The irrepressible Kerry MacPhee smashed the winter monotony of training without competition by jetting off to Turkey for a C1 race.
Traditionally athletes spend all winter long, in their off-season, training hard in preparation for the coming campaign but Kerry has been so eager to get the miles in her legs ahead of the 2016 season she made the trip across Europe off her own back.
Buoyed by a recent impressive performance and result in Portugal which saw her land points and a podium, Kerry got on her bike again for a solo voyage into the unknown.
But the Kilphedar flier insists this will be her last road trip until the new season starts early next year.
“Winter gets boring as an athlete as it’s just getting the base miles in but, in my quest to improve my grid position for next year, I came to Turkey, on my own and despite being gridded 9th today, I’m so chuffed to have got on the podium,” explained Kerry.
“It was a C1 race so good points, I feel lady luck was on my side majorly once again!”
Cycling superstar Macphee, who is famously the first and to date only Western Isles athlete to represent Scotland at the Commonwealth Games, says she is far from peak fitness at the moment but these trips offer invaluable added experience despite the apprehension of making the trip alone.
“I hadn’t intended to come on my own but my usual race support so against the better judgement of many I was back on my own in a very foreign country, racing unfit and hoping to goodness other girls didn’t have the same idea as me. How gutted was I to be gridded 9th then?
“However, I shouldn’t have been so down on myself and am so chuffed and hugely relieved! It was a bit of a gamble and I was nervous about coming to a country that shares over 500km of its border with Syria but I have to say, the race organiser was brilliant.
“He found some guys to help me in the pits, it was well organised and even when I got a flat car tyre on the way down the hill from the race, the Turks that stopped to help me were amazing!
“I should add that I can change a tyre myself but the tool to take the nuts off was missing!”
Despite making the trip to one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations and one blessed with stunning weather at this time of year Kerry laughs as she admits she had no opportunity to take advantage of the facilities.
“The weather has been amazing, a bit too hot for me racing today but I got through it, and there is a beach five steps from my hotel but I didn’t set one foot on that or a sun lounger,” she said.
“I was there to get a job done ... plus it gets dark really early at like 5pm so I actually didn’t have the chance! This time I’m staying put until next year. It’s painful racing when not in form, so I’ll continue with winter training and get sharp in time for the 2016 season.”
Kerry would like to extend her continued thanks and appreciation to everyone who has helped her but a particular big shout out to Rock and Road Cycles and also Jo Walters Trust who supplied Kerry with new wheels which she rode for the first time.