Getting to Know….Cycle Derby

Claire Duffin Blog

Mark Smith has led the Cycle Derby team for the past 12 years, creating, delivering and promoting cycling opportunities for all ages and abilities with a means to become more active, healthy and travelling sustainably.

His team have helped over 14000 individuals a year to gain confidence riding a bike along with developing the club and national standard BMX track at Alvaston Park which now hosts world championship races. More recently they have sourced a fleet of inclusive bikes specially designed to cater for people with physical and mental needs and provide regular training rides around Markeaton Park.

1.What are your goals for the next 12 months?  

To provide sustainable opportunities that achieve more people of any age or ability active and healthy 

2.What inspired you to become involved in cycling?

Cycling is a great medium to inspire kids to become more active, healthy and travelling sustainably.  There are so many disciplines, something for everyone. There is also a fantastic range of specially adapted bikes that cater for all.  Watching a young lad with meningitis use a bike with no hand or feet made me realise anything is possible and keeps me focussed every day.    

3.What do you look for in an event? 

The personal touch. An event where I don’t need to think about anything except competing.  

4.What advice do you have for people who are thinking of getting involved in triathlons/running/cycling?  

Whatever the sport, start slowly, try different sports to see what you like.  Join a club, the difference training with like-minded people is incredible. Stick at it!  

5.What’s your favourite piece of sports equipment & why? 

Easily my bike, does what it says on the tin! 

6.What’s been your major achievement in sport so far? 

Creating opportunities for people of any age or ability to become more active and healthy.  If I had to pick just one, possibly building the Derby BMX track and  helping to start  the club. 

7.Who is your favourite sports person that you follow on social media & why? 

Molly Caudery – Her dad was and still is my best friend, you don’t know who she is yet but you will very soon! 

8.What would your autobiography be called? 

 I haven’t done enough yet to write one and if I had, I wouldn’t. 

9.You have a private jet at the ready, who do you take? And where do you go? 

My wife and skiing in the Rockies.  


Inclusive cyclingBikeability