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onesixeighteen – 206

Age doesn’t seem to slow my muscles down – getting my brain in shape is now the biggest battle…

A year with no serious breakages has done lots for my confidence. I raced through a fractured thumb to take one of the best series wins I’ve had ever. But this is not foolish pride talking – it’s quite the opposite. I’m thankful of my luck this year and relived to have made it through unscathed. I know now how long it takes for my bones to heal, I know how long it takes to teach my head to trust my body again and I know what a pain in the arse I’ll be for everyone around if things aren’t going to plan!

In terms of wins, 2016 has been my best year since 2011. I’ve held my hands up in the air eight times and won two series. Building on this in 2017 will be tough, but I’m determined to make the most of the strength I have, the technique I’ve remembered and the youth that I’m now clinging on to!

But more than that, I want to go out and ride some new stuff! My 2017 is going to be based upon searching for new trails, both far afield and closer to home. I’m going to test what’s possible from my front door and one of the things that is allowing me to do that is the tech. Finally it’s possible to have bikes that do more than one thing and don’t feel like a sack of potatoes. “All-road” bikes used to be heavy clunky  lumps which were kind of fun for an afternoon, but you were always quite pleased to give them back – now I’ve got bikes that I can legitimately use on or off-road, which I still want to ride the next morning.

The only thing left to decide is what bloody axle length and rotor size everyone is going to use and I’ll be as happy as Larry!

Cheers for reading my blog and to everyone who’s helped me in 2016[1] – see you next year!

Photos by Sean Hardy, Dave Hayward and Glen Whittington.  

Glen rides for the Southborough & District Wheelers. He races Mountain bikes in the UK National XC Points and Eastern XC Series, Road bikes in the Surrey, South-East and Eastern Leagues, TT in the South East Region and ‘Cross in the LCCA League. He receives personal support from Helly Hansen, The Velo House, and the.æight.bicycle.cømpany. He also contributes to Simpson Mag @eightbikeco #aeightracer

Glen runs The Velo House with Olly, a coffee shop, workshop and bike shop welcoming all cyclists and even well behaved non-cyclists. We’re based at 5 St.Johns Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN4 9TN – 01892 554 505 – @thevelohouse #thevelohouse

[1] Cheers to Pip, the guys at The Velo House, Helly Hansen, Caroline and Nick at Scott, Bruce and Mark at Kinesis/Upgrade, Scott at Giro DiLento, Jim and the guys at Enigma, Geoff Roberts, Grant at Schwalbe, Lazer Helmets, Dave Hayward, Sean Hardy, Rob at Madison, Chris at Parlee, Terry and Martin at Simpson Mag, Michael and the organisers of Beastway, Geoff and the organisers of the Bedgebury Races, all my clubmates at Southborough, all of the customers at The Velo House, anyone I’ve shared a ride with in 2016 and everyone I’ve raced with!

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