Hello! My name is Keane, and I’m 37 years old. I’m married to Anna and I have three children – Nicky (9), Kitty (7) and Rory (5). As you may imagine, a lot of my time is spent with my family, but any leftover spare time these days is devoted to cycling.
I first started getting into cycling properly in 2008 whilst following the Tour de France, mainly so I would have some idea of what a friend was talking about! Slowly I started getting the hang of what was going on, the meaning of words like peloton and maillot jaune, and my interest increased. As Cavendish and Wiggins started enjoying success at the Tour, I decided that I wanted to get a bike. I started following pro cycling even more, learning about the Classics, the other Grand Tours and more.
Getting a Bike
I finally got a road bike in March 2012, a Carrera TDF from Halfords. At the time I thought £300 was a lot to spend on a bike! My first ride was laughable – in ten minutes I managed around a mile and a quarter, after which I had to sit down for 50 minutes as I was so out of breath! Slowly but surely I got better, and after a few months I was regularly going out for 20 miles at a time.
Originally I had planned to progress slowly and take a couple of years to build up to my first century – my plan was to be able to do the Southend Bikeathon in September 2012 (around 27 miles), then do London-Southend in 2013 (52 miles) and then a century some time in 2014. However, by the time I got to September 2012 I had already managed a 40 mile ride, so the Bikeathon was pretty easy and I was one of the first to finish.
I still planned to take it slowly as Rory was born in February 2013, and I assumed my cycling time would be reduced. One week later that changed, as I got an acceptance letter for Ride London-Surrey! I had entered the ballot but never expected to get a place. The thought of having 6 months to train and then cycle 100 miles was both exciting and scary! I expected Anna to prefer me not to enter, but she encouraged me to accept, and so began lots and lots of training! I experienced some very cold and wet weather whilst training, and also many hills in preparation for Leith Hill and Box Hill.
My training was going OK, and I entered the Wiggle Essex Explorer to get some experience of riding in groups at an event. I also took the opportunity to get a carbon bike from Ribble which cost over £1000! It took me a long time to press the ‘Buy’ button when I ordered it!
The Ribble was a big upgrade over the Carrera, and I’ve racked up the kilometres ever since. I’ve now completed four century rides, with my longest being 113 miles. I’ve had a bit of a health setback recently but hope to return to full fitness soon and return to some harder efforts on the bike.