Bicycl Featured Rider - Sabrina Wharton-Brown

Who is the Bicycl Featured Rider?

The Bicycl Featured Rider could be a person that all of us know. The Featured Rider could be a friend, a stranger, maybe even a pro. They represent Bicycl and share our passion for cycling. One thing for sure, the Featured Rider loves to ride. Would you like to be featured too? Reach out.

This week, Sabrina Wharton-Brown is our Featured Rider. From York, the lovely cyclist shares with us her dream ride (yet to be built!), her goals and how her love for cycling came about. At Bicycl Asia, we love knowing more women cyclist and it's great we get to interview Sabrina.

Words & Photos - Sabrina Wharton-Brown

Name: Sabrina Wharton-Brown
Lives: York, England
Dream Bike: I haven’t found it yet; it probably hasn’t been made. It would be a French mixte with an 8-speed hub, Brooks saddle and grips, v-brakes, front basket, magnetic dynamo lights, fully enclosed chain case, a good kickstand, a hidden bike like on Gazelle bikes, pannier rack with folding baskets.

Favourite local ride: York Solar System Route. It’s beautiful in the Autumn and the Summer. It takes me maybe 1.5-2 hours to complete it one way. It’s a scale model of the Solar System. It starts with the Sun, and every so often there is a model planet on a stand, all to scale, with some information about the real planet.

My current cycling goal is… to be more confident cycling through cycle barriers, to average 15-18 mph. I currently max at about 20mph. I want to be faster and stronger so that I can keep up with other cyclists and ride with my cyclist friends without getting out of breath. I’d also love to be able to bunny hop and do wheelies.

When I am on the bike… I am free and independent. I love going fast; I get a rush from it, and a sense of accomplishment if I maintain a high speed, especially uphill, or if I negotiate a tricky bend. I like to go on exploratory
rides and take a pack lunch with me. I can see the villages surrounding York that way. I can go to the peace of the country side and get real fresh air. It’s an escape from technology for a while, and I feel more alive because of it.

How did your love for bikes come about? I used to have a bad knee. The muscle in my left thigh was so atrophied
that I couldn’t even lift my leg a foot off the ground, and its being so weak meant that the knee joint took all the impact when I walked. My knee swelled up and I couldn’t bend my leg all the way. Running was hard, and I often limped. I taught myself to ride a bike (aged 24) partly as part of my physiotherapy; cycling is very low-impact on the joints, but builds up the muscles. Now I can walk and run and easily use stairs. The swelling has gone. My bike has given me my freedom in this way too.

I also like the Cycle Chic movement. It’s a huge part of my college work as a fashion design student. I often design urban cycling wear for women. It’s important to get more people riding bikes as part of normal everyday life. It’s good for them, it’s good for the economy, it’s good for the environment (both ecologically and in the sense of a nice living environment). It just makes sense, and it feels good. What’s not to love?

Share a cycling memory:

I love to ride because… It’s faster than walking, free, good for me, I can go wherever I want, and riding a bike is FUN! :)

In the busy seasons I work at a bike shop in York. It seems to be a rule that people who ride bikes are nicer, cooler, and generally better-looking than those who don’t. They’re also more intelligent. I don’t think I’ve ever met a stupid cyclist.

One reason I love working at the bike shop is the people. It’s like having a second family! I just love them! :) Of course the bikes are cool too, and the customers. It’s nice to get to know them as they come back again and again, and you build up relationships with them. You don’t get that with online shops, but you do with your LBS.

Plus, I think I look cooler and more stylish on a bike. :)

Thank you Sabrina for the chat and sharing of your experience. We hope that you enjoy this new series. Know of any cyclist whom you wish to see featured? Let us know!