I rode my bike a lot when I was a teenager. A couple of years ago I started running and swimming too. I am now living in Girona, training full-time as a triathlete.
That’s the short version. Read on for more detail on what I’ve done in the past, how I’ve ended up where I am, and, I suppose, who I am as a person…
ROUND THE WORLD
In 2015 I became the youngest person to cycle around the world. At the age of 19, I rode 29,000 kilometres over 6 months, through 21 different countries. That trip forced me to extend far beyond my comfort zone, taught me a lot about myself, and set up many of the things that I have gone on to do. I’ve written fairly extensively about it in the past, so I won’t dwell on it here. If you’d like to know more about it, further details can be found on this page.
UNIVERSITY YEARS, BOOK WRITING, AND BIKE RACING
After cycling around the world, I started an engineering degree at Loughborough University. Whilst there, I also took up bike racing and began writing a book. My degree studies weren’t particularly out of the ordinary, however they did greatly impact these other two aspects of my life, and my time in Loughborough became a pivotal period.
Although I cycled a lot prior to my ride around the world, I’d never done so competitively. I discovered a completely new side to the sport when I started racing, and poured a lot of effort and emotion into it. I had some great experiences and met some wonderful people, but ultimately endured a frustrating time of it.
The book was a huge project for me. In my third year at university, it became my passion and my priority. The fact that it surpassed cycling was surprising even to me. I learnt to greatly appreciate the process and skill behind writing. Whether I became any good at it is for somebody else to decide, but I loved developing the ability to convey ideas with clarity.
Emu Racing and Record Chasing is the story of my trip around the world, but hopefully told in a unique way. The process took much longer and required me to work much harder than I anticipated, but I finished it truly proud of the result. More information about the book can be found here.
The engineering, the writing, and the racing all played a significant role in my life, and each of them impacted and influenced the other. I discovered more definitively than ever that there are only so many hours in a day.
INCUS AND TRIATHLON
During my fourth year in Loughborough (in between degree studies), I worked for a sports technology company – INCUS Performance. At the same time, I made the switch from competitive cycling to triathlon. I discussed this transition in one of my top blog posts – Triathlon: Part 1. That post covers my racing experience from start to finish, and possibly says just as much about ‘who I am’ as this page does. Leaving cycling, which remains the sport I hold closest, was a tricky and emotional decision, but it set me on a path that I am now absolutely loving.
Away from my own individual endeavours, working for INCUS taught me more than the previous three years of studying combined. Acting within a small technology start-up was insightful on so many levels. I found the intricacies of a growing business fascinating, and it was interesting to be involved in sport as an engineer rather than an athlete for once.
Following that year, was my final one in Loughborough. I went on to partner with INCUS for my dissertation (which centred around the application of their wearable technology in running), and I continued training for triathlon. Within a season marred by COVID, I was lucky enough to compete at one of the few races that went ahead – Ironman Tallinn. That was where I qualified for the 2021 Ironman Age Group World Championships, prompting me to jump into my current situation.
All of the above just about covers the most notable experiences that have led me to where I am now. However, something that I haven’t really elaborated on is my passion for exploring the limits of myself. It’s something so fundamental that I think I would be remiss not to mention some of the other ‘challenges’ I have undertaken in an about me page.
Whilst I am immensely proud of my ride around the world and grateful for the doors it has opened, I’ve always said that I don’t want to be recognised for a single achievement. I would hate people to think that I ‘peaked’ at nineteen-years-old. I certainly don’t see it that way, and in fact, I already see my book as an even bigger accomplishment than the ride itself. Regardless, in order to keep myself true to these values, I’ve also done a few other silly things along the way…
In 2016, whilst still just a cyclist, I ran a sub-three-hour marathon with only two weeks running training. I discuss this in Emu Racing and Record Chasing and it served as a major catalyst in sparking the triathlon decision a couple of years later.
That same year, I climbed Mont Blanc – Europe’s highest mountain. I’m not a mountaineer, and Mont Blanc is not a particularly technical climb. However, I mention it because the experience triggered the same world-beating excitement that first drew me to cycling. I think in another life, I could have happily seen myself exploring that path.
In 2018, I helped to set a world record for the furthest distance travelled in 12 hours using a Pedalo. Yep.
In 2019, I decided to spend a day running 5 kilometres at the start of every hour (for 15 hours). This was, I think, the most arbitrary and pointless of all. There was some loose reasoning behind it, but it was largely just to see what happened. I’m planning to write a blog post about it soon, so stay tuned for that.
Ultimately, my goals as an ‘athlete’ and as a person, are to push my limits as far as I can, whilst inspiring others to do the same. If I can make people laugh along the way, then all the better. The best way to go about this is something I’m constantly deliberating and changing my mind on, but hopefully you will be tempted to follow the journey.
If you have any questions about anything I’ve mentioned, from bike touring to wearable technology, feel free to drop me a message. Thank you to anyone who has read this far!