A MINUTE WITH: LEE BARK
He tried triathlon but didn’t like the running so moved on to duathlon.
Then he suffered a back injury last year, so now he’s concentrating on cycling. We talk to Suffolk time triallist Lee Bark, 45, who made a superb start to the season when he won the Ely and District Hardriders 25-mile event.
How has your winter training been going?
Well. I’m quite fortunate in that I work as a facilities manager at an army sports and recreation facility, so I’m always motivated to train.
Were you in the army yourself?
Yes, I spent 24 years as a soldier. I basically came out of the army but got a civilian job doing the same thing as I was doing before.
How did you get into cycling and triathlon?
I’ve always liked cycling, but when I came here I started working at the gym. It was about 10 miles to home, so I started cycling there, and I was swimming at the gym, so I decided to try triathlon.
Why don’t you do triathlon any more?
I got stronger and stronger on the bike, but then I got injured and struggled with the swimming and running, so I drifted towards TT.
Have you ever fancied doing road racing?
Not really. Time trialling is a simple sport. It’s much better than road racing, and my bike skills aren’t good enough for bunched racing.
Do you have any hobbies other than cycling?
My family takes up most of my time, although I like basketball and squash — anything that makes you sweat! I’ve got three children — two grown up and a 10-year-old boy. My wife can be away serving in Bosnia for six months so I’m the main parent.
What do you drive?
You’ll laugh at this — I’ve got a Fiat Multipla! They are the ugliest cars in the world, but so practical. You can take the seats out and get the bike in and all the bits I need.
Who is the person you most admire in sport?
It’s an old cliché, but I like Lance Armstrong. He’s fantastic — single-minded, and his ability to apply himself is superb.
What sort of music do you like?
I like all sorts really; everything from Deacon Blue to REM. I’ve got Queen’s greatest hits in the car at the moment, but I train a lot to a Club Anthems CD when I’m on the turbo.
Do you have any vices?
I will eat anything with chocolate on it! If there’s no chocolate in the house I’m fine, but if I know it’s there, it speaks to me.
Do you have any pets?
I have a dog called Alf, who’s a cross-breed, but we always say he’s a pedigree retriever because he’ll run away from everything. I cycle to work with him on a trailer and he thinks it’s great.
If you were stranded on a desert island, which one person and one item would you take?
It would have to be my wife — she’s my soulmate. But I’m not very materialistic. I could do without a phone or an iPod.