Cheri Mills, AKA "Lardy" is a popular lady in the MTB circles. Friendly, Fun and Fast she combined her assets to become a biking coach and is highly recommended. We know this, because she is one of the coaches at the Hopetech Women Enduro and recieves great feedback. We couldn´t be more proud to have her representing the HB130. Jump right in and discover more about her:

You're an extremely athletic person....why do you call yourself Lardy?!

I was new to a triathlon and went to Spain with a group of racing snakes, I drank a good few Stella’s then had the munchies, we were in the middle of nowhere and the shop only sold olive oil crisps and milkshake so I ate a big family pack and washed them down with a litre of chocolate milk, everyone was in shock! "Lardy" was born!!

Have you always been into sport?

Yes, I used to run and circuit train with my dad, I had a spell doing karate, rugby and then triathlon.

What about cycling?

Ive always cycled. In the early days it was BMX and making ramps from old doors, then I got proper into it after tearing my cruciate at karate. My instructor worked in a bike shop and suggested that I give it a go. It blew my mind! I couldn't believe this new world of adrenaline and excitement, I crashed, I bonked, I got scared but I never felt so alive. Its now a lifestyle and im never giving up!

Why is MTB the sport that you´re most attracted to?

It ticks all the boxes for me, you can race, hang out with friends, go and smash yourself or just go out and get some headspace. It´s super friendly, you can journey to some amazing places and there is such a variety of´s endless.

You race, tell me about your best results:

Early on it was XC, I was Welsh Champ but the most rewarding result was winning the 80KM Isle of Man End2End. I did my first enduro races in 2012 and won the UK Women´s Series. That was special as enduro was young and there was such a buzz at these events. The next year I was in elite catagory and was on the podium with my heroes Tracy Moseley and Helen Gaskell! Twice I also managed to come 2nd at the Mont Blanc Enduro.

I mix it up these days racing all disciplines. I did my first road race this year and got a silver medal at the Welsh Champs and I´ve just won the North Wales Cyclo-cross League.

At HTW, we try to encourage people to give racing a go. 1) Do you have any tips for someone who is thinking about racing for the first time? 2) What is it about racing that sets it apart as a fun experience, different from just riding?

1) Don't over think it. We have all been there, everyone is super friendly, don´t forget to be´s just riding bikes after all.

2) There is adrenaline and nerves, its not a bad thing as it makes you feel alive! You challenge yourself, no-one else. I´ve never regretted entering a race and normally surprise myself at what I've achieved. Everyone is feeling the same and there is such a great camaraderie amongst riders.

Being an MTB coach is many people´s idea of a dream lifestyle, is it all that it is cracked up to be?

Ha! Yes its pretty cool job! It´s very rewarding helping people to achieve their goals, it is a positive environment and I get to work in some great venues, with some great people. It may rain, it may be cold but hey, we’re outside enjoying the fresh air on our bikes and that isn't a bad trade off.

How do you like to make sure you get the best out of people, whatever their level?

I adapt my coaching style to suit the client and make the session fun. Firstly, I get the rider to feel safe and once this happens and the rider relaxes, we can really focus on the session goals.

Do you have a favourite type of client (kids sessions, race training...)?!

Not really, all coaching is awesome! Some highlights are working with the kids with no fear and brilliant skills, but also the rider who is really nervous. Seeing the terror disappear from their face as they gain more confidence.

What’s coming up in 2020?

Im based at OnePlanetAdventure and will continue to develop the skills coaching and kids club up at the forest. We have some new idea’s coming for 2020!
Working with Hopetech Women and the academy, it is such a forward thinking company, they invest in people and it clearly shows in the events they put on.

Race wise I’ll be buzzing around at some MTB festivals and events, trying a few gravel races and the odd mtb enduro and XC.

Look out for Cheri in the woods near you!


PICS: Lawrence Crossman Emms

WORDS: Anna Glowinski