A knee injury, recovery, and then training for the Cape Rouleur
I suffered a bad knee injury in October 2016 but I remained determined: this would not affect my cycling. As advised by my physio, I kept my head down and rested for three months. It was hard but more than anything, I wanted to achieve my next goal of cycling the March 2017 Cape Rouleur.
When I got back to my training at the start of 2017, some fellow cyclists doubted I had enough time to get to the level of fitness I needed for the Rouleur.
But with the help of Togo, Josh, and the Njinga team, I worked hard at my pedal technique, focused on the Mountain Goat classes.
And, in March, flew to South Africa with high hopes of being able to get seeded into group 2.
With grit & determination, I achieved a seeding into group 1 which was above & beyond my expectations.
This result allowed me to compete alongside my fellow Njinga rider, a good friend, and someone I aspired to – Tim Richards.
By this time, my weight had dropped to 86kg.
Njinga Ride Captain
In the summer of 2017, I was delighted to be asked to be an Njinga Ride Captain. It was a great way to give back to Njinga and help other cyclists in the same way others had helped, supported, and encouraged me.
A learning curve: the UCI Gran Fondo World Championship qualifier
I ramped up my goals that same year by entering the UCI Gran Fondo World Championship qualifier at the Tour of Cambridge. This was a huge learning curve for me: I underestimated the pace and power of the riders and I narrowly missed qualifying by 50 seconds. I was gutted. It really shook my confidence and belief as I tried to analyse where I'd gone wrong.
Togo was a great support at this time: he chatted through what had happened, where I could improve, and helped me put a plan together.
This enabled me to train smart and focus on the quality of my training as opposed to the quantity.
By this time, my weight was 82kg.
My dedication to Riding Smart
Then began my dedication to the Njinga philosophy: Train Smart + Fuel Smart + Think Smart = Ride Smart.