Yesterday’s journey to my first crack at a UCI Marathon Series started about fifteen years ago, after seeing Miguel Martinez solo to a marathon win on Eurosport, having ditched his punctured back tyre and ‘rimming it’ from about 5km out. I’d been an armchair fan of Cape Epic and loved the footage of the dust covered athletes racing MTB’s in dramatic landscapes. I’m in my fifties. I still want to be that man. Tragic I know.
Over the last thirty five years of cycle racing, I’ve often considered my peers and their contentment at riding the same disciplines, indeed the same races, year in year out. Each to their own and all that, but it’s not for me. It’s probably a Myers-Briggs personality thing. Firstly, I like new experiences; secondly, as a very average amateur athlete, I have never really found a discipline that has offered fame and fortune. Riding the same races over and over again holds little appeal.
Over the last thirty years I’ve raced and trained consistently. From consistent top ten finishes in the CTT British Best All-Rounder competition, through cyclocross and MTB Cross Country. Twenty to thirty starts a year on average. Under normal circumstances, I love my sport and drive home just as euphorically happy after turning myself inside out to hang onto a group in a cross race as I did to score the occasional win against the watch fifteen years ago.
Riding a bike seems a simple process. However, it’s not until we start to look at the technical aspects, that we can really begin to reap the full benefits. Steve took a reluctant trip for bike fit and came back a changed rider… with lots of bikes to change too 😉