WATT WORKS FOR ME: Bithja Jones
CYCLING WEEKLY|October 21, 2021
The reigning national hill-climb champ talks about defying pain, age and gravity
You didn’t buy your first road bike until 2018, and two years later you were national hill-climb champion. How did you make such fast progress?

I think it’s because I literally cycle everywhere: it’s my main mode of transport. I don’t even own a car. I cycle to get my shopping, to take my kids to school, to get to work, every single day: 100-200km every week just getting from A to B. So I didn’t start from zero – cycling for transport had given me a base level of fitness.

What initially motivated you to get competitive?

After buying my first proper carbonfibre road bike from Pankhurst Cycles [in Reading] – which is also the club I ride for – I started posting my rides on Strava. The first comments were from the guys at the shop who said, “You keep beating times set by Emma Grant [MassiTactic Women Team]”. I realised I was particularly fast going uphill, but I was literally just having fun on my bike! I was only using a GPS watch, so had no idea of my speed as I was riding along – I was just enjoying having a light bike for the first time.

In February you told CW that you don’t use a heart rate monitor, power meter, or have a coach. Is that still true?

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM CYCLING WEEKLYView All

The six BIGGEST irritants of MODERN bicycle design

Which areas of bike design could do with... a little bit of tidying up Michelle Arthurs-Brennan shares her thoughts…

7 mins read
CYCLING WEEKLY
December 02, 2021

Specialized S-Works Crux £10,750 | 6.9kg

Is racing still the core principle of the Crux? Hannah Bussey finds out

7 mins read
CYCLING WEEKLY
December 02, 2021

WINTER NUTRITION FUEL THE FIRE

Getting the most out of your winter training means making sure you are optimally fuelled for every ride. Joe Laverick investigates the specific demands of cold season nutrition

8 mins read
CYCLING WEEKLY
December 02, 2021

Why I'll be in Lee Valley and why you should watch

I hope, like me, you are looking forward to the UCI Track Champions League at the Lee Valley VeloPark in December. Saturday is sold out and – as I write – the Friday evening is very close to selling out too, demonstrating that, when it comes to passion for track cycling, there are few places like Britain.

1 min read
CYCLING WEEKLY
December 02, 2021

Renaissance woman

Mountain runner, hill-climber, road racer, Zwift supremo, scientist, sheep farmer… How does one person have so many talents? CW meets Mary Wilkinson

6 mins read
CYCLING WEEKLY
December 02, 2021

LAUNCH OF THE RAINBOW WARRIOR

Off-road aficionado Evie Richards no longer needs to chase rainbows. The rainbows come to her...

10 mins read
CYCLING WEEKLY
December 02, 2021

THE RACE FOR YOUTH

Young riders are signing – and winning – for the biggest teams more than ever before. CW looks at some of the challenges facing young riders in the WorldTour, and how we got here in the first place

10+ mins read
CYCLING WEEKLY
December 02, 2021

Dr Hutch

Confused about what a Non-Fungible Token is? So is the Doc, but that hasn’t stopped him considering flogging them

4 mins read
CYCLING WEEKLY
December 02, 2021

Bigham fields flood of tips on the Hour record

Brit welcomes advice as he considers venue

2 mins read
CYCLING WEEKLY
December 02, 2021

Archibald heads to London leading Champions League

Scot proves unstoppable in Lithuania, reports Vern Pitt

3 mins read
CYCLING WEEKLY
December 02, 2021