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Why we ride! Looking back and moving forwards

For Dan & I, 2018 was a bit of a roller coaster - lots of highs and lows and cycling was an amazing sanctuary for those tougher moments! Even still, the year didn't do any hanging around so we're not expecting 2019 to either. It's a funny one January - a proper reset button for a lot of people. Whether you've had a corker of a year or you've been battling demons, New Year gives you a whole new pair of fresh eyes. As it's the first week of the first month, we're taking a moment to reflect on this month's 'why we ride' questions with someone who proves - it's okay to have the downs. Just own it and believe that you will get back up again!

1) What was your cycling highlight of 2018?

2) What are your cycling goals for 2019?

This week, our answers are from madhare rider, Stu Collins. We follow Stu on Strava and instagram; if you follow him, you'll see he's inspiring in his drive, determination & pure passion for riding but proves that sometimes, taking time out is important - it allows us to come back strong again but perhaps with a different perspective. Remember, goal setting doesn't have to be huge, just big enough to get you excited about getting on your bike in 2019 and Stu is a great example of this!

Q) Stuart, what was your cycling highlight of 2018?

A) It’s a bit difficult to pick just one highlight now I think about it. I had a really good year of riding. The Mad Summer Hare was up there for sure. It was one of those days when everything fell perfectly and I was flying. It was an awesome day and I was really happy with getting round in the time I did.

I set out at the start of 2018 to see more of the world by bike and I achieved that, and had some epic rides in the mix. Malaga in February gave me some awesome early season sunshine riding, the Vendée was an incredible place to ride a bike, Scotland in August was beautiful and painful in equal measure, the solo 300km Birmingham-Box Hill-London ride was just massive in every respect. There’s more that I can’t quite recall right now too.

Wow! With so many highlights to choose from - we're honoured to see the Mad Summer Hare on the list!

Q) So, what are your cycling goals for 2019? A) The first challenge is getting back on a bike and being a cyclist again. Being hit by a van in October ended my season on a sour note and I lost the love after that a few near misses with motorists. I’m now at the point where I’m ready to get back on the bike and be a cyclist again. If I can even get close to the form I had this year, I’ll be more than happy.

Q) Stu, you're an old timer with the MMH! Why do you keep going back?

A) Yeah, the MMH started for me when I first got into cycling in 2011 and joined Cult Racing (back when the sportive was run by Paul Prince from the shop). It’s grown amazingly as an event since and having ridden all sorts of events all over the country, it is by far the most enjoyable and most well organised event I’ve done.

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