Tuesday, 1 December 2009

A bit of background

First things first, a little bit about me and why I've taken up the Etape challenge. For as long as I can remember I've been into football. I started playing as a 6 year old and have been involved in at least one team every season since. Although I'd run a couple of marathons, I hadn't yet been converted to the world of the individual sport. However, that all changed when I started to watch the Tour de France a few years ago. I was hooked on the physical struggle, the sense of drama, the fantastic scenery and the sheer will of force that was required to drag 75kg of male frame over the steepest of mountains. It all felt so far from the money saturated world of football and the prima donnas who now call Europe's elite leagues their home. I build up a bond with my sporting heroes and what footballers could no longer provide me Mark Cavendish, Brad Wiggins and co. certainly could.

I've always been one for saying if you enjoy watching a sport, you need to try it yourself in order to truly appreciate what the pros go through. When you know how hard they have to train, what they have to give up and how much pain they have to endure to reach the top then you appreciate their achievements all the more. And so it came to pass that I took advantage of the Government's "Cycle to Work" scheme and bought my first racing bike.

Fast forward a year and I am in love. I love riding my own bike as much as I love watching the pro peloton. I've entered a couple of sportives but the biggest and most exciting challenge for a beginner on the road to true cycling addiction must surely be the Etape du Tour. I don't know quite how difficult a challenge it will be but I certainly can't wait to find out. I look forward to counting down the days and miles and sharing a few of my thoughts along the way.