I’ve been riding mountain bikes since I was 18 way back in 1990. My first bike was a Saracen Trekker. It was primitive by todays standards : No suspension, 7spd Deore II groupset, U Brakes and a 135 mm stem. It served my well, especially when I was at polytechnic in Yorkshire and had the Pennines on my doorstep. I even took it up to the top of Helvellyn in the Lake District. Which was followed by a decidedly sketchy descent.
I grew up in the county of Suffolk in England, a region famed for being almost the flattest place on Earth. I often heard – “Why ride a mountain bike? There aren’t any mountains”. After living in Huddersfield I returned to Suffolk and found the mountain biking less than inspiring. This is the view from the I village I lived in and the container port where I worked for six years. By the time I was in my early thirties I wanted to live somewhere mountainous which had awesome places to go riding.
So in 2005 I moved to Wellington in New Zealand. This is the view from the wind turbine which overlooks the city and harbour. This is more like it.
Things were going well until March 2016 I broke my wrist in a really stupid accident which really dented my confidence.
After two operations, I’ve recovered a decent amount of movement and strength in the joint, but there’s still some way to go. For a long time I’ve had a mental block about getting back on a bike again. I kept imagining a repeat situation where any crash ends up with me breaking something again. But I still wanted to keep riding.
I came to understand that part of this mental block came from losing confidence in my bike. I’d been riding a Giant Trance for a while – a beautiful bike to ride, but I’d had a few sketchy moments on it over the years.
So I decided to go for it: I’m 45, if I’m going to have a midlife crisis then I might as well go for it.
I sold my Trance and bought a Santa Cruz Nomad instead. I wanted a bike that would mask the limits of my abilities and could handle anything I’ll can throw at it. I’m working hard to train properly and get my fitness back again. I’m looking forward to riding some of the best locations New Zealand has to offer. There more time I spend on the Nomad reinforces what an amazing machine it truly is. I’m grateful for my future.
Thank you for reading.