Hi, I’m Alan. I’ve been an avid cycling enthusiast since my mid 20s. Time, as it does, has since flown by; without revealing my age, suffice to say I have 20 years experience in maintaining and upgrading bikes.
I started commuting to and from work in an effort to lose a few inches off my waistline; unfortunately, I kept the most of the inches, but regained a passion for cycling that I’d lost as a teenager, and it made me feel alive again.
I started Bikebrave in 2017 as a place to share my stories. Bikebrave draws on my many years of experience maintaining, upgrading, and, most of all, enjoying bikes. Hopefully, you can learn something from me directly instead of finding it out the hard way: stranded in the cold and the rain on the way home from work.
You can get in touch with me through any of the Bikebrave social media channels such as Twitter & Instagram. Or… you can email me directly at [email protected].
My Relationship with Cycling
My introduction to bikes is a familiar one for many; I began as a child, and my father taught me. I enjoyed cycling the way most kids do. Roughly every other Christmas morning, I’d run down to find a poorly-wrapped bike near the tree, and I’d be straight home and out the door on it every day after school.
I grew out of that feeling when the real world came knocking. I became career-focused, always busy, and thought I wouldn’t have been fit enough to enjoy cycling even if I’d wanted to.
In my late 20s, I hopped back on a single-speed bike in a feeble attempt to lose some weight (I didn’t lose much) on my daily commute. I fell totally in love with it again. To this day, I still cycle to and from work, about an hour-and-a-half round trip in all.
Since falling back in love all those years ago, I’ve taken up mountain biking as a hobby for weekends when I’m feeling adventurous, and I road cycle regularly with a bunch of friends. Mountain biking gets my pulse racing in a way little else does, and although road cycling provides its fair share of thrills, I feel a lot more comfortable (and look a lot better!) in baggy trousers than I do in lycra shorts.
Why I Chose To Write About Cycling
When I began getting into cycling, information was hard to come by. Things have changed since, but even today, when I look for advice on what to upgrade, I’m often left frustrated at the lack of quality information. Forums are great and all, but I can’t part with a thousand dollars based on a random guy’s opinion on a message-board.
I began blogging here on Bikebrave in 2017 after writing briefly for a few other failed blogs. I wanted to create a high-quality resource for the average cyclist. I can’t teach you how to break speed records or claim to have ever cycled competitively in my life, but I have more years under my belt (and on the saddle) than I’d care to admit, and a million real-life experiences to draw advice from; why not share some of it.
In short, I hope to accomplish a few things with this blog. I hope to help newcomers overcome the hurdles associated with starting cycling, be it financial or problems with motivation. I hope to teach people how to take better care of their bikes, so they don’t end up stranded in the dark at night (as I have been many a time). But most of all, I hope to make cycling fun again for people like me who lost the spark at some point.
A rainy commute to work can be a grueling miserable affair or a refreshing boost that sets you up for a successful day, depending on how you look at it. I want to help people find the latter mentality and get everything they can out of cycling. If it made me feel alive again, it could do the same for you.
Read more from Alan Hughes