This is a topic which has been on my mind for a while now. It’s one which I think people will be able to relate to easily, because it’s the reason why I enjoy cycling so much; passion.
I am passionate about cycling, although I don’t ride anywhere near as much as I should, or as much as I’d like to, the weather was gorgeous last night but I went to bed at 10pm instead of going out for a ride, because I know if I go out for a ride I get a crappy nights sleep because my brain and body are so excited, but it is always on my mind. I see a photo of a hill, I want to ride up it, I see a long, smooth piece of tarmac as I’m on my train journey to work, I want to ride along it, I’m constantly assessing roads, the condition, the holes, areas I’d need to take care, manhole and drainage covers, just in case I end up riding on them one day. I have my google reader open all day and am always checking for the latest bits of news, Thor Hushovd signs for BMC, Tony Martin hasn’t decided on a team yet, Simon Gerrans wins Tour of Denmark, Peter Sagan wins Tour of Poland… this stuff comes into my reader every hour or so, and I’m always reading it, someone mentioned something to do with the latest cycling news and for me it’s always an “Oh yeah I know, I read that a few days ago” situation. From training articles, to the latest and greatest product reviews, to results, I am always reading about cycling, and it is so frustrating.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my job, I work with a great team of guys (and girl!) who I get on with really, really well, I get to talk to them about cycling as they have a slight interest, the money I earn working there funds my cycling habit, in fact, it’s just a perfect job, it’s what I’ve wanted to do since the age of 12, and I am really thankful to everyone in my past who helped me, pushed me to finish my education, anything, anyone who had the slightest input on me and my career choice, I want to thank them, because without them I’ve no idea what I’d be doing.
But… yeah there’s always a but, I’d love to be in cycling. I’m not talking working at a bike shop, I hate retail and really wouldn’t want to go back to retail unless I had no choice, but I’m talking about properly working in cycling, working for a pro tour team, working at a cycling manufacturer, being a photographer following races all over the world like Graham Watson, even working for a cycling website, I would love to work in a job that IS cycling. I know there’s the chance it would completely kill the passion I have for cycling, but it’s a risk I’d be prepared to take.
I don’t think I’ll ever get the opportunity to though, other than working for a website like bikeradar, where I’d inevitably carry on my current role as a web developer, it doesn’t seem like it would actually ever happen. I can dream about moving to France, or Italy, or Switzerland, to work for Mavic, Look, BMC, Colnago, Pinarello, Cinelli, all these brands require staff, but they have no use, really, for someone who only has experience in web development. I have a degree in graphic design, sure, but I am so rusty and shit at design, that there’s no way I’d ever get a job in that department, plus I’d probably have to learn another language, and there are all sorts of other things to take into account, moving to a foreign country, finding somewhere to live, getting used to the culture, all these issues… Such a shame.
I read articles about cycling companies, the kind of people who after a day at the office, go for a 2-3 hour ride, that’s what I want, I want a job that IS cycling, ride to work, have a shower and get changed, do my job, immerse myself in cycling in one way or another, then go for a ride after work with the team before going home. I really, really want that. I am going to keep my fingers crossed, that one day an opportunity arises that allows me to do what it is that I really want to do, but for now I’m happy doing the other thing that means the most to me, web development. I just wish that I had the passion for that that I do for road cycling.
So as I leave Bristol Temple Meads station for another day in my office, reading about cycling, and wishing I was out cycling, I take some joy in looking forward to 7pm, when I can sit down and eat some pasta, make up a bottle for the evening, and chill out before going for a little road ride, only 25km, but every little helps. Getting my fitness and strength to a level I’m happy with is a post in itself which will eventually get posted I’m sure, but for now, I have this evening to look forward to. Those 45 minutes of solace, when it’s just me, the bike, and the road, bliss.