Vera Ngosi-Sambrook grew up in Malawi and played football as a youngster and into her 20s. But over the last five years, Vera's life has changed, thanks to cycling. She won the first Ultra Distance Scholarship and within 6 months she went from being a leisure cyclist to completing a 2,000km self-supported bike packing race. She's passionate about getting more people into cycling from a diverse range of backgrounds and she's an absolute joy to chat to.
00:00 Vera talks about growing up as a Tomboy in Malawi and what family life was like. "My childhood was full of love, full of family." And why football was the sport she got into and got on with.
03:00 How she got into cycling through her husband encouraging her to get on a tandem. When I started cycling I didn't have a bike. "It's crazy to think 5 years ago, I didn't have a bike and now cycling has become a huge part of my life."
06:00 Taking the step to join a cycling club after buying her first city bike.
09:00 How the Ultra Distance Scholarship revolutionised her life and took her from being a leisure cyclist to an ultra cyclist. Her thoughts when she won it and was faced with doing a 200km ultra race 6 months down the line. She explains how those 6 months were and how she found the whole process.
17:00 Being on the start line of the Pan Celtic race, having 2,000km ahead of her. If she slept in BnBs or in a bivvy. If she went into it thinking 'I need to cycle x amount each day,' the times she wanted to quit and how she felt closing in on the finish line.
26:00 Post-event blues - how she dealt with it and planned around it.
32:00 Don't compare yourself to others on the start line of a race.
33:00 The work Vera's doing to get a more diverse range of people on bikes.
36:00 How Vera's life has changed due to cycling - she is leaving a comfortable job and knows she will survive. It's far more than sport.
38:00 Going back to Malawi and cycle touring in her home country. 'I learnt so much, I went to places that are inaccessible normally by car.
Find out more about this week's guest:
Vera Ngosi Sambrook Instagram
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