I remember my first 50; it was a 2:27 0n the Fife course in 1973 and I think I rode 79” fixed — I was in pain for days after it. Michael Nicholson of Dooleys in first ’50’ returned a 1:51 and it took him to the Scottish title on a wind swept Saturday night along the banks of the Cromarty Firth.
We thought we’d better have a word with the man.
Tell us a little about yourself, Michael.
“I’m 23, from Inverness and I’m a full time student, studying electronic engineering at Glasgow University.
“I first got into the bike three or four years ago; I did the Highland Cross duathlon, really enjoyed the cycling part and it all stemmed from there.
“I didn’t join a club for the first year I was at Uni but then I joined the Glasgow Wheelers.”
I believe you approached Endura about a ride.
“Kind of; at the end of last season I was looking to join a new club, I heard that Endura were taking folk on, I approached them but they never got back to me.
“In the meantime I spoke to Paul Rennie and he suggested Dooleys; I joined but then in January, Endura came back to me — I think it was when they were running up against the UCI age limitations — and asked me if I wanted to join, but I said “no” because I was already organised with Dooleys.”
Isn’t Dooleys largely time trial oriented?
“Yes, but we have Paul Rennie, Stuart McGregor, Graeme McGarrity and Arthur Doyle rides the road too – so it’s not a bad road presence.”
What about your drift in direction; road to time trials?
“It’s not really a change of direction; I just want to try a bit of everything.
“I’m all right at time trials, but the road is still my main aim.”
Was the 50 a big goal?
“Not really, we came back from that stage race in France and I hadn’t really thought about what I was riding after that.
“The 50 struck me as a kind of roadies distance.”
What was the 50 game plan?
“Just to see what happened, it was a complete unknown to me, I’d never ridden one before, in fact, I’ve only ridden a couple of 25’s.
“I had no idea how to pace it, people said to me; “just go out hard and suffer back” — so that’s what I did!”
You rode home today; Inverness to Glasgow — 200 miles?
“No, no, it’s only 165 or so.
“I did it in around 8:35; I like big runs, especially on roads that are new to me.”
Are you riding the 100 and 12?
“No, I could hardly sit down after 25 or 30 miles last night; I think a 100 would knock off all chances of me ever having kids!”
The road race champs?
“Yes, I’d like to go well but there’s pretty much no chance, Endura have nine guys and now they have Ross Creber and Evan Oliphant that makes it even harder.”
The future, the Commonwealth Games?
“My future is on the road but I think that the time trial is a more obvious route for me; Scottish Games selection criteria is two top three places in Premiers for the road or two top three places in Rudy Project events for the time trial.
“I think that there’s little chance of a two Premier podiums, but the Rudys are a different prospect.”
And what about the continent?
“Yeah, definitely, that event we rode in France sparked real interest; the racing was so attacking and positive.
“I don’t know the exact plan but next year I’d like to spend some time out there.”
With thanks and congratulations to Michael; and a ‘thank you’ to Bob Taylor for setting it up for us up to chat to his rider.