Rob Hayles Interview at the Road Cycling Show

The Road Cycling Show at Sandown Park, Esher, was the place to be for any road cycling enthusiast last weekend (Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd April).

The Cycling Weekly Theatre was the setting for interview and Q&A session with former World Champion Rob Hayles by Anthony McCrossan.

Anthony McCrossan
“I’d like to welcome a man of course who is a three time Olympic medallist, a world champion on the track, a British road race champion who I think I am right in saying has won a national title for every age group apart from veteran…”

Rob Hayles
“So far!”

Anthony McCrossan
“So far, ha! Has recently retired, is now a TV and Radio commentator, TV presenter and he is actually here with a company called Velosure who are a cycle insurance company aimed at giving insurance to committed cyclists, as well as cyclists who have just started. Were going to talk a little bit about insurance but we are also going to get the opportunity to talk to Rob as well about his career, what he’s doing, what his thoughts are on the Olympic Games, and anything else you might want to throw at him.”

Anthony McCrossan
“Lets start off with Velosure; you’re here to support Velosure which is a cycle insurance company. Why do you think Cycle Insurance is so important and why have you decided to get involved with them.”

Rob Hayles
“I think it’s every rider’s obligation to go out on the open roads. In this day and age, you know, we’ve all seen it, we’ve all heard the stories, we all have stories probably virtually every time we go out on the bike about near misses.  You just wouldn’t dare go out in your car, or most of us wouldn’t dare go out in the car without being covered. That is a legal obligation and on the bike it’s not, but I believe that somewhere along the line in this day and age it needs to be, you need to be covered, for yourself and for other people around you and, you know, lets face it, we’re walking around and there is an awful lot of expensive equipment out here, and yes a lot of it is covered on house insurance, when its at home.  As soon as you step on it, unless you ride it up and down your driveway, unless you’ve got specific insurance in your house cover, in your house policy, as soon as you step off your property it’s not covered if you damage it which is, you know, quite possible. If somebody damages the bike for you and their insurance covers it for you then that’s one thing but if, you know, you can go out and you can spend £6,000 to £7,000 on a bike easy without even trying so to have that not insured is a little bit negligent I think.”

Anthony McCrossan
“You know I found that out quite costly a few months ago, and we haven’t talked about this or anything, but I had my normal road bike, I looked after that, made sure it was insured and everything like that but actually I had my bike that I rode day to day was a condor single speed bike that I absolutely loved, and one day I rode it into town and I took it to the railway station and I left it there under CCTV and it got nicked. I thought it was covered but the minute I had taken it outside the gate it wasn’t. So my Condor single speed is being ridden around by somebody right now and I haven’t replaced it because it was quite a few hundred quid and it wasn’t insured, and I didn’t realise.”

Rob Hayles
“Yeah, and this is the problem; you really do need to check your details. Check the small print as they say, because I’ve had a lot of people say ‘yeah well I’m covered you know on house insurance’. As I say that’s all very well; your house insurance will cover your bike for third party damage to someone else if it falls off the hook in your garage and lands on them.  Then you’re covered. But as soon as you’re out, if you ride into someone then you’re in trouble.  The other thing with Velosure is that, unlike a lot of car insurance, if your car is damaged they tell you where you have got to take it, whereas with this policy it’s your choice where you take it. So if you have got a local bike shop that you know and you trust, you can take it there and have the work done by them under their watchful eye, which I think is a big benefit.”

Anthony McCrossan
“While we’re talking a little bit about safety and all that sort of thing, probably a subject that is right up to date, over the last few days there has been a lot of talk about Mark Cavendish and a certain gentleman who talked about cycling safety.  We wont got into loads of detail about that but there is a lot of talk with the Times campaign about safer cycling and all that. What do you think the Government needs to do to improve safety for cyclists, safety on the roads and all that sort of stuff?”

Rob Hayles
“It’s a difficult one isn’t it? I think awareness is the biggest issue that we’ve got. There seems to be an awful lot of campaigns pro-motorbikes, you know ‘Bike Aware’, but a lot of it seems to be about the motorbikes and signs up, and there is very little with cyclists. You know, they’ll put a cycle lane in somewhere, you know, the infrastructure is extremely difficult in the UK which is the biggest issue. But it is a difficult one. Awareness; it’s starting to happen and it is a little bit better, probably coming down from the elite side from what we have done on the track, now we have transferred it over to the road. I still don’t believe that cycling is mainstream in the UK; I think we’re quite away from that but it is certainly getting better and to have someone like Mark Cavendish win Sports Personality of the Year outside of an Olympic year, that’s certainly progress. So there is a lot more understanding in the UK, it generally tends to kind of be around the July time when the Tour de France is on, like as with Wimbledon, when Wimbledon is on, you can’t get a tennis court for love nor money., so it tends to be a little bit reciprocal in that way, but there is a lot more awareness happening. The trouble is, it only takes 1%, it only takes that one car, when you’re out, you can be passed by hundreds and they’re fine. It is just that very small minority unfortunately so it is difficult, but it’s starting to go towards the cyclist which is good news.”

Anthony McCrossan
“Shall we turn our attention to thoughts on cycling right now. You’ve just come out of the World Track Championships, you were there with Radio 5 with Simon Brotherton, commentated down in Melbourne, you get to actually enjoy the cities now that you’re going to instead of just being inside the track.”

Rob Hayles
“Yeah, I’ve raced in Melbourne twice before, World in 2004 and the Commonwealth Games in 2006, and never had time to see the city. I rode through the city once on the way back from a training ride, full GB kit, riding through looking in all the coffee shops, Shane Sutton and Dave Brailsford walking along, ‘Oi! Get back to the hotel!’ and that was it, that was my view. The only other time was when I crashed in the wet on the tram lines, and that was for the Commonwealth games. So yeah, to go to the city and be able to watch the best track racing in the world, talk about it and be able to go and drink coffee and look at the sites and it was 30 degrees. There were 18 cars abandoned in my village that week through the snow drifts so, I wasn’t missing much at home!”

Anthony McCrossan
“So tell me what it’s been like; you retired the end of last year and you’ve now gone immediately from being a pro bike rider on that mill of world championships, Olympic games, road races all the time to sitting there with a screen and talking about it, so what is life like on the other side?  You’ve seen the bike rider’s side, what is life like as a broadcaster?”

Rob Hayles
“It’s different; it’s a steep learning curve. I can watch and I can see what’s going on in a bike race, and I can understand that. What I struggle with is telling other people exactly what I am seeing and what I understand, that’s something that I have struggled with over the first part of what I was doing. I think I am getting a little bit better at it. If I am not I am sure you will tell me, I hope you would tell me, and lets face it if you don’t like listening to me talk about it there are several other channels now because cycling is getting quite good. The best option really is to watch BBC and turn the volume down and put Radio 5 on because then you’ll get the best commentary and you’ll get the visuals as well.”

Buy Now

Single Cycle Quote Multi Cycle Quote

Our online quote system means you can get the right cover for you and your cycles, today. Click above to get cover, quickly and easily online.

Have a Question?

Why Choose Velosure:
All this in one policy

Cover included as standard:

  • Theft & accidental damage
  • £2m Public Liability
  • New for old for up to 3 years
  • Sportives
  • Time trials
  • European cover for 45 days*
  • Free legal assistance
  • Cycle Rescue in Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Optional extras:

  • Personal Accident & Road Rage
  • Public Liability up to £5m
  • Clothing and Helmets
  • Add Family Members
  • Sports Cover

* Includes Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, Monaco, Madeira, Gibraltar and Andorra.

Any request for European extension beyond the standard 45 days is considered on referral.