“Just work really hard, and have a good team”

When Mummy told me that we were going to meet famous cyclist, Sir Chris Hoy, I was really excited. I like cycling and Chris Hoy is one of the best. He has also written children’s books about a boy called ‘Flying Fergus’ who likes to ride and really wants to have a special bike called a ‘Sullivan Swift’ but he doesn’t have enough money to buy it.

On the back of the books it says: Flying Fergus is about a boy called Fergus Hamilton with a big imagination living with his mum, grandad and his dog Chimp. He dreams of a state of the art ‘Sullivan Swift’ and becoming the most brilliant boy cyclist in the world. So when he gets a rusty, second hand bike for his ninth birthday he can’t help but feel a little disappointed but when he takes it for a ride, he discovers something amazing.

During the talk Chris said how he wrote the ‘Flying Fergus’ books with a team. There was a writer called Joanna Nadin and a lady called Clare Elsom who is the illustrator. Joanna has written 60 books in her life and during the event, Clare was really good at drawing all the characters in the book. Chris said it is always important to work together as a team.

Chris talked about what inspired him to write the stories including the ‘flying bike’ part of ET, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and some of the characters in the stories are people who were in his cycling team at the Olympics.

Chimp the dog was based on his coach who used to tell him to keep his ‘inner Chimp’ calm when he was nervous or excited. His coach had an Australian accent – just like Chimp the dog. Chris’s character ‘Calamity’ is based on famous cyclist, Bradley Wiggins as he has long arms and legs. He told us about a man called Graham Obree who in the olden days built a bike out of washing machines and he won the world championships and that was inspiring because he didn’t have enough money to buy an expensive bike but he won.

I was really happy that I got to meet Sir Chris Hoy and he signed my book, I love cycling too and it was great to hear that you don’t always have to have the best bike to win the races. Just work really hard, and have a good team.

By Freddie Aston, age 8

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