Bikes have shaped most of my life in one form or another, but I find it hard to think back to the first memory on one. My Mum however, still refers to when I was 2 years old and rocketed off on a tiny bike without stabilisers.

Growing older and braver

As I got a bit bigger the cockiness kicked in, which is where this picture below comes in, riding without my hands on the bars or standing on the seat to increase the buzz and scare my parents that bit more. This probably explains why I spent a lot of my early years in casualty.

Dave Cycling 1988

After that, one clear memory was a cycling holiday to the South of France, in a Citroen BX packed to the rafters with camping gear and five bikes on the rack on the back. My Dad, unaware of the location of his tyre, managed to melt it on the way down after leaving it directly in front of the exhaust. Maybe that experience riding in the sun on the warm tarmac and good food (but not yet wine) contributed towards the two wheeled obsession.

Bikes snowballed when I hit the age of 10 as I had the Lake District on my doorstep and mates who liked getting out as much as me who also had no fear at all.

Add to that the fact that Whinlatter was on our doorstep (or an 8-mile ride away), way before the days of full-suspension or trail centres, so we explored the trails and footpaths, creating our own routes and scaring the crap out of unsuspecting walkers who didn’t realise bikes went off-road. How the times have changed.

You might like