I started riding a bike when I was 5 because my mum and dad taught me how. I became a cyclist when I was 12 when I watched the tour de france!
I rode my bike for hours dreaming of being a pro, but without any notion of training, speed, power or heart rate. I joined a club, got pushed - literally, physically and mentally. But above all made friends with a common goal, a set of values all locked together in a small, peloton of passionate, like minded individuals.
There were cafe stops, but no strava, no metrics, no post ride debrief of people's performance just a see you next week at 9 am!
So for me that was how it started. Zoom forward some years and for some crazy reason I started training this year like no other - perfectly sensible at 42 right ! Well I did is out of interest, to do something different, to be the best version of me, to specifically train for my planned events. Overall it went well. Its meant I have maximised my time of the bike, and went into my main trip of the season in the Alps in the best form I could. The point here is not to bore you with training tips, my FTP improvement but it's to take away this one key thing that someone said to me this year -
Ask yourself - did I start riding a bike to do this.... That might be a trip, a race whatever, So for him it was a crit race - he hates them - so the answer was a resounding NO.
The point is cycling can take many forms. Riding across a country might be more important to you as an individual than entering races or doing a sportive. You might like to ride 100 miles every weekend - like a crazy guy I know. The point is its different for everyone - but whatever it is - is it right for you. This year I got pushed back into racing - after years away from it. Much to my surprise I really enjoyed it. I plan to do more. It has however, crystallised that whist I enjoy racing, one of my favourite things is to combine cycling through the landscape with photography. Some people find this is a bit weird but for me there is something about a bike moving through the landscape that when captured properly evokes a very powerful, peaceful image. Some of the best cycling photographers today are putting up incredible images. So good that I sometimes wonder if there are any original ideas left ! But I seek to take the best images I can. Working with Grade as a Sponsored Athlete has made me really think about my photography and challenged me to take better images, ones that passionately display what the brand is about. Hopefully you can see this in my image content on Instagram - @jondturner, and on the grade feed @gradecycling. Enjoy your riding - wherever it takes you.
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