In the early two thousands a neighbour of mine in Beirut, Joel, taught me the basics of HTML and how to use an FTP. I made progress with simple coding and soon started to add some CSS knowledge. I quickly taught myself how to use Microsoft Frontpage and a new program called CoffeeCup. However, while living in Bangkok I bought a pirate copy of Dreamweaver 8. This quickly became my go-to WYSIWIG editor.
Up to this point my projects had just been for fun and relaxation and remained on my hard-drive. However, as my stint working in Thailand came to a close in 2006 I suddenly had a real need for a public facing website. I had this idea to launch a bike touring company that would be aimed at triathletes. The concept was nothing like triathlon training camps that were already in existence.
They were either super-plush, one centre camps or something like Epic Camp, run by Scott Molina and Gordo Byrn. According to their website they offered, "Everything But Mercy." I wanted to organise long days in the saddle with daily lake swimming and trail running. However, we'd camp at night, carry all our kit in rear panniers rather than in following vehicles and each tour would be built around taking part in a local triathlon.
However, I have ridden to a few events over the years, camping near the venue, racing the next morning and riding home. There was also an attempt to get to the Gray Triathlon with my brother in 2014. Unfortunately, I planned days that were probably too long and we left a bit late on day one. Although we never made it to the event we did ride 450km in 3 days and both raced well at the back end of the season.
In need of registering a domain I looked through books for ideas that would give a nod to the 1980s; a time when Allen, Pigg and Molina used to regularly ride point to point "credit card" tours for training. This was also the early days of social media and as a teacher I also felt I needed an online pseudonym for sites like Twitter. I still prefer it that way. If you know me offline, you obvioulsy know who I am.
Five Sticker Rides is the name of a chapter in Mark Allen's book, Total Triathlete. The narrative of the book essentially tells the story of the Grip's 1987 season and particularly the build up to the Hawaii Ironman. I really like the glimpse into the old USTS series and his regular battles with Mike Pigg (see photos). There's plenty of black and white photographs that will take you back to the golden age of the sport.
I'm planning to blog a lot more at fivestickerrides.com in 2018 as well as experiment with audio. Mainly as just a creative exercise for me. But if others like it, that's cool too. Every Friday I'm also going to summarise my training week, Krupicka-style, as I prepare for The Outlaw, ironman distance event, in Nottingham. Tweet me if you still think the bike tours for triathletes idea is a good one.