Rowntree has been racing since she was 12 and has competed in cyclo cross, XC, road, DH and grass track events. She has a trophy cabinet groaning with cups, medals and other trinkets.
Along with a framebuilding partner she operated a micro-sized Midlands-based manufacturing business in the mid-1990s. This produced women-specific frames and a range of top-notch trailerbikes.
And in 1999 she was one of a number of consultants to Raleigh on the BOB, Raleigh’s female-friendly bike of the time.
Fellow consultant Jill Hopkirk, of Newcastle’s Cycle Centre and an ACT board member, said she enjoyed working with Rowntree:
"She’s really nice and very knowledgable about bikes."
Rowntree said she was excited to be working for Halfords:
"I have lived and breathed cycling for the majority of my life. My move to the UK’s largest retailer of bikes and accessories will allow me to influence a larger number of people and their enjoyment of cycling, whether they ride to compete or for leisure."
Steve Lowe, category manager for cycling and former marketing manager at Raleigh, said: "We are constantly evolving our customer offer. With Isla now on board, considering her expertise in cycling – especially women’s specific equipment – we can
really look to further develop this sector. We are sure that our customers will begin to see the fruits of her labours in store soon."