Free from the constraints of professional bike racing, Victoria Pendleton has admitted she would love to get back to mountain biking and even to try BMXing after retiring from competitive action.
The Olympic gold medallist called time on her track cycling career following London 2012, but revealed her love for all things two-wheeled in an interview.
“I would love to get on the BMX track too, the one at the velodrome is amazing but Shanaze Reade (Team GB BMX rider) took me up on the ramp once and I was like, “No I don’t think so!” I had to hold onto the railing on the way down again. It’s a mind-blowing sport.”
The demands placed on a Olympic athlete extend to their activities away from their sport, and Pendleton revealed she was banned from extreme sports like skiing when training.
“I love winter sports,” continued Pendleton. “I used to dream about going skiing as a cyclist, I used to literally dream about it, because I learnt how to ski then it was banned when I was training.
“I also lived in Switzerland for 18 months and for 12 of those months I lived in a ski resort.”
But were those sacrifices worth it? An incredible haul of Olympic medals and world championship titles suggests so.
And when asked what was her most significant achievement was on the bike, Pendleton was torn between two.
“It’s a difficult decision between my first World Title in 2005 and my Olympic gold at London 2012.
“I would have retired in 2008 after my gold at the Beijing Olympics, but you can’t pass up an opportunity to perform on home turf.”
Gold and silver medals followed at the Olympic velodrome, before Pendleton managed to catch Mo Farah running for gold on the last day of track and field – an “incredible” experience.