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MK Customer Spotlight March 2019

To celebrate National Women's Day we wanted to launch our new monthly feature - MK Cycles Customer Spotlight, honoring our lovely customers and their achievements. As this month not only celebrates National Women's Day but also Mothers Day we wanted to share Sam's story. Sam is such an inspirational lady who has some hilarious cycling-related stories.

Name: Sam Leliuga (Grange)

What Bike(s) do you have?

I have a Scott sportster p1 hybrid (Penelope), BMC Streetfire ssx01 (Dave), Dolan Ares (the one I use now, Frankie)

When did you start cycling?

I started cycling seriously in 2012 when I signed up for IMUK 2013. Before then I’d only ridden Penelope a handful of times since buying her in 2009. I ride as much as my training plan says haha. About 3-4 times per week a mixture of indoors and outdoors.

Where is your favourite place to cycle?

My favourite place to ride is over Belmont and round Tockholes as you can get some good speed up and the ever-present headwind especially on the hills is good training.

How long have you been coming to MK Cycles?

I’ve been coming to MK Cycles since 2012 when you were on Tonge Moor Road

Do I have a funny story?

I’ve got a raft of idiocies. You mean like the first year I did Ironman and after falling off so many times as I kept forgetting to unclip, I decided that to alleviate the stress I’d just cycle round with one-foot clipped in - even on race day. Put it this way at least I didn’t have the panic of not being able to unclip going up Sheephouse Lane haha.

The first time I got a puncture I couldn’t remember how to do it so had to YouTube at the side of the road on Jolly Tar Lane. Doing the Ironman loop again I fell off at the bottom of Hunters Hill the second time I’d ever tried it and sat there and cried, I wanted the ground to swallow me up and become invisible. Except of course I was clad in hi vis and sat in a sorry heap so attracted the attention of everyone cycling past.

Oh... The first and only time I’ve ever seen The Rake in Ramsbottom when I was cycling with Martin doing the Bolton Bash loop. I have never laughed so much in all my life at the handrail ON A HILL!! Omg, even the pedestrians need a handrail to walk up it, there was no way I could cycle up, the first half was hard enough. I couldn’t even see with tears of laughter, let alone breath as Martin zoomed off cycling like a demon and I was left pushing Frankie up. Horrific! (Have you ever seen it??)

The time I fell off stationary at the end of my road waiting to turn right onto Tonge Moor Rd and my neighbour came over to me whilst I was upside down and still clipped in and said, 'are you alright love?'. I had to get up and carry on going for another 70 miles with a bloody knee. I’ve still got a scar now.

Or what about the one when I came into your shop with Melody think it was last year and couldn’t believe that she was cycling around with no inner tubes, but it was okay as she had a candle! Haha.

When you’re a female cyclist obviously having a tree wee isn’t as easy as when you’re a guy, you’ve got to find a nice bush to hide behind away from the road. I had a spot where I would go at the top of Jolly Tar Lane, I thought it was a cracking spot hidden away, even when there were no leaves on the trees. Mel and I did what we needed to do and then decided we'd have something to eat whilst stopped anyway, we even took a few pictures etc and so arranged bikes accordingly so we could stand with them and then we spotted the sign... Holy moley. It was fluorescent saying ‘smile you’re on camera’ stating that fly tippers would be caught. We thought we were being discreet, yet we could’ve been flashing our intimate parts to a live feed lens. Oh we laughed as I’ve been using that part of the field for years!!

Fuelling whilst out riding is really individual and not long after meeting Melody, probably the second time we met up at the sailing club at the top of Belmont Village and she was telling me what she had in her bottles. One was filled with this brown stuff up to the top which turned out to be caffeine gels as someone had told her to do it. The face she made when she gagged trying it... I was bent over laughing, think it was funnier that she'd not even tried it at home, she was taking what everyone said as gospel. We still had 50 miles to cycle and all I could hear was retching behind me every time she took a swig haha!!

What is your goal this year?

 say every year that I’m going to get better on the hills, or should I say more efficient. I’m usually a grinder (not that dating app haha) powering up the hills rather than spinning up. It gets on my nerves when I see people fly past me with no effort, I feel like pushing them into a bush. I’m so jealous. I want to be that person. I’ve put effort in this year over the winter on the turbo doing more of mix of big gear power and higher cadence, I might be too scared to try it reality and revert back to what I’m comfortable with, but only time will tell.