Juliet Elliott, a name that all Europeans who started riding fixed gears around 2008 know very well. At the time, she was perhaps the only woman ambassador for the sport, riding for Charge and coming up in lots of videos we would all devour as soon as they came out. Charge was the best bike, SuperTed’s mustaches were all over the place and everyone wanted to ride freestyle like the Londoners. Europe’s take on Macaframa.
Before getting hooked on bikes – a passion she’s lucky enough to share with husband Dave Noakes – she used to be a snowboard pro rider for Burton as well as a model for Vogue Italia shooting with the likes of Mario Testino and Steven Meisel. Today she doesn’t just ride as much as she can on as many different kinds of bikes she can. She has founded the very interesting publication Coven Magazine advocating women in action sports, handles her very successful blog Bikes’n Stuff and a youtube channel too. In addition, she is on the prowl for top-ten finishes at the remaining stages of the Red Hook Crit.
Text: Michele Colucci / vimeo: michele colucci / instagram: mikelone77
You’ve really been an ambassador of the fixed gear movement basically since it started exploding. Looking back do you miss anything of those early years as a Charge sponsored messenger?
Yes, I do. When I first got into riding fixed gear bikes there was an enormous gang of us who all rode together and I made a lot of good friends. We’d spend all our time riding bikes, hanging out, partying, just enjoying ourselves. Those were fun times but we all grew up, partnered up, moved away or whatever and most of those people stopped riding bikes entirely, which was a shame. When fixed gear racing came along, the friendly scene and good times reminded me of back in the day.
How did you get into crit racing and can you tell us how your first experience went?
My first fixed gear crit was actually at the London Nocturne years ago and it sucked so much that it put me off ever trying again. There was no separate women’s race so it was me and Stefania Baldi in with a load of super fast Italians who had flown in to race. The pace was nuts from the start and having never done any training ever before at that point (plus the fact I smoked!), I only managed a couple of laps.
I didn’t decide to actually enter another crit until Trimble announced the first Red Hook Crit London and on a whim, I entered a month before, still having never done any training but having stopped smoking at least! I figured that I had little to lose seeing as it was in London – if I sucked, at least I wouldn’t have wasted loads of money.
How many bikes to you own and which is your favorite one? Have you ever crashed a bike you really loved?
Oh man, I own a lot of bikes. I’m not actually sure how many. Are you counting only completes? I have several in bits at the moment.
I don’t really have a favourite, more like I have a favourite cross bike, favourite track bike, favourite road bike. I suppose if you held a gun to my head and said I had to choose one I’d pick my road bike, the Goomah 733. Or I’d pick the mountain bike, but that’s really just because I love mountain biking. Actually, I wouldn’t pick my mountain bike as it’s just not as versatile as a road bike but put it this way, I’d be bummed if I didn’t have it.
What are your season goals?
My goal is only ever to do as well as I can and to enjoy myself. But I guess top ten finishes in Red Hook Crit would be nice and podiums at other races.
How many crits are you going to race in 2017?
Not enough. I don’t have enough money or time!
How specific has your training become in these last few years and how much has it changed?
My training has been very much crit specific for the last two years but this summer/autumn I’m racing some longer events so I’ve had to adapt what I’m doing. I’ll be competing in a three day mountain bike stage race, Glacier 360, doing Ride Across Britain in September and a 24-hour track event in October.
Cycling dreams you’d like to fulfill?
My only dream is to have more time to ride all the bikes I own. What with training and working, I don’t get to ride dirt, BMX or mountain bikes enough by far. One thing I’ve always wanted to do is to go to Ray’s MTB women’s weekend but I seriously doubt I’ll ever get there. I’d also like to do some more cycle touring, preferably in Asia. That’s it really. I’m pretty happy as I am.
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vimeo: michele colucci