It's fair to say that I'm mad about cycling - the sort of mad that is on the brink of being bit weird. Not a day goes by when I'm not obsessing over some aspect of it - whether it be the physical act riding my bike, dreaming about what bike I'd buy next, what clothes will go with that beautiful new bike - you get the picture.
However, since this journey really kicked off a couple of years ago, whilst I found myself getting into all sorts of things that I never thought I would or could do, inevitably the work behind the project and taking on a new job at Warwick meant I had a lot less time for cycling. This was hard given that I was cycling to and from work everyday, two evenings a week with lads from the bike shop and at least once over the weekend. My mileage plummeted like the value of sterling since BREXIT and this wasn't sitting pretty with me.
There was a ridiculous amount of things to be organised, plans to be submitted, people to meet and money to raise. It was hard but, perhaps with hindsight, a privilege. From where I come from, people don't buy carbon bikes let alone houses in France. Despite that I'm only human and it was a bit tedious when all I wanted to do was go cycling with the lads - proper spoilt child style.
However, seven months in and its all (slowly) starting to come together so I'm excited to really get stuck into my new job as an Animateur Sportif Independant - a waaaay cooler job title than Research Support Manager! Well, I say get stuck in, but now we have baby Amadie bouncing around As Plos I'm going to have to do some planning before I can just hit the roads with the sort of gay abandon I'm used to.
Since we're offering three different types of holidays for different groups of people, there are lots of things to consider like the right number of hills, making sure my Strava segments are never under threat (just kidding...a bit), where to stop for coffee/lunch and how to make sure everyone enjoys the cycling and the area even after successive days out on the bikes. It's not as easy as it seems it's not a job I can see me getting bored of any time soon.
Since we have our first Training Camp of 2017 booked for mid March, I'm doing this now with some gusto. I've got a week of cycling to plan for our guests who are training for a particular event back in the UK. They need a mix of different rides and have a few specific requests too and I'm absolutely loving the process and tailoring everything to fit. This is going to sound completely pretentious but the hardest part is going to be working out what show them first. There are so many roads to so many places that I'm already coming to terms with the fact that they just can't see it all in a week.
The fact that I'm now effectively employed to do build and recce routes as well as cycle with groups of other cyclists (along with a lot of other non-cycling related tasks I should add) is unbelievable. In fact, the other day, whilst I was sat there plotting a course on my laptop, it suddenly occurred to me that I might finally have my dream job and it crept up on me so quietly whilst everything else was crashing around my head that I didn't even notice! I know one thing for sure, the dress code around here is more relaxed and the only thing that remains to be seen is how well I do at my first appraisal...