I hope everybody has been having a great year.
I would like to let you know that I have decided to move on from racing full time and pursue new challenges in life. I thought it was the right time to do a blog and also to thank the people who have helped and supported me through my years of racing on the road and mountain biking.
Apart from a winter update, I haven't updated my blog page this year. To be honest, I didn't have anything good to say about myself as I had a terrible start of the year with a knee injury which ruined my rest of the season.
I was forced to take 12 weeks off training, through February, March and April as I developed tendonitis in my left knee during my team's training camp in Calpe, Spain. Whenever I pedalled I would get needle like pain behind my left knee cap. I treated and rested it but it was frustratingly slow at going away. It was my first proper injury problem that has happened to me and it was very frustrating for the mind, as I had great form before the camp in January.
When I finally managed to get over it in May, I was shocked at how much power I had lost. My first race back, I could only keep up for 20 miles! I got a bit better but was still pretty rubbish compared to the year before. I gave it my all to train back up for the British road champs at the end of June but I was nowhere near my normal racing self in the races.
With no big goals left in the season, still getting the odd bit of pain in my knee and with my motivation gone, I made the tough decision to stop for the foreseeable future.
It hasn't just been my bad luck this year that has made my decision. Over the past seasons, my health, whether it's my hay fever and allergies or throat and chest infections, has impacted on my progress or cut short my peak form times. I've done my best to combat it but it gets very annoying after a while. I also needed to think about my future.
I have been a full time biker since I gave up my university course in 2010. At the time, I always said to myself to give it all or nothing till the year I turn 23, to make the most of being young and see where it takes me. I am glad I did it as I have had some great experiences and made great memories. Winning races, living and racing abroad, meeting and riding with some great people and in strong teams.
I have no regrets and I feel I'm more than ready to put my mind into something else. I have currently just started a Strathclyde engineering course which I'm enjoying and I'm working Saturdays in a certain sports superstore. I've been enjoying going back out on my mountain bike two or three times a week during the summer since the weather's been so great!
I'm planning now and looking forward to doing lots of things that I have held back from while racing. Down the road I might decide to return for fun but nothing as serious.
I want to thank a lot of people who have helped me or supported me during my 10 years racing. I hope I haven't missed anyone out, sorry in advance if I have.
Neil and Lindsay Taylor, the Herbalife LLB squad, Jason Roberts, David Lang, the Glasgow Wheelers CC, the Glasgow Road Club, Brynley Davies, Mark McKay, Gartzi, Juan Mari, the Barrenetxea family and the Ibaigane Opel team, Brian Smith and Alan Miller for the Braveheart fund and everyone who supports it. Johnny McBain, Gary Hand, and Pedal Power/Endura team, the Glasgow United, Dooley's, the Rockhard MBC, the KTM Road &Trail team and to all my cycling friends I have made over the years. My parents, Liam and Morna, for their long time support (and funding!) of me. And to everyone who has read and found interest in my racing blogs. Thanks again!
I hope to see you in the future!
Some pics from over the years:
|Tour Doonhame KOM|
|British Championships Glasgow|
|David Cambell RR|
|Junior Tour Of Wales|
|Arthur Campbell RR|
|East Yorkshire Classic|
|Murcia Spanish Cup|
|British Mtb XC Champs|