Caitlin Conyers On International Retirement

December 21, 2023 | 1 Comment

[Written by Stephen Wright]

Caitlin Conyers says her cycling journey has been a “wild ride” and believes she far exceeded her expectations after closing the chapter on her international career.

Conyers enjoyed a meteoric rise in the sport since her first local race just six years ago, winning medals at the Elite Caribbean Championships, the Pan American and Caribbean Championships, and the Central American and Caribbean Games.

She retires from elite-level competition as the island’s most decorated female rider.

Caitlin Conyers January 2023

The 34-year-old spent much of the past few years chasing her cycling dreams overseas, living in far-flung destinations such as Arizona and California in the United States, Valencia in Spain, and Medellín, Colombia.

Although Conyers said she loves the sport more than ever, she knew it was time to end her international exploits after making her debut at the UCI Road World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, in the summer.

“After the World Championships, I knew it was time [to retire],” Conyers told Bernews. “It was my absolute best experience on a bike – I loved it.

“However, I realised there wasn’t much more I could achieve. The Pan American Games and CAC Games are four years away, and the next Olympic Games I could qualify for is in five years.

“I’ve achieved everything I wanted to do in cycling, possibly because my expectations when I started were relatively low. I never imagined I could have achieved as much as I did.”

Conyers, who has returned to the job she left four years ago at the Information Commissioner’s Office, said she was “at peace” with her decision to retire from international races and could not have been more committed or dedicated to pursuing her ambitions.

Her only regret is missing out on competing at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022 after testing positive for Covid-19.

“A big reason I quit my job was I didn’t want to look back in five years and say, ‘If I had done this full-time, I might have achieved this or that,’” said Conyers, who raced for Californian LUX/CTS P/B Specialised Team.

“I recognise I probably couldn’t have taken it any further. Maybe if I’d started riding when I was younger, I’d have had enough inherent talent to have gone further and been more comfortable in the peloton, racing with a hundred riders around me.

“I don’t take it for granted that I could pursue the thing I loved full-time.”

Among her many highlights include winning bronze in the time-trial at the CAC Games in San Salvador, El Salvador, in the summer and the gold she claimed in the time-trial at the Elite Caribbean Championships in Havana, Cuba, in 2019, when she suffered two setbacks in quick succession, taking a wrong turn before picking up a flat tyre.

“With sport, most people only remember results,” she said. “I suppose medalling at the CAC Games gave me that one thing I could point to and say, ‘Look, I was really good.’ That’s a very external source of pride.

“I’ve had some incredible opportunities to travel the world and meet people – that’s what I’ll remember the most.”

Conyers, who won the President’s Cup women’s race last weekend, said she will continue racing locally and has not ruled out representing Bermuda at the Elite Caribbean Championships in the future in a mentoring role for the island’s young female riders.

“I’m still quite strong on the bike locally, but it’s going to go soon!” she added. “I’m back to just riding on the weekends.

“I think I could support the younger girls competing at the Caribbean Championships for the first time. I’d love to be part of that if the Bermuda Bicycle Association needed me. Maybe I’m only half-retired!”

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  1. Lion Paw says:

    Well thank you very much for proving chasing dreams is worth it. You have been a delight to watch evolve in your profession and love your outlook at recognising what you achieved and expected.
    All the best and thank you for your hard work as well as being an ambassador for the country

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