You’ve often heard the phrase life begins at forty! Well my cycling life did anyway. A chance meeting in a friends garage led to me walking away with a Specialised bike for £300 and a new physical pastime to pursue. Little did I know that 11 years on, over 800 rides and 12500 miles later I would be well and truly bitten by the bug of 2 wheels and a saddle.
After a football career spanning 20 years, I needed another physical, mental and social outlet to explore as well as stave off, as long as I could, impending extra weight gain. A pursuit that has allowed me to seek tarmac near and far, through the wonderful roads and hills of the Cotswolds, the sheer magnificence of the French and Italian Alps and the Pyrenees, to riding 106 miles in a single effort and climbing the Passo Dello Stelvio both sides for 6 hours and 12000 feet. Just a few highlights of the things I never thought possible when I first sat astride that bike all those years ago.
The constant strive to improve is there, to push boundaries physically and mentally in a battle with yourself against the road, hill or mountain. I feel fitter than I was at 45, if not 40, borne out by comparisons over the years on Strava, giving a massive sense of satisfaction and pride.