjects lightweight or get your teeth into something contentious or controversial?

    Both. I think a bike ride is perfect to go into something deep if you need too but also rides with great banter are the best ones.

    Who would be/is your perfect tandem partner? Would you ride captain or stoker

    Me and Gabz Cullaigh have said before we would love to do a tandem 10mile TT. I think Gabz would drive and just have me on the back putting the watts down. 

     

     

    Photo of Team Wiggins riders with back to camera by Steph Bennett. 

     

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