Episode 1: My Backstory

This road in the New Forest forms part of my backstory.

The beginning of my backstory

As a teen, I joined a cycling club and started racing. Of course, I gave “all that nonsense” up the moment “rock ‘n’ roll” beckoned. There followed a long gap in time and a massive hit to my weight and fitness.

After 117 Miles and 20 hours, I finally arrived at my in-laws’ house in Poole on the South coast, where I collapsed!

Then, more than 10 years ago, inspired by my nephew asking me to help him do up his fixie, I started riding my bike again. This helped me lose 7 stone (98 lbs or 44 kg) and I’ve never looked back!

Wrestling With Angels & Demons

I was in bad shape; I carried nearly 22 stone (308 lbs/ 139 kg), suffered from sleep apnoea, exhaustion, oedema in the legs, narcolepsy and many other associated conditions. Long ago, I made a promise to myself that I would lose weight and become fit enough to keep up with my three kids as they grew.

Doing long-distance ‘ultra endurance’ cycling is my passion.

So, I fired up a food diary app, took a hand-me-down, rickety vintage bike, and channelled some vague memories of teenage cycling triumphs as I set off from London one day. After 117 miles and 20 hours, I finally arrived at my in-laws’ house in Poole on the South coast, where I collapsed! This was the start of my journey to better health. These days, I can make the same trip within 7 hours (on a good day).

Making good on a promise

Today, I ride, train, and race my bike on the road, the velodrome, and occasionally in the woods. As a captain of a Zwift racing team, I (try to) keep up with my racer mates, some of whom have ‘elite’ status, which adds spice. Almost all of them rip my legs off on the hills – going uphill has never been one of my cycling strengths. Doing long-distance ‘ultra endurance’ cycling is my passion. I also enjoy motor-pacing, which involves slip-streaming a motorbike or ‘Derny‘ at speeds well in excess of 40 mph.

Join me on my journey


That’s the backstory. Going forward, I would love for you to follow along with me as I ride my bike, maintain it, struggle with fitness, continue to discover stuff and live life in London, all in the hope that you can learn something from my mistakes.