I found this photo attached an old email.
It was taken by my pal Tim on the 1st of November, 2010. The location is at the top of Ringinglow Road, right before the sign that reads ‘DERBYSHIRE’. The road has since been resurfaced.
I imagine that Tim rode away from me on the climb and then stopped in the lay-by to take the photo as I approached, I don’t remember much about the ride, it was a long time ago.
I’m wearing some M&S casual shorts over the top of my bib-shorts, a pair of Nike trainers, Campagnolo cap and a vintage Carrera jersey.
Back then I was totally clueless about bikes and bike riding etiquette, I owned very little proper cycling kit apart from some vintage jerseys. I was on my first proper road bike ~ T.J. Quick Reynolds 531c frame with some vintage Campagnolo parts which I bought from a friend at the time.
Andy Mac built the bike up for me it in his garage one Saturday afternoon and I rode it home across town that same evening. I remember it feeling good to ride the bike, to go down hill reasonably fast with the wind on my face. I also remember feeling vulnerable riding on the main road with cars.
At that time I was 25 years old. This was all before I started Mamnick.
Since then so much has changed, but finding this photo reminded me of how far I'd come (in bike terms). It reminded me of how hard riding a bike in Peak District can be when you're not fit.
I get sent messages from people on social media asking for advice of how to “get into cycling” and I never really feel like I can give a adequate response. My first piece of advice is usually - “Buy a cheap bike and see if you like it”.
This is the first image I have of me riding a road bike but ironically, some fundamental things have stayed the same. I still ride steel bikes with relatively big gears, with down-tube shifters. I still wear a cotton cap and I still ride on (or near) this road frequently.
The image got me thinking about how we all start somewhere, and this (is roughly) where I started.
Word by Thom Barnett