Although talking about myself in the first person to an audience I don’t know renders all existing notions of nonexistent narcissism obsolete, some of you may be wondering who the hell I am, and what qualifies me to comment on contentious issues such as why 29″ is the superior wheelsize, why double chainrings suck, and why steel is clearly the greatest frame material in existence; in short – nothing.
I’m now firmly in my 30’s, with wrinkles and grey hairs to prove it, with around 4 years of serious cycling and nearly 11,000km under my belt. Although I may have started on a somewhat undersized 2001 Specialized Hardrock, clunking around Cannock Chase with my good friend Steve, and doing my damnedest to stop launching myself over the handlebars, my somewhat obsessive personality has led me on a fantastic journey into the cycling world. The past couple of years have seen me building my own bikes, such as my well-loved and greatly missed, stunning candy-red Voodoo Wanga singlespeed, and enter into races and events I could only have dreamed of completing.
Jump ahead 11,000km to where I am now. Cycling has now become a significant part of my life, and alongside hitting the local trails, I’ve recently taken to racing both XC and Gravity Enduro as well as still putting in the miles on the roads. I’ve made a fantastic cycling family of friends from all walks of life, dropped a fair few lbs in the process and as long as I keep the bike rubber-side-down, have never felt better.
So where now? The simple answer is, I don’t know. More I guess. More rides, more km, more training and more hills. Now, as I’m writing this, the sun’s set, the temperature is dropping and the clouds are closing in. That means it’s time to start the eternal battle of wills, turbo trainer vs. man.
Oh and why Bramblescratch? Anyone that’s had the pleasure on cycling through some of the UK’s bramble-strewn bridalways will understand the all familiar sting of the bramble and nettle on cold wet legs. It’s certainly a sensory awakening, but one I now couldn’t live without.