Cycling means a lot to me. It started as a means of transport, then became a passion and a hobby. It took me around the world, competing for professional teams. Introduced me to some great people. And now has landed me at VBike in Auckland. Thanks for the warm welcome and if we haven’t met yet, hello!
I’ll be taking over the VBike bike fit studio so thought I should write a quick blog to introduce myself. Following that, in the coming weeks will be the start of a bike fit blog series where we'll take a deeper dive into the nuances of bike fitting. Until then, a bit about my journey. Why am I here and why am I bike fitting?
I'm from the UK and moved here earlier this year from Belgium where my girlfriend and I had spent the last few years. She's from here, and with the lack of racing and opportunity in locked-down Europe, it was the obvious choice. How things have changed!
Prior to that was a rollercoaster ride through the world of bike racing. I put my studies on hold at 18 to pursue my burning desire to race bikes full-time. Astellas professional cycling team took me on and provided two wonderful years of hard racing and travelling through North America. Some promising results then led me to Sean Kelly's Anpost team where the level of racing and support increased. However, the upward trajectory did not continue as planned. I was plagued with injury that year and barely finished a race. The prognosis was 3 months of rest to let the damage heal; this is where I made some hard choices.
I picked back up my engineering degree and started work. But importantly, I began my quest to uncover the reasons for my injuries. Medical advice throughout the year had been inconclusive so I took matters into my own hands. The further I got stuck into it, the more I discovered just how much your bike position matters. Much of what I was learning in engineering could be applied to my cycling injury dilemma so hence my interest heightened further. I'll save the specifics for a later blog, but many many books and experiments later I was able to ride again, injury free.
The process of problem solving I found hugely rewarding. Let alone finally being able to enjoy my favourite activity again. So it was only natural to wonder if I could reproduce the same results for other people's bike-related issues. Some professional training and many webinars later, I started my own bike fit clinic in Belgium where I helped young riders with their bike position. I did this whilst continuing to race, until the pandemic hit. And here we are.
To loop back to that start, the main thing that cycling means to me is freedom. For a while I lost it, but bike fitting was able to unlock it again. I'm looking forward to listening and helping cyclists in Auckland feel good on a bike because I know how great it feels!
Catch me in the VBike studio if you have any nagging questions. I can usually be found tinkering on my bike or scouring the net for photos of cycling greats like Fons de Wolf or Laurent Jalabert.