New Horizons...

Yesterday I turned a corner. A corner that I have been anticipating for a long time; the end of my time at university, the end of my exams, the end of 17 years of education. To those that say that university life is an easy life, perhaps yours was, mine certainly wasn't. Trying to juggle attaining the highest possible grade, training, racing, a social life and looking after yourself was a struggle at times. At times elements suffered, at times, I felt like it wasn't worth it, but I'm pleased I've finished... it's been a journey.

Turning the corner brings new horizons for me. When I left school I was fairly sure that my horizons were set; my grades and position in the school meant the mounting expectation from family and friends was that I would go into the City with my economics degree; make "the dollar" and live the "high-life". A lot has changed since then. I still have high expectations of myself, and I'll always aim higher, but those particular horizons are no longer in my path. 

Various factors over the last four years have led me to pursue a different course. I've found, or perhaps rediscovered my passion for cycling, I've absorbed myself into all aspects of the sport, and this blog has helped me to realise how much I value helping others in the sport and promoting it as a fantastic hobby to pursue. For those reasons my outlook and aspirations have fundamentally changed. 

Over the next few months I plan to devote myself to almost full-time training, pushing myself harder, in a bid to go faster than ever before, and see what I am capable of achieving. I have a calendar full of races, and although it is looking less likely that I will attain my first category licence this year because of the late start due to exams and other commitments, I hope to get close to it, and make the step next year at least.

In other areas of the sport aside from road racing, I'm doing a 110 mile off road ride along the South Downs Way at the end of this month, with some great people that I have met through the blog and Twitter. I'm also still planning a big touring trip in September; which at the moment is set to involve riding back from Florence to Le Havre, taking in some of the biggest mountain passes in the Alps. 

After that, I'm unsure what the future will bring, and to be honest that really excites me. Longer term I am looking to start a job in the cycling industry, in marketing, buying or selling; I'm keen to have plenty of customer contact to pass on my passion for the sport. However, if no such opportunity arises by the late summer I am considering travelling to New Zealand to work as a cycle touring guide for a few months to avoid the British winter. The future is an uncertain one, but an exciting one.

There will be lots of new activity on the blog over the coming months as well I hope. It is nearing 100,000 unique page views, which is something I never dreamed of when I started writing it, initially to document my campaign for the 2011 Island Games. There will be lots more reviews, advice posts, and race reports to come, as well as plenty of updates on my horizons as they change and develop over the coming months and year. I hope you continue to enjoy it... thanks for reading. Let's see where this horizon takes us. 


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