Nigel got into cycling when he was overweight and living an unhealthy lifestyle. He talks to Sundried about how cycling has changed his life.
Have you always been into sport?
Growing up, my main sport was badminton and I was fortunate enough to represent Wales in several age groups. I played until I was 21 then gave up due to work commitments.
I started cycling in 2013 and got back into sports to improve my health. At the time, I was weighing in at over 105kg, smoking at least 20 a day, and drinking frequently. I was playing golf regularly but it wasn't doing my health any good.
I started cycling on a hybrid bike purchased through the "cycle to work" scheme and really enjoyed it. In July 2014, I attended stage 1 of the Tour de France in Yorkshire. I was instantly hooked on road cycling and, within 2 weeks, I was the proud owner of a new carbon road bike. The rest, as they say, is history.
In September 2016, I hired a coach in order to structure my training and now train up to 6 times a week, occasionally 7. I no longer drink or smoke and, at my lowest, got down to 80kg. Cycling has changed my life!
What’s been your favourite race to date and why?
In September 2019, I took part in the Isle of Man TT sportive on the world-famous circuit. I have visited the island many times to watch the races and to ride the same circuit as many of my heroes, although a little slower, was a dream come true. I hope to return again this year.
And your proudest achievement?
Completing the 100-mile closed road "Velothon Birmingham" in under 5 hours in 2019.
Have you ever had any racing disasters/your toughest race yet?
The 2015 Mark Cavendish sportive in Chester. It features over 10,000ft of climbing over 115 miles. I had to abandon the ride with just 15 miles remaining due to mechanical issues.
How do you overcome setbacks?
I remind myself how far I've come and how well I have done to achieve what I have so far. Many others would have given up. My coach is very fast to remind me of this.
What advice do you wish you'd been given before you started competing?
Set yourself a target and make it realistic. Hire a coach and discuss what you are trying to achieve.
What are your goals for 2020?
In May, I am doing a charity ride from London to Paris in aid of Qhubeka & Mind charities. I also intend to ride 150 miles in a day and may look at the possibility of riding from North to South Wales in a single day.
Who do you take your inspiration from?
Qhubeka is a charity that inspires me to do more. I have been an avid supporter of this charity for a few years and the knowledge that I am supporting children in South Africa in attending school in order to better their lives really inspires me to do more.
What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?
In today's world, I am very impressed that Sundried use 100% recycled materials and promote reduction in waste and saving the environment, particularly around plastic pollution. The affordable prices are also a big bonus, especially when similar brands are charging a small fortune for their products.