We’re very excited at SportiveHQ to announce that we’re in the process of establishing a partnership with Sportive Cycle Coaching (www.sportivecyclecoaching.co.uk) in order to help you get fitter for cycling. Over the coming weeks and months, we’ll be publishing a series of blogs from them but first of all, we thought it would be nice for you to know who they are, so we asked Andy to answer three questions.

Matt: So, Andy, please tell me, I know you’re a cycling coach but what makes you want to ride a bike in the first place?

Andy: Hi Matthew.  Well, there’s a very simple reason for me! In the mad-cap, full-on, 24×7 online world that we live in, it gives me some ‘me time’!  In that little bubble of my ride, I am the boss where the accountability is all mine, the responsibility is mine and any fear is mine to control. 

It’s very refreshing and whether it’s coincidence or not, I also seem to have my best ideas when I am out cycling. Perhaps it’s the time when my subconscious mind kicks in and says “move over” normal brain, I’ve got a great idea to tell you about! Ideas about family, ideas about work, ideas about decorating (always unactioned!), ideas about problems and a whole load more – they all pop in! Some of the time, it’s probably an inadvertent self defence mechanism if the training hurts or the hill summit just won’t get any closer. Rather than my normal brain grumbling about the effort and wanting me to stop, the subconscious pops in with its idea. 

It’s called the distraction technique and, if you have kids, yes it works on them too!

Matt: Interesting, I recognise a lot of that myself, especially trying to juggle life with kids! So, that’s why you ride but I am also interested to know about your cycling background. Can you tell me a bit about it?

Andy: I’m one of those folks that has enjoyed cycling since the times that it first provided me with the freedom to get out from under my parents’ feet at the age of 10 or 11!  Even during my University days I got  around by bike and, somewhat famously in my family, I cycled home 100 miles on a whim one day. As you might imagine, my parents were quite surprised! I would not, however, recommend the usage of Mars Bars and Coca-Cola as the only sustenance for all-day endurance rides!

After my MTB phase in the 90’s, I discovered cycling ‘Sportives‘ in the early 00’s and I have taken on many challenges since then including L’Etape du Tour, Tour de Yorkshire, Wicklow 200, Paris-Roubaix, The Vatternrundan, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Tour of Flanders and the Marco Pantani Gran Fondo.  I’ve also  completed several multi-day events including Lands-End to John O’Groats, Blackpool Tower to Eiffel Tower, Haute Route Norway and a West to East crossing of the Pyrenean Mountains 

Matt: Last question Andy – how did you end up as a cycling coach?

Andy: It’s one of those “overnight decisions” that took 13 years to be made! Back in 2004, I made a spontaneous decision to take on the 2005 edition of L’Etape du Tour from Mourenx to Pau in the Pyrenees. While trying to find preparation advice for a ride of 110 miles and 4000m, it became quite clear to me that there was a deficit of cycle coaches who specialised in helping riders prepare for cycling challenges, unless they were Triathlons! So, the idea for my business was born but it would take another 13 years before the opportunity to launch my company would arise.

Following a redundancy in 2018, I retrained as a cycle coach with the Association of British Cycling Coaches (ABCC). With my hands-on experience of riding many events and the formal qualification under the ABCC, I know I can help others take on their cycling challenges with less of the pain caused by under preparation! 

Matt: Thanks Andy, you’ll be writing for us regularly, we hope!

Andy: Yep, for sure, I really enjoy the literary side of the cycling industry.

If you’d like to contact Sportive Cycle Coaching, feel free to contact Andy by any of these methods

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