They say that you never forget how to ride a bike, but how did you learn in the first place?

Katie Archibald answers all this and more with the first of our cyclist’s schooldays feature.

In the first of a two-parter, Katie discusses her childhood coaches, school sporting memories and which sports, other than cycling of course, she played as a kid in Scotland.

So without further ado, here she is, world omnium and reigning Six Day London champion, Katie Archibald…

What school did you attend?

I started off at Milngavie Primary, then went to Glasgow Academy and finally Douglas Academy, which is also in Milngavie.


What are your earliest sporting memories?

In school, we had a competition to see who could ride the bike the slowest, and I ended up not taking my feet off the pedals and falling sideways to create a massive gash on my knee. I don’t even think I won!

Who was your sporting hero growing up?

Most people have someone they watch on the telly, but mine was my brother, John. I wanted to be like the bigger kids and be competitive with the person who I thought was the best of the lot. You can only aspire to be within reach of what’s there. I caught some very bad fashion choices from him though!

When did you first realise you had a talent for your sport?

The first racing I did was handicapped, so I got a massive head-start and loads of wins in the bag – I made it look easy!

What are your favourite sporting memories at school?

I loved being part of the school hockey team, there was such a social side to it and for me that’s how you go about keeping people in the sport. I’d love to rejoin some clubs when I’m older!

What are your worst sporting memories at school?

I ended up being the only person who would ever say yes to running 1500m. It meant I got some glory by accident – there was nobody else on the start line, but it’s a long way when you’re a teenager.

What other sports did you play and to what standard?

When I was really young I used to try everything, I did gymnastics and trampolining until swimming took over when I was 12 or 13. I did freestyle dance for a while too, and even a bit of ballet when I was really small.

Who were your inspirational coaches at school?

My hockey teacher, Mrs Crawford, was one of those people who you would write about in a children’s book. She was fierce, but fair, and she was one of the role models I have.