My name is Autumn Sophie Collins, I'm 22 and I live in Knockaderry Co.Limerick
How and when did you start cycling? My dad is a racer and I was always involved and he also organized races. I started racing grass track when I was u12 and then started track cycling at u14 in Dublin. I’m quite lucky that I found a sport I enjoyed at a young age and I’m glad I’ve managed to stick with it for ten years now
How have you progressed in cycling? Did you join a club, get a coach, make friends? My dad ran a club called cycling pursuits so that was my first club. I eventually moved on to a team called Torelli which was great for my development on the track, this summer I was meant to go to Belgium with Ladies Team Hoz but at the moment I’m at home for the foreseeable. I think making sure that you have a positive team/ people around you is important for progression.
Cycling is a sport that requires resilience, what resources do you use when you are at the end of your strength? I’m a sprinter so I suffer a lot during races, I just try to hang on for as long as possible and just hope I make it to the sprint, usually, when I realize it’s around 2k to go I find another kick in me but I spend a lot of time staring at my stem.
How do you define yourself today as a cyclist? As a Trackie haha
What does the woman, the cyclist Wilma, mean to you? A woman who wears Wilma is conscious of sustainability and is someone who values women in the cycling community.
Have you made any changes to your diet or lifestyle since you started cycling? When I started cycling competitively I became more conscious of my recovery and how other activities would affect my training the next day. I try to eat healthy although I’m not very good at it sometimes.
What advice would you give to a woman who wants to start cycling? Join a club, or attend a women’s only race or training day. I find that they’re less intimidating and at some training days, you can rent a bike. It’s a lot easier to attend a beginners session and meet some other women at your level
What is the most beautiful spot where you have ridden? I think Mallorca, it has some really beautiful views it has some nice flat roads which are my preference but also some nice climbs.
And the last question for the community when you go cycling in your area, do you have any nice refuel addresses to recommend to us? There are some really nice routes near by me, I like to ride to Foynes as you ride along the estuary and there are some really nice views.
Can you share with us the cycling memory that you enjoyed the most? I think my block in Belgium last year, I spent 4 weeks thereafter the European track championships and I really enjoyed it, I met some really lovely people and I did a lot of racing, probably too much racing but it really brought me on a lot and made me enjoy the road.