Family man, I.T. consultant, part time rock musician and cyclist – that’s me!
I’ve ridden bikes since I was a small child. I can actually remember the day my dad took the stabilisers off and the feeling of control I first felt what it was like to balance on two wheels, narrowly missing the flowerbed in the back garden. To the dismay of my older cousin and his BMX friends, I could wheelie all the way around the local rec non stop on my kids bike. Aged 8 I could probably wheelie over 1km! At about aged 9 I got a BMX, age 11 a racer, and about 13 I got a mountain bike. I got quite good at replacing the forks on my BSA 5 speed racer. With hindsight it would’ve been more sensible, and cheaper, to dial in the brakes! Brakes don’t make you go fast though! Due to crashes I think I replaced them at least 3 times. For a short while at least, my parents were probably quite relieved when I saved up and bought the mountain bike, until I got into jumping and broke my collar bone…
I have stopped riding bikes twice in my life. The first time was when I broke my collar bone whilst jumping a mountain bike. This coincided with me passing my driving test. And for a few years I drove everywhere and didn’t touch a bicycle. Then in my early 20s I discovered BMX! At this time bikes were built for strength and were very heavy. Although I was never all that good, I rode, and lived BMX for 10 years. Eventually my old-skool bike ruined my back, and again I was forced to take some time off the bike. Then in my early 30s I discovered ale and pies, which led to me putting on weight. A couple of wakeup calls later I opted to give up smoking and take up riding to work. I bought a secondhand hybrid for £150 and put it to task. But, after discovering the thrill of hitting 40mph+ going down a steep hill, I quickly acquired a decent road bike. Since owning a road bike cycling has again become a big part of my life. I have finally worked out that cycling is a massive part of who I am, life is better when I’m cycling.
When I was getting into road cycling I’d not ridden a “racer ” since my BSA 5 speed 20 years previously. I was clueless and hungry for info. There is so much of it out there, which is both a blessing and a curse because it can take a while to get to the useful stuff. So I thought I’d write a few blogs covering the sort of things that took me a while to find and get to grips with. Hopefully this will help out anyone who is at the beginning of the journey I started a few years ago.