3. YOU SAY IT PUT YOU OFF RIDING FOR YEARS, BUT HAS IT LED YOU TO DOING YOUR OWN BIKEPACKING/BIVVY TRIPS SOME TIME LATER?

Since I discovered my love for bikes I’ve given most “disciplines” a bit of a whirl. I’m definitely getting more into nights away on the bike and can’t wait for lockdown restrictions to ease so that we’re able to head out for longer overnight trips.

I was planning to do a Scottish coast to coast route this Spring with bothy and bivvy opportunities – hopefully I can reschedule for later this year. I love the freedom that bikes bring you, you can cover so much ground and pack so much into a day, I’d really like to do some more dawn to dusk rides this summer too.

4. WHAT INSPIRES YOU? (COULD BE RIDING WISE, IN LIFE IN GENERAL OR ANYBODY IN PARTICULAR)

It sounds like hippie-dippy nonsense, but nature really inspires me. I’m a huge nature nerd, so even when my mind is racing and I’ve got heaps on, I can’t help noticing nature. It’s a great distraction from whatever’s going on day to day and a way of motivating myself to get out even if I’m not feeling like heading out for a ride. We’ve made a pretty determined effort to ignore nature and our wilder places and build over them, but even in the most urbanised of environments nature is there waiting for us to notice it. I find that really inspiring and hopeful.

5. THERE’S NO ESCAPING THE CURRENT COVID SITUATION, HAS THIS HAD AN EFFECT ON YOUR RIDING?

Definitely!

Lockdown coincided with the arrival of my beautiful new HB130 and whilst I was super keen to get to grips with it I was also conscious of keeping a lid on my enthusiasm and avoiding wrapping myself round a tree and ending up in A&E.

My riding has stayed super local (except for one really exciting daytrip all the way to Ilkley) and fairly mellow. I actually think this period has improved my riding though: I’ve been focusing on improving my skills, rather than pushing to ride faster. I’ve got much stronger on technical climbs (the HB130 has definitely helped) and I’ve been practicing wheelies, manuals and track stands as well as tight cornering round plant pots in the garden. I’m still rubbish at them, but it’s been fun!

6. IS THERE ANYTHING THAT LOCKDOWN HAS UNEXPECTEDLY GIVEN YOU?

Lockdown has been a really weird time, but I’ve come to realise how fortunate I am to live where I do. I can get out for some beautiful rides, runs and walks straight from my door and whilst that’s always been something I’m grateful for, I’ve come to appreciate it so much more during lockdown when time outside has felt extra precious.

Lockdown has also taught me that I missed my calling as a Turkish Barber – gentlemen; form an orderly queue.

7. WHAT WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO DO, WHEN WE’RE OUT OF THE CURRENT COVID SITUATION?

My brother and so many of my lovely pals live in Scotland, and we’re usually up and down the country riding, pratting about and peeping at wildlife.

I’m so excited to see them again and have over-exuberant hugs (if that’s allowed), comedy crashes and a pint of bitter shandy and some chips in a country pub – what LUXURY!