Falkirk’s Ishbel has real pedal power

Ishbel Taromsari recently won a Rollapalooza UK event in London.
Ishbel Taromsari recently won a Rollapalooza UK event in London.

Cyclist Ishbel Taromasari likes nothing more than cycling flat-out - and she’s already proved herself faster than Olympic champion Victoria Pendleton.

Her pedal power has thrown her into the reckoning for next year’s Commonwealth Games, placed her in front of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and earned her a national title, - the catchily titled ‘Rollapaluza National Series Champion’.

It only came though because Ishbel couldn’t face another hill on two wheels.

“I used to cycle endurance races for the Pedal Power team (based in West Calder), but we went for an open day at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow and a coach saw me cycle and offered me a shot at sprint cycling.

“My response was ‘Does this mean I don’t have to cycle up-hill?’ and when the answer was yes I was immediately convinced - I’ve never enjoyed hills on the bike!”

Her sprint techniques came in handy at the National Series of Rollapaluza - a cycling event based on a static bike, where the rear wheel sits on two rollers.

Billed as ‘a unique cycle sport. Two particpants battle it out on a pair of custom-built rollers connected to a huge dial, with split-second-digital timing over a simulated 500m distance at speeds in excess of 50mph.’

It sounds like a competitive exercise bike “it is but it isn’t,” she said. “It’s a lot, lot tougher.”

Ishbel, who works at Central Refactories in Meadow Lane, had her competitors in a spin by clocking 201 revolutions in the London final after success in the Glasgow heats (pictured, left).

“It’s really tough – check out my face in the pictures, that gives you an idea of what you have to go through. It’s certainly not a pretty sport!

“More than 20,000 people enter – it’s tough but a fun sport, and I was top of the women in London at the weekend.

“The score also beat Victoria Pendleton - they say I’m the fastest woman they’ve ever had!”

And after her talent - and speed was spotted at the open day in Glasgow she has hopes of taking her static speed onto the track in Glasgow at the Commonwealth Games next year.

Whether or not she’ll be a team-mate of the man whose name adorns the cycling venue depends not only on her performance, but also the outcome of a press conference called today by Sir Chris Hoy.

“My times are up there they say, so there’s a high chance I could be involved.

“When Prince William and Kate visited Glasgow recentyl I was on the track for them to see the Games’ venues.

“Combined with Rollapaluza it has been an eventful few weeks!

“It was really tough to win the event, but it’s the first thing I think I’ve been good at.

“I get help from my sponsors - and my employers Central Refactories and the Wheelsmith in Larbert.”