Wednesday, 20 July 2011

About Me! - My Life With Bikes

Well I've introduced you to my bike so really Id better introduce you to......myself!  I've probably done that the wrong way round!  Anyway my name is Jez and I'm a bike-aholic.  I've been serious about my cycling for about 17years now, and have made it part of my life every step of the way. 
I first got into mountain biking when I lived in the south of England at the age of 17.  I was really lucky to live in a house that literally allowed me out of my garden and onto national forestry commission land.  It was the ideal play ground for a beginner with lots of single track that had been grooved out of the hills from the race series that were often held there.  My bike was a bulking heavy beast of a bike costing little more than two hundred pounds.  I loved it all the same as it gave me so much freedom from home life.  I even started upgrading parts like brakes and the saddle to improve it.  I started using clipless pedals for the first time within a year of owning it, (some lovely red Ritchey logics) and I've never looked back from clipless pedals since.  Also about this time I took part in my first race.  It was a disaster, I abandoned after getting my arse truly kicked in the first lap.  It was a hard moment and I was deep down gutted, but I wanted to do it again, and again.  It's an obsession I've always had, I want to race, to do well, I dreamt of winning so many times but have never got there and I know I never will.  I still love taking part in races, but my outcomes are realistic.  Near the back will do just fine!

Anyway, I digress a bit.  During my gap year I finally bought my first real mountain bike.  A team edition Marin.  Since then I've owned quite a few different bikes and have ridden in many parts of this country.  My main hunting ground is now Hamsterley forest and I've become a good climber from all the hills I ride.  Shame I can't say the same for my descending skills.

One of the things I love about bikes is the people I meet.  The
world is full of so many like minded individuals, and I've had the privilege of riding with many of them.  I have made some really good friends through this sport.  I've also made friends working with them.  For eight years I worked for a company selling and repairing bikes, and gained so much mechanical experience. For me my social ground isn't the pub.  It's out there on the trails.  Although a few drinks doesn't go a miss!

I have now got a wife and two lovely children which take up much of my time, but I can still sneak in my rides.  I've commuted on my bike for years so it keeps my legs ticking over. I've even taken up Trail Running, to along with my art hobbies and other things besides.

Who knows, next year I may have a go at 24hour racing again..........I never seem to be able to let go!!

Jez Andrews



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