1 June 2023

~4 minutes read

CYCLING: Kate McShera Among 2023 Women’s Advocates

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CYCLING: Kate McShera Among 2023 Women’s Advocates

Cycling Ireland are delighted to announce Kate McShera as the eighth of our ten 2023 Women’s Cycling Advocates.

The series is part of Cycling Ireland’s Women In Sport ‘IT’S NOT A RACE*’ campaign that celebrates the many female cyclists who make up the broad spectrum of women who participate actively in cycling across its many forms. More information is available here.

This week’s Women’s Cycling Advocate is mountain-biker Kate McShera. From getting into cycling in British Columbia, Kate is a member of Galway MTB and has competed at Enduro events. We’re sharing her cycling story.

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Kate McShera – 2023 Women’s Cycling Advocate

Current cycling club?

Galway MTB Club

What is your current age?

34

What cycling discipline are you involved in?

Enduro/mountain biking

What age did you get involved?

Late 20’s

Why did you start cycling?

After living in British Columbia for a few years, it seemed like the natural thing to do. At the time I was mainly whitewater kayaking or skiing, so it was a nice compliment.

What has been your involvement in cycling, your story?

I went out kayaking one day and returned with an old Giant reign, as per some fairly persuasive friends! I was lucky enough to have been lent a bike here and there for Whistler Bike park days up to that point. As I hadn’t really cycled a bike since I was a kid that was interesting to say the least.

After moving back to Ireland a few years ago I got a bike on the ‘bike to work’ scheme and have been trying to check out as many of the biking spots around the country as possible. I moved to Galway in 2021 and joined my first club, (shout out to the Galway MTB club). Again, I was the victim of strong persuasion and was quickly convinced to enter my first enduro race (Grassroots enduro at Keeper Hill).

Do you have a quote that you live by or inspires you?

Something along the lines of; ‘Life is short, get outside’ sums it up.

What have been your cycling highlights?

Getting out biking on the North Shore, Squamish and Whistler, (much more accessible than you would think). Keeper Hill and Bree Grassroots races last year were class. Any of the Women’s bike events I’ve gone to, e.g. Bree MTB Club organised a day to show us around, an Enduro training day at Cahir, a ladies group spin to Clonmel etc. The energy and friendliness of everyone is always infectious.

How do you feel cycling has benefitted you?

The physical, but also mental exercise of it. Pushing through on a long climb you don’t think you’re able for. Trying something you normally walk around. It’s a constant learning curve and also a great way to clear the head.

What is your favourite thing about cycling?

It’s fun! Also, that feeling you get when you manage to successfully ride down something that intimidates or scares you. There can definitely be a lot of last minute braking as part of the process!?

What would you say to other females who may be interested in cycling?

If you have even the slightest bit of an interest, definitely pursue it. Everybody feels they are ‘too slow’, or might ‘hold others back’. But the reality is the community is so supportive, want everyone to be involved and to enjoy themselves. Start at the beginning! No-one is an immediate expert in anything

How do you feel about becoming a Cycling Ireland Women in Sport Advocate?

One of my friends had sent me the link and said, I quote; ‘Apply and don’t give me any self-deprecating reason for why you shouldn’t’. So I am honoured, with a hint of imposter syndrome. I’m by no means the fastest or most accomplished at biking, but I love it and hope to share the stoke with others.

What is your * when it comes to the IT’S NOT A RACE* campaign?

For inspiration, Ruth’s is “It’s big energy and equal opportunity”, Summer’s is “it’s up, down, and elbow to elbow”, Lucy’s is “It’s new skills and good times” and Lara’s is “Until I’m on the start line”

‘It’s fun times and spicy lines’.

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