I’m not sure I should be, but I’m really looking forward to 2019. It’s going to be my defining year.

2018 has been incredible, both for the growth of Sommet Cycling and for my own personal development. I’ve visited more places, run more trips with more people, and the numbers tell me that more people are aware of what I’m trying to do. It’s taken three hard years and finally I feel really positive about the future of Sommet Cycling.

All sounds great, right. Wrong

I like to think I’m particularly aware and observant. I often talk about the cycling industry. Whether it be about shops, bikes, brands or clothing. I’ve worked in the industry in one form or another for around twenty years, starting well before the ill-perceived boom of 2012. The real boom started with the Cycle to Work Scheme some years before. During my time at Sigma Sport, I witnessed the biggest explosion. It was insane, I was selling bikes for three to eight thousand pounds regularly, I even sold one for twelve thousand pounds. On any given Saturday, five or six bikes would go out at those prices. I was back there recently and looked at the shoes they had for sale, numerous, probably around eight to ten pairs for over three hundred pounds, that’s lunacy

The growth of cycling has been incredible to witness, but sometime the bubble had to burst, And I think it did that a couple of years ago. The volume of high end bike sales appears to have dropped and the kind of people riding them seems to have changed; the fixie kids of a few years ago have now discovered road bikes and gears. The media execs, bankers and lawyers aren’t upgrading their bikes every season anymore. Countless bike shops, cafes and clothing brands have or will hit the wall. Couple this with the uncertainty caused by Brexit and to the outsider, things aren’t looking good. Most logic would suggest that  and I suspect my chosen area – luxury travel – will be hit hard.

So why the hell am I looking forward to next year? I could be wrong about the doom and gloom in the market (and even the country as a whole!) but I doubt it. I have a few trips lined up including the Q36.5 Stelvio and Catalan Pyrenees trips  and I also have my Big Sommet AFGO ride in June taking shape over the winter break. My experiences and how I’ve dealt with them have defined how I’m going to deal with any down turn that 2019 brings. Instead of working myself into the ground and getting stressed out or depressed with problems that are largely out of my control, I’m going to do something positive.

I am still looking to pick up some new trips and create some incredible experiences but the focus is my big trip in June. Helping others and spreading the word about mental health awareness has given me a renewed energy for next year. I’ve teamed up with Movember and I’ll be hosting some rides and events as well. I even recently took part in my first Podcast, I’ll share details when it’s ready in a  couple of weeks.

Please follow my journey and share my message, check that those around you know you’re there for them. Send a text or make a call, it’s so simple and the impact can be monumental. It’s really important to remember to follow it up your initial contact. Make a habit of keeping in touch.

The Big Sommet AFGO. Another F8@cking Growth opportunity. 2019 is going to be an amazing prospect for me to develop and I’m really looking forward to it. Start 2019 positive. It might just be a great year.

To donate to Movember and help with their work and research please click HERE

Image courtesy of Tristan Cardew