This post has been somewhat put off as it marks a turning point in my cycling career. Earlier this month I took part in the RedBull Downforce race which ran right past my house down the steep, greasy and somewhat hairy streets of Swansea. It was a cracker of an event, unusual and impeccably well organised. The race was amazing fun showcasing some of the UK's top mtb talent to a totally different audience and at a very unique venue. It was a cool mix of riders ranging from trials riders and Dirt Jumpers to some of the top DH boys, there was also a few of us 4X riders in the mix for good measure. It showed what a great mountainbiking city Swansea is, the track was lined with crowds and there was amazing support despite a mixed bag of weather. Racing didnt quite go to plan, I came off the bike both runs coming in 16th place overall. Fellow Swansea student Greg Hampton had a stormer and just missed the podium taking 4th spot. I have to thank Surf-Sales who managed to get me a bike to ride right at the last minute. They sent down a Transition TR450 to play with for the weekend! DH bikes have seriously come on since I last raced one. The suspension was so beautifully balanced and despite the big step up from a hardtail it still felt lively and elegant to ride.
The real news however is that I have decided that this race marks the end of my competitive cycling career. I have never quite managed to grab the top results but just being in the game and getting to compete regularly with the top riders at both national and international level has been an incredible experience. I have to thank Cotic for the fantastic support they have provided me with along the way. When I started riding for them Cotic was a small, and to me at least, a fairly unknown brand. It has been awesome to watch Cy's ongoing perfectionism with bike design driving the company forward. Cotic has developed a strong reputation based on some great products. I am looking forward to watching their future progress and can only imagine Cotic will go from strength to strength. Just check out the new Cotic Rocket, a stunning mismatch of steel and aluminium that Cy has elegantly crafted together to create one hell of a trail bike, it put a massive grin on my face when I got to ride it! I also would like to thank Surf-Sales who have helped me out with protective gear for the last few years.
I guess its sadly growing up but work is the new focus, I have my PhD to finnish. I am currently involved in some really cool projects right on the forefront of technology, its a really exciting place to be. The microscope techniques that we are developing are being applied both in the field of life science with work studying toxicology and human health. We are also working on graphene which has the potential to transform electronic devices of the future, think faster circuits/processors, smaller sensors, cheaper and more environmentally friendly touch screens. This for the moment is driving my need for progression. Bikes will never go away but for now I have other games to play!
Finally thanks to anyone who has taken the time to read this blog, the internet is a great place to share stories and its been good fun sharing adventures with you guys out there!
PS: I also sneaked on to the Redbull and Dirt websites, check out the links here for more pics and coverage: