Anyone that follows me on Strava will have noticed that during May and June all I seem to have done is ride my bike for a living; admittedly it wasn't bringing in the money but it I was riding as though it was. I left my job and took some time to live the life I could only normally dream of living. I would have loved to carry on but being 23 and without a magic money tree I've instead settled for something of a middle ground now. However, all of this resulted in me being called the 'faux pro' as I pranced around Yorkshire ticking off mile after mile.
I have to admit, if you ever get the opportunity to live such a life I'd wholly recommend it, no matter how long you get to live that lifestyle for. Again, I might be a tad biased given I had all my time off through what was undoubtedly the only hint of summer we'll see this year. Sorry, not sorry folks!
Living life as the faux pro certainly has its positives. Unless you've got a planned ride with your team, which in my case didn't exist, then you can simply set the alarm for whatever time of day, have a leisurely breakfast then roll out the miles. I'll be honest and say I did let the alarm creep ever later than the normal office hours but on the whole found it much better to keep some routine in when I got up. This way you know you have plenty of time for as many miles as you want without rushing around. It also left time for the more boring side of faux pro life which was the housework.
Another positive to being a faux pro has to be the recovery. After a ride you can simply grab a shower, recovery shake and some food then catch up on every boxset that Nexflix has on offer. You do have to throw in some stretching and strength work but aside from that it's all pretty chilled. I'm not sure the pros do it all this way but given I wasn't being paid I was going to watch every show under the sun.
However, there are some small downsides to faux pro life, which admittedly were quite easily addressed but still niggled somewhat. The first of these is that at times it can feel a little lonely. When you see the pros on Strava they are quite often out doing their training alone and then meet the team for a training camp. I sadly had no team to join (violins please!), What I did have though was some access to the triathletes in Leeds who do some group rides mid-week and a few friends that live a more relaxed life than me. A bit of diary tweaking and planning later and I had someone for pretty much any ride I wanted company.
The second of the niggles really isn't a niggle but needs a mention. I'm not exactly known for holding back on my portion sizes but when you're riding all those miles every week your appetite has a tendency to sky rocket beyond all proportions. The poor delivery man that brings our shopping thought it was for a family of five, not a normal adult plus the super sized child which is myself. I still made sure to keep it healthy so I didn't get ill but oh my days I was eating myself out of a house.
All things considered I racked up a little bit more than a pro in the time I had off, covering 3,000 miles in a month and a half but it wasn't a bad indication that if I ever do it again I'm going to need a masseuse, full time chef and some spare tyres. Right now though, it's back to the semi-faux pro life. Whilst I won't get to ride all day, every day, I will get to ride a lot more when I want to whilst still keeping my more academic career ticking over.