What I've learnt this year...

Ten things I have learnt in 2015


  • Don’t be afraid of the unknown. You’ll never know until you try. Whether it’s meeting new people or doing different things with your time. If you pour yourself into it everything will be worthwhile in the end. I met some great people this year both through Blackmore and other guises. My highlight was guiding Edinburgh-London for Missing People UK. A great bunch of people whose lives have been effected substantially by a oved ones disappearance. Super people, super ride. Can’t wait for June to do it all again!

  • There is no substitute for time on the bike and each moment should be savoured. It is all too easily taken away. I found that this year after a couple of crashes and a bit of illness cut into my riding time. It’s important to remember you’re not invincible. A particularly innocuous crash in the Surrey Hills which led to quite a dramatic haematoma was a reminder of this! Three days on the sofa without the ability to walk. I still owe a lot to Matt for his help that day!!
  • There is only one person who will actually do it and it is generally you! So those little ideas won’t actually happen without action. From new designs to newsletters to events to trail building there’s only one person in charge and that’s you.

  • If in doubt get another pedal stroke in and don’t brake. Committed? Well you might as well make sure! This year I’ve been lucky to ride with some different riding buddies who have really pushed me, especially on the mountain bike. It’s great to ride with guys who are genuinely talented and all of a sudden they brush off on you a bit and things don’t seem as scary as they once did!

  • Read the race by looking a few bikes in front, don’t get caught napping. You knew this at the end of last season so why did it take four weeks into the racing season to remember it again? Probably because you were too busy breathing out of your arse to remember at the beginning of the season! Hang on to the wheel at all costs, you’ll recover eventually.

  • Don’t be afraid to show off but remember when to reign it in. So you rode 600 miles a fortnight ago, you’re strong, you don’t need to show your hand mid race, it’s the end bit that counts. We made some great products this year and I've got some great samples in front of me right now for next year. We cant wait to get them out there!

  • Be disciplined. Make your bed every morning. I read this on Kelly Slaters Instagram and have tried to keep to it. He’s right though. Start as you mean to go on and all…
  • Clean bike clean mind. Follows on from the last point I guess. Take pride in the things that give you pleasure and they will serve you right. They’ll end up costing you less in the long run. Support your local bike shop. Invest in some bike cleaner! I’ve never been that great at doing this in the past but I’ve really made an effort this year. Whether it’s paying off I am not sure but they do look way nicer and make less noises!

  • Give a little back, clear up rubbish on the trail, take that inner tube with you, don’t drop your gel wrappers. No one likes that. Be courteous to motorists where possible. It seems that more and more people are forgetting the absolute basics and that really irritates me. If you are riding a sportive take your rubbish with you, if you’re riding local trails don’t leave water bottles and wrappers in the woods.
  • Service your own forks but buy the bits you need from your local shop.