Friendship, Rivalry and Safe Cycling

Friendship, Rivalry and Safe Cycling

Friendship, Rivalry and Safe Cycling

We’ve all known for a few years now that team member Rachel was the safest cyclist in Wales, in 1996. Well, we got a little extra insight into that story today.

It turns out, that Rachel was in stiff competition for years with her best friend Laura. Every year, the two friends engaged in a battle to the death (technically I suppose not quite ‘death’) to claim supreme safe cycling victory – the number one spot – the Safest Cyclist in Wales.

It doesn’t take much imagination to realise that at the tender age of 12, this must have torn great rifts in their relationship, and a dark, deceptive rivalry must have been born between the friends.

For years they must have tirelessly practised their craft. Waking up early every morning and going through the ritual of strapping on the knee pads and elbow pads, dusting off the helmet and putting on the reflective vest before venturing out onto the road to hone their safety skills, all in strict secrecy from their best friend (and greatest rival!).

Laura must have put in the extra hours of practice, for she scooped the big prize every year. Years later, she probably gave an emotional interview to a documentary crew reliving the most difficult days of the ordeal and it must bring tears to her eyes to think of the scars, the hurt, the pain she went through on her rigorous routine to develop such a high level of safe cycling.

Rachel Way - Safest Cyclist in Wales 1996
Rachel on the left with her trophy

Then, in 1996, it all changed. After years of being in second place, the underdog, our hero, Rachel, gave it everything. Cycling more safely than she ever had before, acknowledging and respecting all the rules of the highway code, she took safe cycling to a new level and claimed the big prize!Although there were smiles in the photo, I imagine that the tears must have been flowing for hours afterwards. Rumour has it that the best friends never spoke again and now are both well respected safe cycling consultants, educating children the world over with their years of experience (well, perhaps in their spare time).

On the other hand, some say that they were best friends forever and they didn’t let their tense rivalry get in the way of their friendship. I’m not sure I believe that, do you?

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