Back in 2013 I witnessed what is arguably the worst bike crash I have ever seen. It was my Dad who hit the deck at around 50km/h during a mid-week summer chain gang. Flat out bunch riding is sketchy at the best of times and especially so on the pockmarked roads that are commonplace in the UK – which in this case was the cause of the crash. The impact from the crash meant that Dad suffered from what is known as a chronic subdural hematoma – a bleed on the brain – for which he needed emergency surgery.
After the crash I had serious doubts that he would survive let alone ride a bike again. However, by the grace of God he made a full recovery. Since then we have had some of our most memorable cycling adventures that have taken us to Australia, France, Belgium, all over the UK and across Europe.
My Dad got me into cycling back when I was a kid. Often, when I was a child I would wake up in the night with nosebleeds and to take my mind off it he and I would watch re-runs of the 1986 and 1989 Tour’s on VHS. As much as I loved watching Hinault, Lemond and Fignon I didn’t start riding my bike because I wanted to be like them. As cheesy as it may sound, I started riding my bike because I wanted to be like my Dad. Nobody was cooler than him.
Ever since I started riding my bike we have always ridden together. I can’t have been more than about four or five years old when I used to do time trials round the local park with my Dad acting as the time keeper. It’s been almost twenty years and we are still riding together now, which is one of the greatest blessings I could possibly ask for.
Recently took place in my first race for my new team for the 2019 season – the newly-formed N+1 Lindfield Coffee Works Team. This was a very special moment for me, being a part of such an exciting new team with a brilliant ethos and team spirit is a real privilege. It’s always an exciting moment to be able to show of the team kit for the first time! As special as this moment was it was made even better by the fact that – for the first time ever – my Dad was alongside me on the start grid. The LCCA Team Championships are unique as it is one of the few races on the Cyclocross calendar with mixed age groups, allowing veterans to race alongside senior and junior riders.
Being able to race alongside my Dad is not something I ever thought I would be able to do and I count myself exceptionally lucky. The whole day was brilliant and full of excellent racing. The course was excellently designed and having my fellow teammates and friends their cheering from the side-lines was a real motivating factor. In the end I managed to come away with 10th place, which I can’t wait to build on for the coming year. I look forward with great anticipation for what the next season has instore for both me and my fellow N+1 Lindfield Coffee Works teammates!