Paul Buckley - Ultra Cyclist

Tell us about yourself and your cycling or adventuring achievements?
Three years ago I entered the world of ultra-cycling, I needed to escape the conventional cycling merry-go-round. I was attracted to the thrill and adventure of unsupported racing. I’ve since twice raced across Europe in the Transcontinental Road Race and loved the challenge and the incredible experiences it brings. I’m still looking for that elusive answer to how far I can go on how little sleep. In 2017 I’m planning to take on the Transcontinental Road Race again and the Transatlantic Way Race.

What are your favourite things to do on the bike?
Occasionally I like being a cycling hobo, which generally involves riding through the day, riding through the night, sometimes cold, sometimes in the rain. Sleeping roadside, sometimes hotels. Waking up in a different town or city, seeing new things, meeting new people, laughing for no reason, crying, speaking to one’s self many times, eating ice cream at seven in the morning and eating cold pizza for breakfast all of which is a slice of everyday life for a long distance cyclist. That's a big list of favourites.

Where is the most exciting place you've ridden your bike?
Crossing the steep gravel valleys of the spectacular Sutjeska National Park in the Serbian Republic of Bosnia Herzegovina on a road bike. Very hot, wild, barren and remote with nothing but the sound of crickets for hours on end.  I made it but boy was it hard.

What is your goal in life, cycling or otherwise?
At one time I thought I was superman and I could conquer the world. My perspective has changed now I’m 58yrs old. Life is short and I want to do what I can before it’s too late. I don’t have any brag worthy goals, but I’ll keep being passionate about what I do, keep myself fit and keep on challenging myself to greater heights, hopefully I’ll be able to inspire one or two people along the way. So no plans to put on my slippers, put my feet up and enjoy a more relaxing and sedentary lifestyle just yet.

Who are your sporting heroes?
Mike Hall, a lifetime adventure cyclist known for racing the longest and hardest endurance competitions available without a support team. One hard-core rider!

Tell us how you know spokes of Bagshot?
Olly the bike mechanic…he’s ‘the bee’s knees’!

What does being a spokes ambassador mean to you?
Being a spokes ambassador fills me with both pride and excitement. There’s nothing better than supporting your local bike shop. I love the fact that you can pop into spokes and talk shop, discuss cycling experiences with pretty much anybody, and exchange knowledge and expertise in a bike-passionate setting. I hope in some way I can help make a difference and watch spokes develop and grow. There’s nothing better than doing your bit to help put the world on a bike.

If you had one piece of advice for someone new to cycling what would it be?
Get out there and just ride. Everything else comes after that, and nothing can possibly come before it.