If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen
would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been
proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no
basis more reliable than my own wobbly experience. I will
dispense this advice now.
Enjoy the power and ability of your body. Oh, never mind.
You will not understand the power and ability of your body
until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look
back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp
now how much possibility lay before you and how fast you
really were. You are not as slow as you imagine.
Don't worry about the missed training. Or trying to catch
up, but know that catching up is as effective as trying to run
before you can walk. The real troubles on your bike are apt to
be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that
blindside you with 2 minutes to go on the start line.
Do one thing every day that scares you.
Don't be reckless with your bike. Don't put up with people
who are reckless with theirs
Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead,
sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end,
it's only with yourself.
Remember the encouragement you receive. Forget the pain. If
you succeed in doing this, tell me how.
Keep your old bikes. Throw away your old tyres.
Don't feel guilty if you don't know how to ride. The best
riders I know didn't know at day 1 how to unclip. Some of the
most skilled riders still fall off.
Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss
them when they're gone.
Maybe you'll crash, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll win,
maybe you won't. Maybe you'll complete the Epic at 40, maybe
you'll ride until you are 90. Whatever you do, don't
congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either.
Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.
Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid
of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest
engine you'll ever own.
Sprint, even if you have nowhere to do it but your
Know the road signals, even if you don't follow them.
Do not read nutritional advice. It will only make you feel
Get to know your club members. You never know when they'll
stop to help. Be nice to your fellow riders. They're your best
chance of finishing and the people most likely to stick with
you to the end.
Understand that form comes and goes, but a strong base is
something to hold on to. Work hard to bridge the gaps in
geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more
you will wish that you made the effort to get out there.
Ride on the road, but turn off before you die of boredom.
Ride single track, but leave before it you get addicted.
Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Bikes
will get better. You, too, will get old. And when you do,
you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were
reasonable, bikes were cheaper and children still rode bikes
in the streets.
Respect your age.
Don't expect anyone else to push you. Maybe you have a race
physic. Maybe you'll have a race weight bike. But you never
know when either one might come unstuck.
Don't put too much in your pockets or on your back, or by
the time you head out you will look like a beached whale.
Be careful whose bikes you buy, but be patient with those
who supply them. Advice is a form of sales. Dispensing it is a
way of managing the stock, embellishing it, glancing over the
ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.