It is quite impossible to follow in the footsteps of
your hero's in this sport. Not least because there are none, simply tire
tracks, names sprayed on to Tarmac and old wives tales of days gone by. But
mostly because each and every rider takes such differing paths. Races, teams
and riders come and go so fast that the sport is literally ever changing. Each journey through it complete with an individual narrative, full
to the brim with stories to tell, riddles to entertain over a Café.
I have never
yet met a boring bike rider.
The only real common denominators in this sport? Hard
work and good old-fashioned support. For Cycling is just too god-damn hard without these factors, a truth even I can attest to from my little experience thus far.
They adhorn all manner of surfaces.
From my fridge, to my old bedroom wall in London, to the mirror of my new
apartment. They are images I conjure up on long climbs, when I feel most at one
with the bike, when I dare to dream. They are videos I have watched countless
times, races splitting on cobbles, in crosswinds and up famous mythological
mountains. They are parts of a culture I am just beginning to discover, delve in to and immerse myself in. Ultimately they are the guys who have changed the
sport in this country forever, showing it can be done, showing the rest of the
world how to do it.
And I am proud to be following, as much as is possible, in
the distant (and not so distant) wheel tracks of a few of these hero's…
I didn’t know Dave Rayner, he tragically and prematurely passed away before I was born. However through many
friends and from seeing the lasting legacy he has left on British racing, and particularly
young British riders, I feel I know a little what Dave must have been like.
As I climbed yesterday, sun on my
neck, the ever-present clichés of my own breath and wheels rolling on the tarmac present, I reminded
myself how much I really do love riding my bike. Yes it can be
painful, difficult, dangerous and bloody tough, but it is what makes me tick and
I think that is probably something I share with the late Dave Rayner.
And that is why, above all else, I am really proud to
be representing Dave and all the hard work of the Fund’s committee out
on the road this year. A huge thankyou to all for the opportunity, I hope to do your support justice and try to give everyone back home something to be proud of in some way or another.
For more info on the Fun checkout the Dave Rayner website here.