jamesrg

James Riley-Gray

Cycling is more than a sport to me; it is a way of life. I learnt to ride when I was about eleven, but I only started cycling properly when I was around thirteen or fourteen. But my enthusiasm for the sport sky-rocketed from there. From racing my friends around the local park to racing some of the fastest under 23’s in Europe, cycling has shaped my entire life.
Having raced competitively for six years, I have plenty of fond memories and achievements that I am proud of, from racing the under 21 cup at the London Six Day to the Junior Tour of Assen, and the Good Friday Open Track Meeting. But out of all my races and podiums, my proudest moment has to be my first crit win. The Archer Spring Criterium. Sprinting from the punch in the final lap, to catching the breakaway with less than a hundred metres to go and out sprinting everyone for the win at over 73kmh! Still gives me chills when I remember it.
I aim to not only continue to deliver those sorts of results for BCN RT but to help inspire and guide the riders who are following in my footsteps, such as my younger brother Mathew, a monster of a sprinter and my greatest friend on a bike. I want to help build a legacy with BCN, where many more talented BAME riders can develop and dominate the sport the way I plan to.

10 Questions

What sport would you do if you were not a cyclist?
I used to be a martial arts instructor, so I would most likely go into competitive sparring/MMA

Who in the cycling world would you like to go on a ride with?
I mean … L39ION (Legion of Los Angeles)! I would love to do a crit with Justin, CJ and Cory Williams. Watched their race video’s when I first got into riding and have been a supporter ever since.

Which other sport do you follow and which club or athlete do you support?
Formula 1. If you don’t support Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes, you probably enjoy losing.

What city would you most like to live in?
Tokyo is a dream city for me. The culture, the food, not to forget Anime! … Anywhere in Japan will be good for me.

How do you relax after a hard day?
I write novels and draw illustrations in my spare time, and to wind down before bed. I hope to publish the series of novels one day … but only when they are perfect.

What music do you put on to get pumped?
I will narrow it down to three songs or we will be here all day … literally.
Returns by NF
Slight the Odds by Demon Hunter
A soul to Sell by Cabal Mind

What is your favourite TV show?
Ever since I was a little boy, I always watched How its Made. No idea why I just developed a weird love for engineering and mechanical things. Planes, cars, bikes … anything with wheels to be honest.

What is your favourite smell?
Simply, the smell of the countryside. Fresh air, flowers and trees. Nature, untouched.

Which of your scars has the best story behind it?
The scar left behind after I had my shoulder rebuilt. Was taken off during a crash on the track, hit the ground at 60kmh, practically turned my collar bone to dust. My shoulder is practically made from titanium now. Took six months to get back to fitness and regain the use of my left arm. Trained like my life depended on it and won my first race back after that crash … my second favourite race win and a moment in my life that still drives me forward today.

What food do you love that a lot of people might find a little unfamiliar?
I’m half Jamaican and half Scottish … take that as you will.