Whenever a bike rider tells someone they are a cyclist there’s always some fixed questions that they get asked.
Have you ever ridden the Tour De France?
Do you know Mark Cavendish?
What job do you do when you're not cycling?
My answers are; no, yes, and I ride my bike.
So that means I’m not the next Lance Armstrong, but I am good enough to ride for a living. Either that or I’m deluding myself while relying on my parents to fund my cycling fantasy, instead of getting a proper job. While this is certainly the case for some so called “pro” riders. I’m luckily enough to earn enough that I can consider bike racing as a proper job and not have to ask my Dad for any handouts. Nor am I fooling myself about the level I’m racing at. I enjoy racing, that’s why I do it. If it takes me to better things then that’s great, but if it doesn’t then I’ve still got some happy memories to look back on.
Now we’ve established what I’m not, it’s time to tell you what I am. My vitals statistics are I’m 26 years old. From Lancashire in England. My weight is…
Actually that’s enough info. You know my age. You know my hometown. This isn’t my autobiography. I haven’t got a ghost writer penning this for me. Like a job interview, the key thing is not who I am. It’s what I can do for you. Well I’m no good at DIY and I can’t sing or dance. So that rules out decorating your spare bedroom or being the entertainer at your wedding.
So what can I do? Well what I can do is give you a different view of cycling. You’ve watched the races on TV. You’ve seen the almost robotic interviews given by the riders. Unless you’re watching Cav or Bradley Wiggins in which case you might have laughed or cringed at their comments.
And if you’re reading this, you’ve most certainly read cyclists’ blogs. These normally follow a similar format.
Hello I’m (insert the name of someone you know) and I’m the next big thing in cycling. My goal is to win the Tour De France, ideally within the next 5 years. The last race I rode, I was easily the best rider. But everyone marked me. And then I punctured. But I still caught up. But then a huge Eagle came and knocked me off my bike. And I was hurt. But ‘cos I’m tough I got up again and nearly won. And finished 17th,. But only ‘cos someone got in my way on the sprint. I’m certain I will win my next race. And then Team Sky or Garmin will want to sign me…
Ok I’ve never actually seen the Eagle excuse, but the rest is pretty standard for a blog by the next big superstar. So if you want to read someone’s ego put into words then don‘t read my blog. If you like to read about what pro bike racing is really like, in an honest and hopefully comical way. You’ve come to the right place. Over the next few months I will be letting you know what it’s like when you’re not the best rider in the race. And you’re not the team leader. And you’re probably not going to ride the Tour De France. But you do love your job and enjoy writing about it.
And just in case you’re thinking, “what’s the point in reading this guys blog? He’s a complete nobody.” I will begrudgingly admit that I have won a few bike races in my time including National titles. I have represented my country at the World champs. My current (Rapha-Condor Sharp) and ex team-mates do include numerous ProTour riders and world champions. And I did spend a few months as Mark Cavendish’s roommate when we were on the National team.
That’s about as much self promotion as you’re likely to get off me.
So I hope you join me again soon as we start our adventure together as writer and readers.
To keep you occupied while I find something to write about, here’s some of my favourite blogs from before I got the VeloNation gig;
And if you’ve read this far, I will give you my most important detail…
It’s Ben Greenwood (though most people just call me Benji)
Thanks for reading.