As Autumn rolls in the dynamic of my year changes. It’s off-season for my ‘normal’ work and so time to delve into new projects.
One of those projects is to do more freelance writing again. I’ve just finished an interview with a rising young British mountain biker named Sophie Wright. She only lives a few miles away from me so I have popped round a couple of times to chat, drink tea and take some photos. It’s really nice to work so close to home sometimes.
Another new projects is racing myself. It’s not actually new I suppose; rather I am revisiting a decade-long love. After my injury, the mind-set and the goal posts are somewhat shifted, but the desire to be fast and look cool remain.
In my first race of the season I achieved neither of these goals. My heavy-breathing to speed ratio was – almost fatally – flawed, and my pony tail got caught in my helmet straps as I fumbled to the start line and so it didn’t swoosh in the breeze. I enjoyed using my vast experience of watching World-class mountain bikers to nail a few technical lines, but otherwise it was an unforgiving sufferfest to which my body made it quite clear it was severely unaccustomed. Naturally, therefore, it was a wonderful feeling to be back amongst the racing. I did a win, and won £25! The holiday fund is coming along nicely. As my boyfriend Nick said after winning £10 at a road race earlier this year, “at this rate we’ll be off to Skegness… in 2050”.
We had to dip into our non ‘professional cycling winnings’ fund, but we are actually going on holiday this week. Not to Skegness. As it turns out, Italy is actually cheaper. It’s time to relax a little.
The season was a long one for OMX Pro Team, for whom I am Press Officer and carer. We started in South Africa back in March, and with Olympic qualification as a constant, nagging bed-fellow, there’s been little time to rest. Until now. Epic Israel is complete, and so is the calendar of racing. My computer is being shut and any social media will revolve largely around me and wine.
It has been a magnificent year for me with the team, and for the team as a whole. I experienced Africa for the first time, and travelled a lot in Europe: Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy. Lovely as these countries are, I always take my own tea bags. (Granted, the Saffas do Rooibos in any which way you like, but it doesn’t always hit the mark). I also took a lot of photographs, wrote a lot of words and sent a lot of Tweets. I was part of something big and part of making something bigger.
I’ve also worked with Balint Hamvas (cyclephotos.co.uk) on his stunning Cyclocross Album 2014/2015. Promoting a book is not something I had done before, but Simon Burney (prolific inviter for beer, good guy, outrageously tall – even to normal sized humans, living legend in off-road racing) figured if I could market a World Cup cyclocross race I could manage a book. I think he was right. Either way, it’s been a pleasure.
I’m sure I’ve done a few other bots and bobs too, including reporting on the British National Championships. Basically, I made a (sort of) actual job from what I love. Cool!
After holidays it’s time to reset. The off-season isn’t really off.
At present I am planning on how to plan some plans. There’s a lot of tables and arrows and existent but largely unpopulated content calendars. I’m redesigning my website and re-jigging my business model. This all excites me. I do like to organise things. And jig.
If you have projects I could social media manage or collaborate on; stories I could write and photograph (or even illustrate); profiles I could help to build, now is the time to get in touch!
See you on the other side. Ciao for now!