I first started cycling when I moved from London to the Chilterns – mainly mountain biking initially and it proved a great way to get fit and get to know the area a bit better – I soon became hooked.
This was in the late 1990s and I quickly progressed from local routes to the longer rides that were being organised by my local bike shop.
When Sleeperz opened three years ago and I started spending half of each week in Cardiff, it was another great chance for me to explore new routes and the beautiful Welsh countryside – there are some fantastic cycling trails to be discovered.
In the last three years, it’s become a serious hobby and a couple of years ago I progressed to road riding, which has taken my commitment to the sport to another level.
I get so much from this hobby and every ride is a whole new challenge – the aim of which is to push myself as hard as I can.
I’ve now completed several hugely demanding (some would say punishing!) Tour de France climbs, including Alpe d’huez, Col de l’iseran and Cormet de Roseland, as well as Giro d’Italia routes which include the Stelvio Pass, Gavia Pass and Mortirolo.
I cycle with a great bunch of guys and of course we’re competitive – there’s a great deal of banter that helps get us up these mountains!
I find each ride completely exhilarating and can actually get quite emotional when I realise what we’ve achieved by completing each one.
I definitely believe there’s an overlap with work in that I return feeling completely refreshed and ready to tackle just about any challenge.
A hobby such as this helps to keep both mind and body active and I’m looking forward to tackling more new routes – both the French Pyrenees and Spanish Sierra Nevada mountains are on the list – in the near future.