Updated: Mar 27, 2018
I am Alastair John Beckett. I am not a blogger! (Yet)
I am 32 years old, have a wife and a young son whom I adore completely.
My other love in life is cycling!
Ever since I can remember, I have enjoyed being outdoors. Throughout my childhood I never really spent much time indoors and so I guess I had no choice but to find an appreciation for fresh air and the landscape around me.
Growing up in Ireland, allowed me the luxury of plenty of space, albeit the climate did have a say on how accessible this space might be at times. Nevertheless, I always enjoyed getting outside to run, or kick a ball, or exploring the small pieces of forest around the area I lived. My parents enrolled me in the local Scout group as soon as I was old enough, and I thrived on the freedom to explore the country, learn new skills and test my strengths against the bigger kids. Little did I now back then that I was subliminally building up a theoretical map in my head of potential riding spots that I would later call on and revisit on 2 wheels.
"EXPLORING THE SMALL PIECES FOREST AROUND THE AREA I LIVED."
My first real memory of falling in love with the sport of cycling was as I started out on my journey through Grammar School at the age of 12. With the daunting task of selecting new school friends that would see me through for the next 7 years, I was fortunate to find myself making the acquaintance of a kid from the next town called Andrew.
Andrew raced mountain bikes.
He quickly convinced me to come and join him at a local XC race that was only a few days off at the time. I remember to this day the feeling of lining up on that start line at one end of a gravel hockey pitch, pointed at the other end and a tiny hole in a hedge where all of the other 39 competitors were going to be aiming right for.
The final section of each lap passed through the local BMX track and then across the line and onto the next lap, passing once again across that gravel pitch and through the hole in the hedge.
"LINING UP ON THAT START LINE AT ONE END OF A GRAVEL HOCKEY PITCH, POINTED AT THE OTHER END AND A TINY HOLE IN THE HEDGE WHERE ALL OF THE 39 OTHER COMPETITORS WERE GOING TO BE AIMING RIGHT FOR."
All I could think about was that BMX track. The jumps. The Berms. The crowd littered around each section.
I was hooked!