Ten years ago, I thought that the farthest a bike could take me was to the corner shop to buy another packet of cigarettes. And even then I'd struggle. Competitive sport was a thing of the past for me as I enjoyed my party years at University. That all changed one day thanks to my now wife.
We sat in front of the television one Saturday morn watching a triathlon (which one of my house mates at the time was in to) and as Australian triathlete, Courtney Atkinson, emerged from the water, she was quick to remark how 'fit' he was. Sure, he had rippled abs, tanned body and could hold his own in a pair of budgie smugglers but could he drink an entire bottle of rum in one sitting without passing out???
I was not going to be out-done by this guy. "I could do that.", I stated. And with those four words began the demise of 'fat me'. Within a month I had sold my pride and joy V8 country bumpkin ute, quit smoking and bought my first ever road bike.
I have a montage of stories, both successful and unsuccessful, of my journey to fitness but I won't bore you with the details. Eventually I gave up running and swimming to focus on cycling and have not looked back since.
All that is relevant, is that almost 10 years on - to the day - I am about to step on to a plane to begin a year of riding for a Continental cycling team throughout Asia and Europe.
This blog will record my experiences and ramblings for the next twelve months. It won't all be about the bike, as you will soon see, but without it, I'd probably still be sitting on the couch in front of the television.
And if you were wondering... Here is a 'before' picture of myself, back in my prime;)