Who I am
My name is Helen Gorman, and I am a cyclist and coach living near Stirling.
I am a level 2 mountain bike leader, a level 2 cyclocross and mountain bike coach with British Cycling, as well as a level 3 coach with the Association of British Cycling Coaches.
I have been cycling since 2012, when (as a broken-down marathon runner) I decided to take up triathlon. After dabbling with sprint, middle-distance and off-road triathlon, I switched exclusively to cycling, competing in crits and road racing before going over to the muddy side. I discovered cyclocross in 2015, overcoming a lot of demons along the way, the story of which is recorded for posterity on the blog. Since then I have become a regular face on the Scottish Cyclocross scene, and through a lot of hard training and determination have often been on the podium for my age category. I have also completed the infamous 3 Peaks Cyclocross race several times.
I also enjoy mountain biking, and have undergone a similar process to cyclocross – building my confidence from an initial very low level to enjoying technical trails and becoming a qualified leader and coach.
My progress in CX and MTB – from terrified novice to militant enthusiast – has greatly informed my approach to coaching and my desire to coach others. I want these amazing sports to be for everyone, even those who may think (at first) that they can’t be successful. That’s where the idea of Resolute Riding came from.
In addition to my coaching and leading qualifications, I have two degrees in biological science disciplines, experience as a post-doctoral research scientist, and have been teaching high school biology since 2005. These different experiences bring to my coaching a detailed understanding of human physiology, as well as an appreciation for the importance of data analysis. My teaching career, in particular, has given me a wealth of experience in organising fun and meaningful learning experiences. I believe that, to be effective as a teacher or a coach, one must develop relationships through being patient and kind.
Lastly, I love learning new things, and I’m constantly striving to improve my own riding. Improving my technique – for example, over drops; or my confidence on steep, rooty sections of trail – helps me to be a better coach, as in many ways I am on a similar journey to my riders!