This month we welcome Rob Petrie, 37, from the Midlands as our MAMIL OF THE MONTH! Rob came to our attention through the, now legendary, MAMIL SPORTS (MIDLANDS) rides last year.
An avid cyclist who is embracing his MAMIL status Rob rediscovered his love of cycling later in life after a serious knee injury stopped any aspirations of a professional football career. Formerly on the books of Brighton FC, Rob then played non-league and county football until his injury. Reluctantly Rob hung up his boots but, if you ask him now, he wouldn’t give up his lycra and carbon obsession for muddy boots and sliding tackles on a rain soaked, football pitch for anything!
Rob writes: I started riding around 4 and messed about as kids do BMXing and mastering homemade jumps with my friends at my local park. Life took over and cycling fell by the wayside as work, family and my football career filled my time throughout my 20’s.
A serious knee injury and 2 operations meant that I had to give up football. I was sedentary for quite a while and it began to take its toll on my health, I knew needed to find a sport that allowed me to maintain fitness without the risk of any high impact joint injury.
Cycling seemed like a good choice and, as I had grown up watching the tour with stars like Indurain and Pantani I thought it was worth a try again and I began to work cycling into my daily routine by commuting to work. Over time I managed build my fitness back up and it’s safe to say I was hooked!
I count myself lucky to live in a beautiful area of the UK. I am located in “The Midlands” and that gives me access to some amazing places to cycle. I can get into the stunning Peak District of Derbyshire easily with its iconic routes such as the Winnats Pass (look it up). Closer to me I get to enjoy the rolling hills of Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire.
Through cycling I have met some amazing people who have become close friends. My cycling club is called “Velo Club Bread and Bitter” we ride lots but we don’t take ourselves too seriously and we make sure we enjoy our riding and make new members feel welcome.
Alongside the club rides I also joined the monthly MAMIL SPORTS (MIDLANDS) rides last year and had a great time. It was great to meet so many cyclists from other local clubs, people who I wouldn’t normally get to meet as we pass each other on the country lanes in different club kits. The highlight was being involved in the filming of the cycling film “MAMIL” which is now slowly being released worldwide.
In 2016 I managed to ride 9,256 miles, which I was pretty pleased with. I commuted 20 miles to work every day, no matter what the weather was doing, and went on some amazing training and weekend rides with my cycling club. I was lucky enough to go on my first couple of foreign cycling trips to Italy and France including Lake Garda and the incredible Passo Dello Stelivo in the Italian Alps as well as the Col de la Madone and Nice in the south of France. Highly recommended!
Looking ahead to 2018 I’m hoping to get back into racing as well as heading over to Spain and France to take in some of the Vuelta climbs and Ventoux Alp d’Huez in France. I also want to return to the Stelvio and climb all 3 sides along with the Gavia and the Mortirolo.
Cycling isn’t a hobby for me now, it’s a way of life and I feel total freedom and a sense of adventure when I’m out on the road with my friends. It’s a great way to meet people and see amazing things. It really doesn’t matter how fast you ride or how far. Get on your bike and live.
I’ll end on my moto in life.
Pace, amore, vita e felicità! I’ve certainly found it through cycling!
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