Well, what a month or so it’s been!
Matt’s launched the new Chaintherapy mobile maintenance service and has been busy getting that going, and me? Well, I’ve been riding my bike.
In my last post I talked about being invited down to ashmei (www.ashmei.com) HQ in Aldbury for their Ambassador day. And what a day it was! We spent the morning mingling and getting to know the team at ashmei, hearing from the owner Stuart and other key members of the team and talking to each other, scoping out the competition so to speak.
We each got some individual time with the team to discuss our backgrounds and to help them get to know us as people and athletes, and then all of the cyclists headed out for a decent little group ride around a lot of the roads I ride every week, before heading back for the all important cake and coffee.
To cut a long and suspense filled story short, I was one of the athletes that the team at ashmei chose to be an ambassador for the brand in 2017 which means I’ll be wearing their innovative range of cycling gear for training and competing this year. To say I was over the moon is probably an understatement.
You’ll be seeing a lot more photos in this gear in future. Short sleeve classic jersey and bib shorts
Having got the news from ashmei, I headed straight off to France with Hannah for a week away from work at my parents house, time to rest, relax and ride some bikes. I couldn’t take my Cervelo unfortunately, so I went back to my roots riding XC on my Dad’s Cube Hardtail. Something I haven’t done in 3 or 4 years.
I had a great time, getting thoroughly lost exploring French trails and byways then using my eTrex to get me home. With no targets or aims, it went a long way to reminding me how fun cycling can, and should be. It also put a mountain bike back on the list of bikes that I want but can’t afford.
Back in England it was back to work, but with Easter on the horizon there was scope for an adventure. A cycling buddy of mine Tom (@challenges_tom on Instagram) had decided to go loopy and make an attempt at “Everesting” (www.everesting.cc) on Knights Hill near Goodwood house in West Sussex. I decided to get equally loopy and ride down to give him a bit of support before riding back. A 270km round trip, and my first big ride of the year.
After setting my alarm for 4am to leave the house at 5am, I eventually dragged myself out of bed at 7am and left the house at 8…that left me with a bit less time when I eventually got to Goodwood before I’d have to turn around and head back.
I got to Goodwood in around 5.5hours with some dubious routing taking me down unpathed footpaths and at least one which would have been more fun on a mountain bike. I said hello to Tom who was looking surprisingly fresh 5 hours in, joined him for a climb, had an ice cream and turned around to head for home.
The home journey was not so pleasant. It turns out that between West Sussex, Surrey, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire there are a LOT of hills. After another 5.5 hours in the saddle, and a food stop at an M&S I finally called Hannah and had her pick me up from work. It was 8.30pm and I was still an hour away from home.
The ride was still comfortably my longest of the year at 240km, in fact it was more miles than my biggest week of the year to date!
Luckily that big day out was followed by Easter Sunday, and a day spent with family, gorging myself on everything in sight!
I have a few more of that kind of ride in the pipeline over the coming months, hopefully with some company at times rather than solely logging miles on my own. In the meantime, the commute continues and I’ll be posting more about the ashmei kit and my first impressions in the next few posts, so keep an eye out for that.