An Interview with Kirsty Bramley

Kirsty Bramley is a key part of Bike Box Online, and has been competing in triathlons, Ironmans and time trials for years, when she’s not helping provide cyclists across the world with bike travel boxes. She’s a BTF Level 2 coach, but her experience doesn’t mean she’s not had her scares on the bike, including a terrifying crash in 2008. We’ve interviewed her to find out more.

We understand you prefer cycling to triathlons these days – why so?

I stopped triathlons in 2010. Unfortunately, a pretty bad foot injury meant that I decided to concentrate on cycling more.

So what takes up most of your time these days?

I time trial regularly these days, and race twice a week. My fastest time for a 10 mile is 21:23 (average 28mph) and for a 25 mile it is 55:06.

What’s your preferred discipline?

I train on the bike 6 days a week. Some outdoors and some on Zwift on the turbo.

How long did it take to become a qualified BTF Level 2 coach?

About a year in total. The level 1 course is over 2 weekends and the level 3 is run on weekends over 6 months.

You’ve had a few accidents in your time – one of which led to a cameo on Helicopter Heroes – what happened and how scary was it?

Rosedale Chimney is one of the steepest hills in England at 33%. It has a sign at the top asking cyclists to dismount but I clearly didn’t think it applied to me. It was back in 2008 and it sounds stupid now but I was riding a bike where I was unable to fully pull my brake levers on. I was also in the wrong position with my hands on the top of the brakes rather than on the drops. Of course, as soon as I started descending, I found that I could not control the bike.

I hurtled towards the hairpin bend at about 50mph and just went off the edge landing about less than a metre from a stone wall. I broke my collar bone, elbow, shoulder and fractured my chest. My sunglasses smashed into my eye meaning I needed 40 stitches but overall I was feeling pretty lucky – my legs were fine so I was back on the bike within 3 months. As for being scary – I have never been back down there again!

Do you ever compete abroad? If so, how often, and do you like to take your own bike?

I go away with my bike 2-3 times a year. I always take my own bike in its Velovault box and either take it on the plane or use bagSOLO. I stopped hiring bikes when I had one holiday ruined due to a poorly fitting bike so it is great to know that I have options to take my own bike.