Shane Williams turns to cycling to keep fit looking to ‘REAP’ the benefits of a new British engineered bike.
Wales’s record try scorer, Shane Williams, is considered one of the greatest wingers of all time. Having retired in 2015, Willimas needed an outlet for his professional sporting competitive edge and turned to cycling to fill that void.
It all started with a chance bike ride in 2015 with friends which has now turned into a passion, where he now competes in triathlons and cycling events around the country.
“When I was a kid I used to ride my BMX but never anything else,” said Williams. “It wasn’t until I got back from Japan at the end of my rugby career that I really got into it.
“All my friends had finished playing rugby and were doing long distance running, triathlons and cycling. At first I thought they were crazy.
“However, I needed to stay fit and focus on something other than rugby, so I got my hands on an old bike and started going out with my mates.
“Almost immediately I was getting left behind. I was good for about five or six miles, but with my ‘sprinters legs’ the lads would just annihilate me over any real distance.
“When you’re a rugby player playing at a high standard, and you retire, that skill is no longer needed. It’s obsolete. Then taking up another sport, having to start again as the least experienced, the slowest, the least fit – it can be tough.
“My mates killing me on the bike, made me want to get better so I started training.”
At 45 years old, Shane has found a love for a new sport where he can continue to challenge himself and is starting to make huge gains at events. He added:
“I honestly never thought I’d take to it, but I’m hooked.
“Although I joined the sport late, I’m still very competitive. It’s just my nature.
“A lot of that now comes down to competing against myself. I’m always looking for a PB. Always chasing a faster time.
“I really enjoy being in the mix. The nerves and adrenaline at the start line takes me back a little bit to when I was playing rugby and stepping out on the pitch for a big game.”
Since taking up cycling Shane has built up his endurance fitness and dropped 8kg in weight – a result of healthy eating and training on his bike.
Having taken part in a range of cycling and triathlon events, Shane now has is eyes set on completing an IRONMAN triathlon (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run) in under 11 hours.
“I’m the kind of person that can go into a triathlon and take it easy, just enjoy the event. However, there are also times where I train specifically for an event, and I want a PB.
“The IRONMAN Wales Triathlon is on the 11th September and is an important event for me. The main reason it’s special for me is that it’s based in Tenby, Pembrokeshire, where I spent a lot of my youth.
“If I do well, the dream would be to qualify for the IRONMAN World Championships in Kona.”
With ambitions of pushing himself harder, and cycling faster, Shane contacted a team of British bike engineers at REAP Bikes to build him a performance bike that will save him vital time in the saddle.
First developed in 2016, REAP’s Gen1.0 model was named the world’s fastest bike in its launch season when tested against market leaders.
Research has also shown the REAP Vulcan can save a rider between 4.5-7.5 minutes over an Ironman bike course. This made it a natural choice for Shane.
The engineers at REAP Bikes created a custom-built REAP Vulcan triathlon bike – with a unique paint job for Shane.
Shane added; “The bike is not only great to look at, but it’s beautifully made, aerodynamic, comfortable and FAST.
“It’s great to have our best British engineering minds working in the cycling industry; and the fact that they manufacture in the UK is amazing to give them full control. That’s another one of the reasons that I chose REAP, knowing that it’s home grown.
“I’ll keep training on it to make sure that I don’t have any excuses by September and hopefully me and REAP will have something to celebrate.”
REAP Bikes are in the last week of a crowdfunding campaign bringing in investment to expand across the UK, Europe and beyond.
With the most decorated Olympic cyclist ever, Sir Jason Kenny, having joined the team as a performance partner and investor, REAP Bikes has some of the best engineering and sporting minds set on delivering the world’s fastest bikes.
“Together we will push the boundaries of high-end bicycle development and use this knowledge to supply ultra-high performing bikes to a wider audience,” says Kenny.
The team behind REAP Bikes has received widespread support from the sporting community as they work with world class athletes like Shane Williams and Jason Kenny, reaching their initial crowdfunding target of £300,000 and releasing more equity for those still wanting to invest.
With the crowdfunding campaign closing this Friday (24th June, 2022 at midnight) those interested to find out more should visit https://www.crowdcube.com/reap.