Highs and Lows with #TotalMTB

The Highs…..

Of course like I mentioned in the previous post starting #TotalMTB has not only enabled me to push myself to go to events around the UK but it’s got me the invitation in the first place, some of which are only for trade/media companies.

A massive plus from not just #TotalMTB but the MTB community in general is the massively supportive people. Again, like i’ve mentioned, Andrew Theaker from Aussie Grit Apparel and John Ellis from JeJames Cycles; but also others from Twitter and Instagram and the #TotalMTB gang are fantastic! Even though there are many people on social media I could say thank you to, there is one person who has helped me massively by first inviting me out to group rides but then making me feel welcome and at ease; and that’s Lew (PedalSlip).

Lew has been one of the big factors of #TotalMTB growing so fast since the New Year. With my other business and my new born things were slowly starting to get too much so having already met and chatted to Lew several times I invited him to join #TotalMTB. He’s been helping to run it and share the big plans I had for it in 2019.

He not only understood what #TotalMTB was about straight away but was very proactive in helping and doing things on his own which couldn’t have helped me anymore so I have some much respect and thanks for him.

As well as running #TotalMTB on social media, doing reviews and attending some events I also wanted to create a team of race riders and ambassadors, have more original content on social media, more reviews, attend more events and expos, start a YouTube channel, create an online magazine, organise a charity calendar…

I thought we’d only be able to do reviews and events but in the space of 2 months we’ve brought on board another 4 amazing people, so there’s:
Lew (@Pedal_Slip) – (helps run #TotalMTB, reviews, goes to events/expos, photography)
Andy (@Aurum_MTB) – (Reviews, puts together the magazine, events/epxos)
Nia (@Niaxalwena) – (Reviews, events/expos)
George (@BeaconMTB) – (Reviewa, puts together charity calendar)
Nat (@Natalie_Fraser_Offroad) – (Reviews)

Without the above people I would be even more swamped with #TotalMTB and things wouldn’t have progressed as quickly this year. Without the above people we wouldn’t be looking at a fantastic year ahead of us!

Since opening up about my social anxiety to others (and social media) the response has been fantastic and I have had so much messages of support and encouragement to get through it. I have also had a lot of MTB friends say they have experienced bad anxiety in the past which obviously I don’t like to hear about the suffering, but it is nice to know that there are others out their that have experienced what I feel like. I know that i’m not alone and also that they’ve managed to get through it or at least manage to live their life whilst still having it.

And the lows….

The bad stuff isn’t actually bad it’s more the stuff that just heightens my anxiety to make me personally feel anxious and maybe miss out but for anyone else who hasn’t got anxiety it would be no trouble really.

Through going to, or wanting to go to events, I have felt anxious due to the pressure I put myself under not to miss out, the fear of being ill and missing out. I get anxious about it being a new place so I’m not sure where the toilets are. It’s also the commitment as events usually last one day so if I miss that day that’s it it’s gone – it’s not something you can just go to when you do feel ok.

I am ok with events being busy but it’s the travel and the parking I don’t like being busy: trying to find a space etc.
But as I’ve said in previous posts the main thing that gets to me is the travel and, at the minute, I don’t like driving longer than 30mins to a trail or event. If it’s a bigger distance (over 1 and a half hours) I would be looking to stay in a hotel for the night, but that starts up extra worries as I fear I won’t feel good after the drive so I want to travel down the day before. After the event I fear I will be drained so won’t want to drive a long distance so stay another night. So, a one day event turns into a three day and 2 night stay away which seems silly, expensive and when I’ve got a baby at home isn’t fair on my wife or baby.

The events, races and expos are something I would have liked to travel all over the country (and even the world) to see and be a part of but not only would that be time consuming on its own but then all the travel is too much and if I stayed over for each event it again would be too much for me which is all a shame.

At the minute unless the events are close or I can travel and stay in a hotel it leaves my colleagues going without me which isn’t a massive problem but I would like to go with them and to also meet existing and new brands. I enjoy talking to brands. I also like to show my face instead of just emailing all the time and I think it’s better for #TotalMTB that people can see and chat to you.

For 2019 we have started a #TotalMTB team which includes both race riders and ambassadors so sorting out the riders, the brands, the rider’s benefits, the jerseys, the payments gave me quite a lot of stress and could have contributed to the recent low period I have been struggling with.

As well as #TotalMTB I have several other businesses that I run and #TotalMTB is actually a side project. I have a 4 month old at home as well so things are fairly busy, both with business and personal life. I have never been able to create a healthy work-life balance and that’s another contribution to my anxiety. However, when your self employed and you’ve got a house you need to work hard to get the savings incase anything happens – you might never know when your car breaks down or business slows down.

Future goals…..

Obviously there is so much I would like to do and go to but off the top of my head there are short term goals for the next year and then goals for beyond that:

Short Term goals:

  • Go to Lady Cannings with friends
  • Go to the #TotalMTB group ride
  • Join a group ride at Sherwood Forest Pines
  • Go to MTBMeetup
  • Go out to a trail at least once a week

Long Term goals:

  • Go to Malverns Classic, Tweedlove, Northern Grip, Yorkshire CycleShow…
  • Take part in the RedBull FoxHunt
  • Go to TrailLove in Zermatt
  • Go and watch UCI Downhill World Cup at Fort William
  • Go to more expos
  • Ride abroad
  • Go to bikeparks with uplift
  • Ride different trials all around the country

Written by: Ryan – #TotalMTB Founder
Instagram: @RazOldfield
Twitter: @RazOldfield
Facebook: /RazOldfield


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