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We caught up with Lucy Coldwell, a former Scottish athlete who competed in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow 2014, and has relocated to live on the Sunshine Coast.
Q: Tell us a little about how you got into cycling.
LC: I was always very active and when I was working in Scotland I decided to do this thing called the 70 Wild Miles, which is a triathlon as such including a road bike ride, run and kayak over 70 miles in Scotland.
I had never done anything like that before, so I had my dad’s old road bike and turned up at the local cycling club in jogging bottoms while everyone was in their lycra and I thought to myself “Oh my goodness”. But when I joined them, the club realised I wasn’t actually a bad cyclist and one of the guys there lent me his proper road bike so I just started cycling and really enjoyed it.
To get into racing there was a talent ID program in 2009 and they were advertising for people to try out for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. I found it a bit of a joke to go since I had only done a bit of cycling but I went and did the testing and got whittled down to become a finalist.
Q: How did it feel to compete in the Commonwealth Games for your country?
LC: It was amazing. Once I had that goal I worked really hard for it. With athletes there’s a lot of ups and downs, sometimes things are going really well and sometimes not. When I actually got to the Commonwealth Games it was a pretty amazing moment. At the start line for the time trial I almost froze because the time trial was my thing. You’re there and there are masses of crowds and you can’t ever repeat something like that. I was in my hometown doing the Commonwealth Games and you just can’t prepare yourself for that moment. Glasgow was alive, everyone was so excited the Games were there and the atmosphere was amazing. I came eighth in the time trial and my goal was the top 10 so I was so happy with that. I worked so hard and I remember the morning after going thinking “I’ve done it!”
Q: How did you end up on the Sunshine Coast?
LC: I had been coming to Australia on a working visa since 2009 and originally only meant to stay for three months. I ended up staying for six and only went home to Scotland for a friend’s wedding before realising I didn’t really want to be there anymore. In 2014 I had a friend from the UK working on the Sunshine Coast who had moved to a few different places in Australia but always gravitated back to the Sunshine Coast. I said find me a job and I’ll come visit you, so she calls me up and she said “Guess what? I’ve found you a job.”
At the end of 2014 I moved to the Sunshine Coast and thought I would stay for six months with plans to move to New Zealand. At this point I also thought I would retire from cycling but I ended up doing more cycling, going to Europe one more time before deciding to stay on the Sunshine Coast permanently.
Q: What attracted you to the region?
LC: The weather was a big plus and having a friend here made relocating much easier. I really liked the lifestyle and how laidback people are. There is so much to do all the time for anyone who is outdoorsy or enjoys markets and great food.
Q: What are you favourite things to do on the Sunshine Coast?
LC: I love Noosa National Park it’s one of my favourite places to run. When I eat out at nice restaurants I feel like I’m on holidays – especially when I go out to Hastings Street or the Spirit House. I went out to Peregian Beach the other night and it was so nice - I can’t believe I live here! There’s also markets and things like that I enjoy exploring. My favourite markets would be the Yandina Markets on a Saturday morning it’s on the way to Eumundi and the Marcoola markets are also great for fresh produce and tasty food.
Q: What’s the main difference between Scotland and the Sunshine Coast?
LC: The weather! Plus the ability to go to the beach and swim in the ocean. Just being able to be outdoors - eating outside is actually something we take for granted on the Sunshine Coast. I used to have a table outside in Scotland and never used it because it was outside. The lifestyle here is just so much more laidback than Scotland too.
Q: What do you do in your spare time?
LC: As well as cycling, I like cooking and continuing to explore the Sunshine Coast. It’s probably taken a while for me to get a base of friends but I’ve met people through cycling. That’s the good thing about sports, once you’re in the circle it easy to meet people.
Q: Beach or hinterland?
LC: I think I’d like to live by the beach just because you have access to everything but I’d love a holiday house in the Hinterland because it is so pretty.
Q: Have you had any relatives visit the Sunshine Coast?
LC: My parents came out last year and they absolutely love Australia. I don’t think they thought they would like it quite as much as they did. One of the main things they wanted to do was see the Great Barrier Reef but there was a cyclone here at that time. Just as we left to go up North it started raining and my mum was like “I don’t want to leave the Sunshine Coast, I love it there!”
Q: Do you have any recommendations what to do here on the Sunshine Coast?
LC: Hiking up in the hinterland or swimming in the ocean at so many of our pristine beaches or even walking the coastal trails. I do some running with the NUTRs (Noosa Ultra and Trail Runners) and these guys are crazy, one of the girls won the Blackall 100 event. Some great places to eat on the Sunshine Coast would be Velo Project in Mooloolaba and Kunara Organic Marketplace in Forest Glen.