South West London DA: Sou' Wester Archive
Profile of Lisa Colombo

Profile: Lisa Colombo - (Jul/Aug 1999)

Lisa rides with the Cheam & Morden Section and has worked hard, with devotion, on the Committee of the Kingston Phoenix Road Club, which she joined in 1983. She has been Secretary for the past 10 years. Lisa started racing with the Phoenix in 1983 when she competed in the Medium Gear event in March and has raced every year since.

Work commitments are currently reducing the available time for racing and she confesses that, "getting up early at weekends isn't very enticing at the moment". But she still rides the Club's evening 10 mile Time Trials. Her past racing achievements include winning the Phoenix Ladies Championship - "until I had some competition" Lisa tells me with unusual humbleness - and she still holds the 10 mile record, has shared in almost all of the Ladies team records and had a lot of success racing tandem with Pauline Casey (now sadly retired from racing).

We must be grateful to Peter Dale, Lisa's English master at school, for bringing her into our DA cycling activities. "He babysat me on that first run in 1981 along with his son Piers" (she remembers the date and venue - The Little Chef at Burnt Common in November, 1981). She adds "Peter made his exit about the time I started cycling - Do you think the two are linked?"

After that she contacted the Family Section in February 1982 and began riding regularly with them. "However, they seemed to socialise in between Sunday runs and after four months I still felt an outsider, so, having gained enough fitness I joined the C&M in June, started going to the Clubroom, and began to make friends - and I've stayed with the C&M ever since. I like the people in the C&M."

One of her greatest friends in the C&M has been Pete Mitchell. She describes her friendship as "We're a team". She probably first met Pete on her first ride but remembers him from the Hill Climbs the following year when Pete returned with the party which had been Youth Hostelling at Crockham Hill and went on to watch the Bec Hill Climb in the afternoon. A ride which customarily still continues for the C&M each autumn.

Two years ago she relocated close to 'Silicon Valley' in Maidenhead for a new post in her work as an Electronic Engineer. She carries out skilled drafting work requiring the use of a computer to draw the artwork which is turned into silicon chips. This move necessitated commuting back from Maidenhead on her bike through the lanes with little traffic - in pitch black in winter.

This has enabled her to continue riding with the C&M Section on Sundays and to continue her role in the Mitchell household - "I'm Secretary to both of them" (and on occasions a very capable cook). When asked for her favourite activities she answers, "Descending Alpine passes; followed closely by climbing Alpine passes." So we must hope that she will be fit in September when she rides with Pete on a CTC Sicily tour. Another interest is in the tracing of family backgrounds - genealogical research.

When, as Editor, I proposed the writing of this profile to Miss Colombo as the C&M relaxed on a beautiful summer afternoon at St Peters Restaurant in Cowfold, it was an approach for which I faced the risk of assault. Her response to my request was typical, "as you know, Clive, I have to remind you I'm a direct person", (no argument Lisa!) "in fact, very direct, like this", at which she delivered a powerful fist within inches of my head. Not to be taken lightly. Lisa is really lovable when you get to know her but, say the wrong thing, such as even mispronouncing her name Lisa as Leezer for example and the fist will be at your head. Clive Oxx