“Life is too short to ride shit bikes”
I’m Olly, I live in the UK and the bicycle has been my preferred mode of transport for over 25 years. Cycling is something I’ve always loved since I was old enough to pedal.
But I now have another love that competes with time in the saddle. I’ve become a family man, blessed with a loving wife and two young sons. The past few years have been a tough balancing act between finding time for both, and I’ve started this blog as a means of documenting the struggle!
Riding bikes is an important part of my life. It is the way I keep fit, a mode of personal transport, a way of collecting and delivering things (or people), an escape, a means of relieving tension etc.
I’m an engineer by profession but you probably wouldn’t know it by the state of my bikes! Maintenance is long forgotten, my bikes are abused and they complain about it often.
There is no washing the crap off my rims, no wiping down the frame or re-lubing the chain.
Careful preparation and preventative measures these days rob me of precious time on the bike. So I just ride the thing until it says “do one mate”! At this point usually a number of problems have accumulated and compounded. What should be a quick component change turns into an episode of Scrapheap Challenge!
I passionately believe that cycling is a force for good in the world. It is partly this that brings me to write this blog. Getting out and riding in the outdoors has phenomenal benefits to physical and mental wellbeing. The best part is, practically anyone can take part nowadays.
It has literally never been a better time to ride a bike. We have recumbents, hand cycles, e-bikes and more. Cycling has become more diverse as more people than ever before are able to find a cycle that they can use, to enhance their quality of life. So if you would like to make riding bikes an integral part of your lifestyle then, chapeau to you! I think I can help.
In my youth I always used a bike to get around the English countryside where I lived. The obligatory village paper round was generally the most arduous riding I took part in. That was until I found mountain biking at the age of 15!
Now, I’m a pretty crap mountain biker and always have been. My first foray into road cycling came when my friend asked me to cycle Land’s End to John O’Groats with him. My immediate thoughts were that he was insane, and that it was literally impossible to ride a bike that far. Despite my misgivings I agreed to take part but essentially couldn’t be arsed to train for it.
We rocked up in Cornwall the following year and the south west of England showed us no mercy! That baptism of fire made me hungry for more!
Over the following years I became a keen road cyclist. I joined a cycling club and rode my bike hard, trying any discipline that came my way. I even represented the RAF in the annual Inter-Services Road Race against the British Army and Royal Navy.
I am unashamedly keen on steel bicycles, which is where the name for this blog comes from. I see the bikes I ride as an extension of my personality. I look for quality and exclusivity in most aspects of my life. An expensive philosophy sometimes, but that’s just the way I am!
More details can be found in the Stable section.