Detective Clare is back in the saddle
MEMORIES of chasing burglars on her bicycle were never far from the mind of a Bedford -based detective at the weekend.
Because Detective Chief Superintendent Clare Simon was in the saddle again, competing against some of the UK’s leading cyclists at the Women’s British Time Trial Championship.
And as the 46-year-old finished 18th, clocking up a time of 55 minutes 53 seconds on the 20.9-mile course, she admitted that being on the bike often reminded her of her early days as a police officer.
She said: “When I was a PC in Luton, before I had the authority to drive a panda car I used to ride around the streets on a push bike.
“It was a great way to catch burglars, not least because you can get to places on a bike that you can’t reach in a car.
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“It also helps that you’re very quiet too.
“Those were great days.”
Clare, who lives just outside of Bedford, is currently head of crime for Beds Police and is based at the force headquarters in Kempston.
On Sunday she was competing against the likes of current national champion Julie Shaw, and Olympic hopefuls Wendy Houvenaghel and Rebecca Romero.
The event was a time trial, with competitors setting off a few minutes apart.
She said: “There was a big age range of people competing in the time trials, most of whom were younger than me.
“But unlike a race directly against other cyclists, it’s often an advantage to be older because stamina is the key in time trialling, rather than explosive power.
““I was really exciting but hard work – all I’ve done for a while is work, train, eat and sleep.”
Clare is currently leading the season’s Northamptonshire and District Time Trial Ladies Series which finishes in mid-September.
She is also a co-founder with her husband of iCycle, a 130-strong cycling club based in Bedford which welcomes all ages and standards of cyclists, from the strictly social to the super-fit.
A third of iCycle’s members are women.
Find out more details online at www.icycle.cc