This month’s Q & A is with Lincsquad’s coach and Committee member Steve Cannings.
I managed to catch up with Steve and within a matter of seconds was reminded of his love for the sport and all things velo. An extra in Dallas??? I didn’t see that coming!
Cycling has now become a hugely popular past time in this country, but this hasn’t always been the case. How did you find yourself getting involved in the sport?
I remember precisely the moment I fell in love with cycling, I was 11 years old and a teacher took our class out of school to watch something called ‘The Milk Race’ which was passing through Saxilby where I lived at the time. I had no idea what it was? I knew nothing about bike racing and I’d never seen anything like it, the noise, the colours, the speed, (outside of getting married and having children) was the best thing I’d ever seen until I stood on the Col De La Croix De Fer in 2012 and watched Brad Wiggins ride by in yellow on his way to winning the Tour De France. I still get goose bumps thinking about both those moments.
Why a Cycling Coach and in particular Lincsquad?
I’ve ridden my bike for as long as I can remember but didn’t think about coaching until my son Torin got involved with track cycling in 2006. I started helping out as he got more involved and we both joined Lincsquad in 2009. In 2010 I took my first cycling coaching qualification and got my Level 2 coaching award from British Cycling. Since then I’ve also gained the Level 2 track and Level 2 Road and Time Trial coaching qualifications. I’ve been hugely privileged to coach with some of the very best coaches in the world as part of my involvement with the British Cycling National Schools of Racing on both track and road, the people who coached the superstars of tomorrow. Seeing riders racing on the world stage who you’ve had even the tiniest part of their development is really quite something. However, perhaps the most rewarding part of coaching is seeing that very first race that someone rides and the look on their face when they finish. Then you know they’ve got it and many of them will stay in love with the sport forever – that’s really special. Lincsquad has always been a great club, friendly, encouraging and inclusive, I think it’s greatest strength is the fact that despite its growth and now huge size as a club, everyone is still genuinely welcome. We may have some brilliant athletes in the club, but no one is ever looked down on or left out regardless of their ability. I’m probably a good example of that. I’d never thought of doing a triathlon, always viewed them as something for hard-core tough guys. But when I finally had a go at the Brigg Sprint I immediately got the bug and knew I wanted to do more. There’s no way I would have ever done one triathlon, let alone as many as I have (and also Quadrathlons), if it wasn’t for the support you get from fellow Lincsquadders.
What’s your preference …..Run, Bike ,Kayak, Swim? (As if we don’t know)
Thought you might say that, So where’s your favourite place to ride?
I need to grab more than one! Mallorca is cycling heaven, riding in the Alps is almost a cycling pilgrimage for a fan like me, the day Torin and I rode Les Deux Alps in the wheel prints of Marco Pantani remains one of my greatest days on a bike. Lastly Quibell Park track – it’s a magical place.
Proudest Sporting Achievements,
Supporting Torin the first time he rode at the National Track Championships, to see your son on the track warming up with Jason Kenny, Chris Hoy and a bunch of other Olympic and World Medalists is beyond special. I shed more than a few emotional tears that day.
Best advice received and by whom?..
Technique first, speed second. Jamie Staff.
What has life taught you that you can pass on to your children?
Have a lot of respect for yourself then you’ll show the same for others. Try not to worry too much about what folks think of you. If someone doesn’t like you very much there’ll be plenty of other people that do.
Your Sporting hero/inspiration?
Eddy Merckx – hard as nails, smooth as silk a cycling genius.
Something not many people know about you?
I once starred in an episode of Dallas as an extra.
Your dream job?Director Sportive of a Pro Tour cycling team, preferably an Italian one
3 x Dream dinner party guests.
Eddy Merckx, Jimmy Page, Vic Reeves – reckon that’ll be fun.
Favourite meal and where?
Paella at Tolo’s in Port de Pollensa after a day in the sun on the bike.
Your most treasured multi-sport possession.
My Colnago road bike, she’s just beautiful.