For me, the alternative world to cycling exists, but it’s a crazy paradox. My morning's are spent on the bike, often the afternoon too; the rest of the time its recovery. Whether that's refuelling, chilling out, drinking coffee or my personal favourite lying flat and napping like a toddler. Training is a tiring but an extraordinarily beautiful process. I love it.
My afternoons are often spent with my head resting on something - a massage bed, a cushion or more often than not; my pillow. As I say, it is a beautiful process. It is a privilege.
After racing in the desert the weather in Europe and the Isle of Man feels much colder than it is. The season is now well and truly here. The first race is done and the next is approaching - so what happens now?
Firstly, like myself, racing has returned back to the continent.
Any story with Italy in it always reminds me of my time in the USA with the Team Novo Nordisk development team. We’d stop on route to or from a race at an ‘Italian’ restaurant. This would always be proceeded by a groan from the Italians. Now it may well be my ignorance but Italian food is Italian food right?
Well, apparently not. After 10 days in Italy, now I know why. The food, the culture and the time I’ve spent in Verona has been nothing short of amazing. I have been working with my coach, Luca, in Verona to prepare for the next few months of racing; a mini training camp if you will. A wonderful place to escape the sometimes temperamental Manx weather.
It has been an adventure. Dialling in some specific work after the transition from pre-season to racing. A lot of hard work, but I’ve loved every minute of it. I've also had the opportunity to ride with my Italian teammates, Umberto and Andrea.
For those not in the know with the cycling front, pre-season work can be very slow. It's traditionally built up of ground work, lots of time on the bike at relatively slow pace, this is the platform to then build upon; an endurance base. Converting this base work to speed in the legs in time for racing isn't always the easiest.
I’ve been lucky to also have the chance to explore Verona and it’s surrounding spaces, with some tough training included - it is undoubtably, an extremely beautiful part of the world. I've been well and truly looked after by my coach and I am so grateful for his time whilst I've been here. Thank you.
For now it's time to race - the cycling season is hotting up. With the shift in racing back to Europe, the home of cycling, there are a succession of big races throughout the continent. Countries such as Italy, Spain and Belgium will play host for us. As to my schedule, it isn't fully prepared yet but I will keep you all up to date with anything new.
TAD - Talk About Diabetes
At the end of the month, I will be at the TAD Event in London. This yearly meeting set up by Dr Partha Kar, Dr Catherine Peters and Prof Peter Hindmarsh, gives the diabetes community an event to meet up and listen to talks given by people affected by diabetes. They "want to support and empower those with diabetes to achieve their potential and live well." TAD
I was overwhelmed and elated upon being asked by Partha to give a talk at the 2019 event, an opportunity to which I snatched his hand for. For myself, this is one of the best parts of my job. To help, in my case through professional cycling, inspire and empower all of those around the world affected by diabetes and to show them that a diabetes diagnosis doesn't have to stop you pursuing your dreams; whatever they may be.
At the event, I will be talking about my life - from growing up on the Isle of Man to my diagnosis - my story with diabetes as well as my experiences as a professional cyclist. To those attending, I look forward to seeing you there, to those that aren't, I'm sure there will be some great snippets of a fantastic event for you to catch up with.
Thank you all for reading my latest work. It's just a small taste of my latest adventure and what's coming up soon. I hope that no matter how brief, you still found it entertaining and useful, and hope to see you back here soon as I am already eager to tell you more. Stay tuned. If you feel it would be of benefit to others, then please feel free to share. Don't forget to follow, and I'd love to hear from you.
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Cover Photo - ©VeloImages / Team Novo Nordisk