When Myles approached me to contribute to this platform he blew some serious smoke up my ass, no money but lots of smoke. He did a good job, I’m in.
Hi, I’m James Louter. I’m a 40-year old, single ( I think….) rehabilitated cyclist now living in London working for Qhubeka UK. If you want to know more about me may I suggest Google. Or better yet, talk to Myles, he’ll regal you on my exploits way better than I ever could. Cheers Myles. [Myles: “One classy bike rider understanding and embracing souplesse.”]
In all seriousness being approached to contribute to someone’s own venture as they launch away from the gravitational pull of the security and comfort of a regular pay check is huge honour. I’ll do my best Myles.
So what I am going to contribute? Well…….deep breathe in (I’m qualified yoga teacher so I know all about breathing…..namatse!). It would be too easy to tackle the politics of the sport, or an overview of the races and the business and administrative side. Yawn…!
Don’t worry though, I’ll wade into those muddy waters at some point but I’d rather elevate this narrative by going full blow narcissistic. Yip, although I fall outside of the age parameters for a millennial, it seems to be the trend. So, I’m going to share my journey back to falling in love with riding my bicycle again.
I’m not there yet. Don’t get me wrong, I love the sport of cycling and everything about it. Good bad, and ugly! But I just haven’t had that passion to pedal as often and as long as I used to when I was 15 years old living in Durban, escaping at every opportunity and exploring new area and roads. I miss that. I’m going to share some of highlights with thoughts and experiences I encounter along the journey with all the considerations that come with being a born again cyclist. ( see what I did there…cycling…religion…get it?)
Reconnecting with the bike, its been a process. Thankfully I have a job that is cycling centric which will see me riding often as part of it. And as result, I’ll have plenty opportunity and purpose to get out there and ride. Right now it’s full-blown winter here with snow and ice on the road, so it’s a good time to go back to basics. I’ve borrowed a set of rollers to remind myself that the pedal stroke is circular, not square in motion. At some point suppose I’ll be forking out for a direct drive trainer and a Zwift membership to flog myself daily waiting for the summer that may not come.
I’ve even got myself a British Cycling Race licence! Relax, Relax, Relaaaax people. . I’m not trying to win anything ( I think, for now…we’ll see). By registering with country’s cycling governing body, it’s provided me with a few adult provisions such as insurance and liability cover. It also gives me, in my opinion, visibility to the general cycling conversation, to be part of the British cycling community and to contribute by playing an active role as a participant, fan and supporter.
On the race side, I live around the corner from Hillingdon which has a closed road circuit and regular short races which I can test the ego on. I’m also keen to reconnect with the track and hopefully, by next season have gone through all the certification courses everyone (including Sir Bradley Wiggins) needs to do to be able ride on any track in the UK.
But for now I need to get on those rollers, listening to some cool beats and find that love again.
Follow me on @jlspiritrider for infrequent and non-curated photographic narcissism at it’s finest. Big Love