Those obsessed with certain sets of ‘rules’ about cycling etiquette say that, among other things, you shouldn’t ride in a team’s kit. But in this video, Team Sky sprinter Ben Swift says he likes seeing people out in his team’s clothing, showing their support.
Swift says that his main goal for the 2014 season is to get back to winning races, after an injury-plagued 2013. “2013 was a year to forget,” he says.
He’s made a good start already, with a podium place at Milan-San Remo on Sunday and a win Thursday at the opening stage of the Settimana Coppi e Bartali.
Swift contrasts the scarcity of cyclists on the roads around his native Rotherham with the situation today “where “if you go out on the local club runs you get 60 people out. It’s nice to know that people are out there supporting you from back home, wearing the team jerseys and just generally getting out on the bike more.”
Swift says his favourite places to ride are in Italy and SOuth Africa.
“I started my under-23 career in Tuscany so that always has fond memories; I just love the roads out there. Recently I’ve been going to South Africa a lot, to Cape Town and Cape Point and thats just beautiful. It’s something totally different.”
Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.
Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.
Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.
The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.