A long recovery process made me realise that there was more to explore than what lay between the race tape. I started skiing more, riding more of this new-fangled ‘enduro’ and slowly started to work too much. I eventually hit a point when I thought I had everything I ever wanted: we shared a huge apartment in the Alps, I had a race-van, two performance cars, two motorbikes, and a garage full of bikes, skis, and tools. It wasn’t until viewing a big job contract for a monster farm renovation when I felt totally overwhelmed and realised I was descending the wrong path. That was it. I sold up nearly everything I had so I could get back on the bike. I spent a while guiding in Finale Ligure, and then Whistler, but something didn’t fully draw me in, I needed more stimulation and pressure to improve myself.
I moved back to the UK, and with some help from my family, I managed to work a little and focus a lot on the brand new Enduro World Series. Three years of racing and I felt I was making progress. Then a call came from overseas, and the journey as the European Technical Editor for PinkBike began. With nearly zero experience as a ‘journalist’ (we’re not journo’s, we’re bike testers), there was a lot to learn which gave me the drive I needed.
After four years, I started to feel stale, and moreover, question the industry as a whole. Flying across the world to stay in a five-star hotel for a night, do half a bike ride and fly back, wasn’t me. I had a great time travelling and meeting people, but the waste grated on me, and so did the pile of plastic and broken parts piling up in the corner of the garage.
I left Pinkbike and spent two years working directly within the bike industry for various brands. Everything from being a brand ambassador, copywriting, and testing and prototyping parts – this was looking like a great career choice until the virus started and all of this work dried up very quickly.