Introducing Dave Smith the Coach
It’s great to be joining the Merlin blogging team, as let’s face it, I like to think I played a significant part in the success of Merlin Cycles…
You see back when I bought my first bike as a grown-up, long ago before the internet was let loose on the public, I would drool over mountain bike parts in double page adverts in MBUK (with tiny font) write a cheque, put it in an envelope, post it, and several weeks later receive a parcel of parts that my local bike shops wouldn’t even know existed.
This was so long ago that I’m now more than twice as old as I was then. It could be said that the pendulum has swung from cycling mail order, to male older cyclist. But I’m not here as a reward for propping up Merlin’s early days. Rather I’ll be writing various things related loosely and tightly to cycling because in the course of doing many things on two wheels, I’ve made enough dumb mistakes to know a thing or two that may help some of you avoid the same mistakes. Despite the fact that an ‘ex’ is a has-been and a ‘spurt’ is a drip under pressure, it could be said that I’m kind of an expert.
A brief summary of my cycling related activities reads thus…
Cycled across several deserts in my youth
Written for loads of cycling magazines
Written two books in three languages
Raced expert cross-country for a few trade teams
4th in GB Downhill championships (lifetime achievement yet to be bettered!)
Coached XC riders to world cup titles, Olympic medals etc
Coached DH riders to world champs titles etc
Coached Tour de France stage winners and yellow jersey holders
Motor-paced the GB team in Columbia
Was GB Olympic road racing coach
Ran an ultra-marathon in Mongolia off 5 weeks training
Did a half-ironman triathlon after 10 weeks training
Was inactive for years at a time
Was overweight during those years
Was injured and ill at times
Have been slated on online forums
I now ride roughly 10,000 miles a year
Returned to racing at 48, racing 3rd cat at 50
Rode the length of Ireland in 3 days this year
Rode 210 miles on an MTB in one ride this year
For my next trick I’ll be riding half the distance of the Tour de France, stage by stage – then trying to win some road races.
Trial and Error
Trust me, these activities were strewn with errors, mistakes and screw-ups, but in a good way – most of the time. So on that basis, I look forward to sharing some odd and quirky little tips, best practice advice, recipes, excuses for not winning races, complaints about the weather and hopefully along the way you’ll gain some sensible information that will help you to become a better/faster/leaner cyclist. The blogs will focus mainly on health, fitness, nutrition, travel and training. I hope to cover everything from how to ride up the Galibier without tears, to riding your first time trial, or even how to cook half-calorie rice.
I’ll try not to be too snarky and hopefully it should be fun!