Friends Who Inspire Us
We are happy to know and work with people who inspire us – on and off the bike. Cycling has a way of connecting people from different walks of life, across careers and countries and it’s in this dialogue that we sometimes learn to see things from a different perspective. Please welcome our “friends who inspire us” theme. This will be an ongoing feature on our site. A small Q&A with people we’ve met through Pas Normal Studios who have triggered our curiosity.
When did you first pick up riding?
I guess it was 1989 was when I got sucked in properly. My brother and I both got Raleigh ‘All Terrain bikes’, our first mountain bikes were not too far off what what people are riding today as steel gravel bikes! Rigid forks, skinny frames and clearance for up to 2” knobblies… it all goes in cycles (no pun intended). In the next 28 years, I’ve gone though clubs and mountain bike racing, all manner basic and fancy road bikes, ‘cross bikes and track bikes… While loving riding them all.
Who is your style icon a bike?
I don’t really have a style icon, sure there are great looking riders, riders who make their trade kit look good. My icons are people who ride with finesse, they float over rocks offroad, turn the smoothest corner in a crit, people who can dismount and remount after ‘cross hurdles in one beautiful fluid motion.
That said, when I see a courier cutting though busy London traffic in cut off skinny black jeans, black hoodie and a flipped vintage casquette, that’s still a good look.
What is your perfect ride?
Oh, goodness I have so many. I guess the more kinds of bike you ride, the more kinds of riding you get excited about.
Right now, it would be a long multi-surface ride, bit of road, bit of dirt track, my brother at my side, heads down on our way though beautiful country backroad roads and singletrack, tight hills, flattering buff earth, kicking up dust… we’d end up at a hidden little café or pub for liquid refreshment.
My favourite local riding is in the South Downs or the Surrey Hills, a good day on the bike there is as good as anywhere.
Midweek, my riding friends are already discussing what we might ride at the weekend.
Bikes are so amazing… when we’ve ridden plenty of road, we switch it up with some ‘cross riding… trails churned up? Olympic Park road circuit or track!
Best advice anyone has ever given you – on and off the bike
On the bike:
Steer with your hips. Drop your shoulder into a corner. Pedal though it. Keep your momentum. Finish strong. Pass the rider in front. There are SO many nuggets of good advice (and bad) you hear while riding I can’t keep up! Riding is one of those things gets bigger and more complex the deeper you get into it, it’s like niches inside niches! I’m always learning on the bike, making mistakes, riding like I’m a beginner, getting frustrated… occasionally, occasionally I nail a climb a corner or a downhill – don’t we all ride for those lovely feelings of when it all flows?
Off the bike:
Love thy neighbour.
What is your next big goal?
Ride more and keep riding!
In 2017 I’d like to do a bike-packing trip in Tuscany, do Manchester 2 London, ride Trans Wales off-road and just spend a lot of time appreciating my health, appreciating my riding friends and appreciating amazing bikes.