Blog

January 23, 2017

Move

Palm tree’s sway, momentarily defeating the laws of physics as their heads bow down almost to their toes. As I look beyond their animated branches, white topped waves crash down, spray flying in all directions in to the air. We speed along effortlessly, the wind on our tails. As we pass yet another row of empty off-season hotels and shuttered up shops, I can’t help but think that the accelerations of life dwarf the prevailing speed of the group. Months prior I had been peering over the fence, attempting to glimpse at a world that I had long dreamed of […]

December 5, 2016

Two sides of a barrier

Looking up the street, coloured logos snake off far into the distance. A truck crawls the pavement, luminous figures slowly unloading. Their fatigue, as they near the end of their seventh night shift on the trot, completely unbeknown to the chance onlooker. As the sun sets, the street lights flicker on, momentarily splattering incandescent warmth. The bulbs soon steady their glow, illuminating the pavestones below and emphasising the many small circles of trodden chewing gum. The night before saw all manner of strange objects unravel upon my doorstep, sprawling in all directions and engulfing the little space that exists. As […]

November 22, 2016

Tour of Britain for Procycling

First printed in Procycling issue 222, published November 2016.

November 21, 2016

Japan.

Last year I was lucky enough to race the Japan Cup as part of my Stagiaire stint with Team Sky. At the time Hannah was still on crutches from her broken ankle and over the course of my week-long trip, became ever more jealous about my time in the land of the rising sun. This year when we started to plan an off-season trip, crutches now a thought of the past, it’s fair to say Hannah had her mind set on going to Japan, not that I had any complaints with that. We headed out a few weeks after the […]

September 29, 2016

Mountains piece

Essay written in late 2015 for Michael Blann’s recently published book, Mountains. It all unravelled rather quickly. Hours earlier, sat in the back of our cramped team van, I had tried in vain to forget all about this damn race. The usual tasks, animated in a language I had all but my very fingertips upon, fill the pre-race void. I watch this controlled chaos with a hidden amusement, a welcome distraction banning thoughts of what lays ahead. My legs, busy trying to unfold from the long early morning drive, sprawl across the back row of the van. Looking out the […]

May 13, 2016

Velofix newsletter article 1

The gradient is about five percent, a road I know ever so well, one of my favourites. It lopes along, never strenuously, however continuous none the less, slowly winding up the mountainside. Except as I look down, the only thing slow is my speed. My heart thumps, my breathe chases itself around my lungs and ‘200watts’ is firmly displayed on my screen. Everything feels unfamiliar. It is too hard. My training partner’s wheel edges ever further infront. I feel sweat when there should be none and the fluidity of pedalling that I had taken for granted a mere month earlier, […]

January 23, 2016

Off

Most of life is in the professional* cycling scene is somewhat of a paradox. The constant tussles between freshness and fatigue, training and over-training and being well-fed, but never fat, to name a few. However there is one time in the year this all goes out the window; the unruly, much anticipated and highly planned ‘offseason’. And ironically, despite breaking from the norm, I think this is perhaps the time in which ‘the cyclist’, thrown from his or her natural habitat, reaches peak paradoxical proportions. I believe to be successful at something as all consuming, as physically and as mentally […]

November 13, 2015

A piece on ‘London’ for Oakley Magazine…

When travelling I think it is only natural to compare new places to home. Our origins form a baseline from which we naturally compare and on occasion shift. However for a Londoner, this act of comparison can also be fraught with danger. As, in my albeit bias opinion, it is extremely difficult to find somewhere as diverse, as dynamic or, quite simply, as interesting as the big smoke. And yet there is one rather large element of my life in which I constantly improve upon what London has to offer. As a Cyclist there is nothing better than the feeling […]

November 13, 2015

Piece for ‘Ape to Gentleman’ website…

“Cycling isn’t a game, it’s a sport. Tough, hard and unpitying, and it requires great sacrifices. One plays football, or tennis, or hockey. One doesn’t play at cycling.” – Jean de Gribaldy, Professional cyclist and ‘Directeur Sportif’ If you loiter in the certain circles you may have heard ‘Cycling is the new Golf’ used at some point in the last years. So since, according to one of the most successful Directeur Sportif’s (French for sporting director) of the 1970’s and 80’s Jean de Gribaldy, you cannot ‘play’ at Cycling – how indeed should you progress if you wish to take […]

July 5, 2015

Piece written for the Rapha’s Doppio newsletter

’10km to go. A string of three up the right hand side of the road. Half the team. Small but compact. Small, but hopefully effective. Tight corner to the right. Dare not brake too early, dare not lose position. Accelerate as slow as I can out, saving the legs behind. Mind behind. Constantly assessing. Australians lined up infront. Snatch a look down, 55km/h. Not a time to touch wheels. Look up. Roundabout looms. Man with flag and whistle going at it. The flapping means we can take both sides. We stay in the right hand gutter, surfing the wheels. Waiting. […]

May 7, 2015

Racing Liege

Speak to Aussie Freddy on the start line. I’ve not known him long but he seems a real good bloke. A few k in pass Geoff and ask how he feels. He says he doesn’t have a chain and I know the feeling also. Break goes. Stop and unclip and have a pee on big road. A little later and the race has settled down for the day. Danny Swol, James and I have a little chat about our tactics. Slogan Owen is in the break, we asses the situation, it looks favourable, for now. Say hi to a great […]

February 26, 2015

panyagua

Gently the steam starts to rise. Whisps silently meander upward and into the vacant high up reaches of the room, a thin film of cloud forming overhead. A minute passes, the pressure steadily building. That’s about when I begin to hear it. A distant tinkle? Barely noticeable above the music, a poorly fitted lid balancing precariously a few rooms away, for now it simply lingers in my peripheral. I delve deeper. Bubbles start to form, rising up toward the brim, the edge. Initially small and infrequent, they soon begin to ripple the surface of the water. And so it goes […]

November 26, 2014     1

There is near nothing as unequivocally defining

There is near nothing as unequivocally defining. And yet it changes every single day. Moving on as swift as a change in the wind. Silent and utterly unnoticeable, but to the few who put themselves out there to notice. But no one ever tells you that. Especially not in a world in which it is seemingly everything. They ask. And at first the response is always one of shock, awe. Because it sets you aside, heralds. But these days are limited. It can’t last. For that wind is ever changing and each and every single one slips away, just as […]

November 5, 2014     1

Flooded voice

The towns were flooded with people. To the extent you wondered quite where they could have all come from. I think it is pretty rare that a town stands still, every person focusing on one thing. Bike racing is special. In this car and road reliant world, we force that brief moment of nothing upon people. Not everyone likes it, but equally those who may not have taken the time from their day to watch, are near trapped in to doing so. And romantically, maybe naively, I’d like to think some of them might be surprised, might really love what […]

July 30, 2014     1

Place II

Is it a journey if you start and finish in the same place? Do you go anywhere? I travel between worlds. Sometimes dark and damp, moist, like an undisturbed morning dew. Sometimes old and familiar, engraved in my mind like the grooves of my palms. Sometimes new, a breath of fresh air in every meaning. Regardless, always revealing, brimming with lessons and unfamiliarity. I pass through deep shadows and cold air that falls deep in to my lungs. I feel my way, the surface of the road rising up through my hands, shaking my knuckles and tarnishing my skin. Occasionally […]

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