Been a bit slack this week on the blog front. Writers block. Loads to talk about, unsure what to write about. I decided to gap fill with a random Q&A about myself. You might find some inciteful info on me or be bored by half way. Anyway, thanks for reading x
First proper bike?
Raleigh Triathlon in 1989.
Fastest bike you’ve ever owned?
Kuota Kougar a couple of years ago. That was a bad-ass race bike. I remember PBing my Strava segments all the way home to Stourbridge on that. Offroad was my Kinesis CSix2 carbon cross bike. That was fast in races.
Best bike you’ve ever owned?
My current commuter bike, Kinesis Crosslight FiveT. Most comfortable and versatile bike. Its commuted, its off-roaded, its raced and shortly will be touring for the first time. Everyone should have a bike like this.
Your dream bike?
I’d love a Kinesis ATR Ti for all round riding but I would like a hand-made custom painted carbon road bike built to my own geometry and spec
Longest ever ride?
Time – 8.5 hrs, La Marmotte Sportive in the french Alps in 2010. Distance – 125ish miles to Llandudno. Never been a mile-eater.
Hardest ever ride?
Probably L’Etape du Tour in 2001. Col D’Aspin, Col du Tourmalet, Luz-Ardiden. First ever mountains. Went in fit and cocky. It was ‘only’ 90 miles. Got a right kicking and the closest I’ve ever come to actual tears on any ride.
Best ever ride?
Done a few decent rides for me. Winning your own club’s races are great. Won the Wyre Forest Hilly TT and their cross race one year. Broke the Speedwell Mountain TT course record but my best for me was starting last (literally off the back in about 85th place) in the National CX Champs at Sutton Park and finishing 31st I think. Nothing to shout about but I was on it that day and wished I’d been gridded at the front
Craziest moment on a bike?
Won the Two Counties RR because the leader ahead (I was in 2nd place) went the wrong way around the last island before the finish. I did feel for him because he was the clear winner and the strongest on the day. My name is on the cup forever now though.
I was out on a club run years ago and we were riding back to Stourport from Bewdley. A driver was been aggressive and giving us grief. He passed the group and was brake-checking us like an idiot. His drive side window was ajar about 3-4 inches. One of my club mates sprinted up the outside of the group to the back of the car as he accelerated away. At that moment my mate gobbed as hard as he could and it floated like a Messi free kick, up, over, round and down and through the gap in the window. I have never laughed so hard on a bike.
This was funny too. Me winning a sprint on Zwift. I can’t sprint for shit.
Broke my elbow at the Silver Trees RR at Cannock in 1992. Painful. Crashed, tried to get up and my arm gave way. I realised something was up and then the pain set in. Ambulance, overnight stay in hospital. Had to have a general to fix it in theatre. Think my mom and dad had to come off holiday early. Whoops.
Best bit of bike tech?
Tubs for cyclocross were a revelation at the time for me but pound for pound best tech and upgrade in recent years have been QRings. I prefer standard to QXL’s which are more oval because they are smoother and they shift better but for BIG long mountains or super steep stuff QXL’s are better in my opinion. Bottom line is get some. More recently I’ve found Zwift. When the weather is bad or you can’t be arsed, Zwift fills a gap. Its addictive and gets you fit and fast.
If you haven’t read my blog on changing my chainrings, please do. Thats been a big revelation for me too
Best training tip?
If you want to race, get a power meter, a coach and a bike fit. For general riding, recovery is as important than the riding. Plenty of both will see you improve. Honest.
Best bit of advice you can give a cyclist?
Whatever cycling you do. Race, ride, commute or touring, just enjoy it. If you can’t enjoy it, find something else and Strava KOM’s aren’t really a thing. Use 46T outer QRings
Your typical day with a bike?
Probably a commute. Up at 7.15am, dressed. Leave at 7.40am. May meet some guys from work if they are cycling in too. Steady ride to work, approx 40 mins, 12.5 miles. Its a workout but not enough to damage the legs. Showered, dressed, porridge, work. Decent carby lunch like a baked potatoe. Dressed, ride home steady again but another workout. Showered, Dinner. Chill. Bed.
Whats your favourite ride?
I commute most days so I don’t get many chances to do any other routes like I used to. I guess any ride that mixes on and offroad is good. When I lived in Stourbridge I used to love the mix of road to the canal, canal to Kiddy, road to Bewdley, into the Wyre Forest for some gravel and then back home via Bridleways, tiny, dirty back lanes with great views. My favourite training loop was a loop around Bredon Hill and back. More recently I’ve enjoyed seeking out super steep climbs when I visit my parents in North Wales. I’ve also popped into Gwydyr Forest for a gravel fix too to get away from civilisation for a couple of hours. Great fun. I love a good blast on a race in Zwift too
What annoys you the most?
Where do I start! The shit cyclists say and their excuses. The results board at a TT is probably the worst place. I used to hate the guys at the back of the Peloton screaming at guys to close gaps at the front. Do nothing all race and win the sprint. Thats just bad manners. Riders who switch in a group without checking. Rule No5 etc. Pretentious bollox. If you wanna ride in icy rain with no gloves and shorts, knock yourself out twat. Rapha wankers. Grossly overpriced kit so why buy it? Oh…to tell us you have money. Prick. Dick-dangling. Your in a group but a couple want to blast it and take turns to wind the speed up. The group blows apart, everyone is fucked off and knackered. Whats the point? Ride nice, sprint for sign at the end. Brag about it over the coffee and cake after. Morons. Impatient drivers. The ones that tailgate or close pass you like you should just get out of the way. You challenge them and all they can say is you don’t pay road tax when they forget I’m one less car for them to queue at the lights behind. Most are just thick.
For road bikes, absolutely NO. No for looks, No for safety. Only a matter of time until a rider slices a finger off or something. For cross, gravel, commuting and touring I get it, so yes but I am a purist.
Yes. These are a great way to get unfit people to ride a bike and be able to keep up if necessary. If they are found in the peloton though, ban the cheat for life. No 2nd chances.
Is Wiggins a cheat?
Nah. Media fuelled, click-bait hype. No rules broken, no proof he did what we are told he did by said media, just anonymous, un-corroburated claims with no way of proving otherwise. Its disgusting to be honest. Whether he did cheat or not isn’t the point. MP’s should stick to politics. They have no place in sport they have no clue about or reason to be involved in. If the system allowed it to be abused, blame the system. I’m not a Wiggins fan but he’s had it tough over this I think. If I was treated like him I’d feel sick.
They’ve made racing pretty boring at times with their metronomic riding on the front on climbs but I get why they do it. Not a fan really. I yearn for the old days like the ’89 Tour de France
Favourite Pro rider(s)?
Sagan is a character but I prefer the ones that have a real go like Contador, Bardet and Pinot. I’ve become a fan of Valverde recently as he can still bang out a ride. Not a fan of Quintana. Don’t get the hype. Too hot and cold with too much cold in his season
Favourite Pro race?
The Giro is the best Grand Tour. I love the punchy stages on the Vuelta. Classics wise I think the Strada Bianche is the best mix and can be won by the best all rounder. Flanders is always a classic, Roubaix just needs a wet edition to make it a real favourite again. The Tour is overrated now and generally disappoints overall as the GC is too predictable.
Would you dope?
I’d like to try it safely to see for myself what it could do but I think I’d be paranoid about the side effects.
You will never find a motor in my bike. Ever.
Would you grass on a rider who you thought was doping?
Yes. For them and I would tell them it was me.
If you hadn’t raced a bike what would you have done?
Probably martial arts.
Anything you don’t do now but want to?
I’d like to go back to Majorca cycling. I’d like to ride more abroad in the mountains and sunshine. I should get an MTB and do some more offroad and trail centres with mates. I like the idea of riding into the wilderness, self-sufficient and camping etc. Might try that overnight sometime. I should ride with a group more. I’ve become a bit reclusive on the bike. Although I’m retired, there is still some race left in me so I’d like to have a go at cross again in the future but I’m not ready yet. Social cycling centered around real ale sounds attractive. I’d love a bike shop again. I miss the shop not the industry or business. Working in the industry is enough though.