Where do I start?
Since I last wrote a lot as changed. I've been quiet over autumn and winter but I've been busy.
I wish the above picture was recent, but it's not. We've been on lockdown in Glasgow for just under one week, along with the rest of the UK and seemingly the whole world. Covid-19 has rocked the world. Personally I'm struggling to come to terms with it all, as my life in my small bubble has changed very little although things are clearly very different. I'm just trying my best to follow the guidelines and listen to the advice given. I hope that my actions will limit the spread, minimise loss of life and allow us to return to normality as soon as possible.
I don't think there is much more I can add to this. So, here's a little update on what I have been up to since I last checked in. It's been a while.
The biggest change for me has been the formation of Wardell Cycle Coaching. I pondered this idea for a long time.
Having clocked up 20+ years of bike riding and racing and 13 years of professional coaching experience, working with some of the best coaches, coaching outfits and governing bodies from all over the world over, I felt it was time to set up my own coaching company. I wanted to do things my own way, and make it simple for bike riders all over the world become the riders that they want to be.
Wardell Cycle Coaching is now live, offering Personal Coaching Programmes and Training Plans as well as Private Bookings and Skills Clinics (when the Covid-19 Pandemic is under control) for all disciplines of cycling. I want to offer the same level of coaching services in skills coaching and fitness programmes, no matter what kind of bike you ride and no matter what your ability level.
One of the high points so far was when Ben Cathro contacted me to be his trainer on his return to World Cup Downhill racing as part of his Pinkbike project Walk The Talk. You can check out episode 1 below.
I'm really happy with how the plan has come together and how the website has turned out. I hope it is super easy and efficient for customers to use and I'd appreciate your feedback.
Personal Projects | Riding and Racing
It doesn't matter how old I get, or how long I've been riding bikes, I simply can't get enough of it. I love the variety of riding and training and the feeling of chasing progress.
Over the last few years it's been riding Mountain Bike Enduro, Bikepacking to Belgian Cyclocross and riding BMX and learning to backflip. Over the winter I was hooked on racing at the Velodrome at track league, and I won my first ever Scottish Championships Track Medal in the Madison. Right now, I'm hooked on indoor training and Zwift, although I'm struggling to get to grips with the short, fast races.
With regards to riding outdoors, I have some big goals in mind which I hope to tick off this year. I may be going a bit mad as I reach my mid-thirties, but I still think I can become a better bike rider and hit a new peak.
For the first time in around 6 or 7 years, I actually feel like I'm training. I've been putting in work on the KICKR consistently. I'm trying to get consistent in the gym too, although it doesn't come easily to me. I'm enjoying the process of training more and more and I can't wait to get out and ride when it's safe to do so too.
I have been one of the lucky ones who managed to line up at the races this spring as well. I lined up at the first round of the Scottish Cross Country Mountain Bike Series in the Elite/Expert category.
The competition was solid with Team GB Olympian Grant Ferguson and 2019 Junior World Champion Charlie Aldridge in the line-up. I focussed on riding my own race and had a great battle with Joe Curran for the final spot on the podium. Grant and Charlie had a close race too with Charlie coming out on top, and I was really happy with the time gap to the Grant and Charlie.
As I've already mentioned I've made my e-racing debut on Zwift. I've actually taken the start in a few races and I've been blown away at 1. how fun they are and 2. how fast they are!
It's a strange sensation lining up for a race and waiting for the countdown with pre-race nerves, when, in reality, you're just sitting at home alone on your indoor trainer. I'm fortunate to have a dream Wahoo set-up at home, so racing with KICKR climb changing gradient and KICKR headwind blowing harder in relation to speed it pretty entertaining!
I've had a few good races in the A-class events and I think my best finish has been a 9th place. I'm still keen to ride a few more and see how I can progress. I'm also really keen to see how this progress will translate to the road and the trails.
That's about all for now, so I'm going to leave you all at that. Stay positive and stay safe.