The beginning of my cycling career
Bike racing began for me in 1995. I made my first international debut in 1996 at a World Championships in Nottingham. The results I got in my early years were always mediocre. I showed potential but never quite clinched it and was trying to balance desires of rebellion with a need to conform to a training routine. Racing and rebelling, as the two major strands to my life, failed to merge successfully and it was a culmination of events pre and post the Sydney Parlympics in 2000 that led to me abandoning the bike for three years.
My search for acceptance
My quest to understand my place in society, as a person with Cerebral Palsy, led to me traveling extensively through Europe and Asia. I gained enormously from my time in India, working in different settings from kitchens to a medical centre and experiencing and immersing myself in diverse approaches to life and value systems.
How I returned to racing
While undertaken a Social Work degree in 2003, I started to ride the bike again around the roads of Sussex where I was doing my degree. Shortly my competitive instinct re-emerged and I rode the National Time Trial Championships in 2003. Showing promise, I was spotted by my old coach Gary Brickley who was still working within British Cycling. He arranged with the National Coach for me to ride my first international event in 3 years.
The results start to come
The event was in America and I won my first World Championships with fellow team mates, Darren Kenny and Rik Waddon on the track in the team sprint. I then went on to win the European Championships in the Road Race and Time Trial on the trike. After 2005, I started racing full time, winning several World Championships. I won two gold medals at the Paralympics in Beijing, 2008 and a bronze and gold medal at the London Paralympics. I have written about my experiences at these races which you can access through my blog. There is also talk of my quest for the best sticky toffee pudding and my travels across the world. For me, I never just wanted to be a bike rider. I hope you enjoy my site.