(Image courtesy of Brett Smith Twitter Account)
We recently caught up with East London Fixed rider and Kinesio Ambassador Brett Smith to find out about the up coming racing season, how he's been recovering from injury and what to expect from ELF in the near future.
You've just completed your first race back at the London Nocturne Criterium after some time out with injury. How was it to be back on the bike and how did that go?
It was great to finally get back on the bike and back to racing, it's such a massive part of my life I always seem lost without it! I was personally happy with my performance on the day. I knew before I even started the race that I wasn't fit enough to win, but the race gave me a really good eye opener as to where I am fitness wise after the break and how much catching up I need to do. Plus, I always enjoy racing regardless of my finishing position! We had a lot of our new riders competing in the Nocturne too; they all performed fantastically - which made the experience amazing.
You've added a few new riders to the East London Fixed team this year and they already look like really solid additions. How have they been getting on so far, both competing and with the rest of the team?
We were all really excited to be able to strengthen and grow the team by bringing on new members.
The guys are already proving their worth, getting great results in the London Nocturne and Rad Race Criterium. Now they will have the opportunity again in Berlin for the Fixed42 World Championships.
How are they getting along with the rest of the team? Fantastically, we've known the guys for a while through cycling and racing, now we've all bonded amazingly and they're part of the furniture.
You were injured at the start of the year which has kept you out of cycling until recently. Can you tell us about your injury and your recovery process?
I have long term damage in my left ankle, which I have cortisone injections for and I use Kinesio tape to manage it, but recently my Achilles tendon has gone through a lot of strain and it's forced me to avoid cycling all together. To keep myself fit I now swim on a daily basis, wear Kinesio tape regularly to help with my recovery and avoid any massive weight bearing exercises on my ankle. I was a swimmer years ago, so this type of training isn't completely alien to me and it's amazing cardio which will really benefits my cycling.
(Image courtesy of Brett Smith Twitter Account)
Now you're back what does the year look like for you and the rest of the ELF team? What's up next?
Other than the Fixed42 and the Red Hook Crit series, there are a lot of newer and smaller races going on in London. This is great as fixed gear criteriums have never really been a thing in London and now more people are hosting them. It's awesome to see the scene and community growing in our home city and something we're all really keen to get involved in and show support for. Apart from racing, we've got a bunch of social events in the works - from rides with Oakley, Barbecues, parties and jumble sales, details of which are still to be announced but will be done through our social media channels. We're really going to try and make the most of the Summer!
The Red Hook Crit events are a big deal in Criterium cycling. You'll all be at the various European legs this Summer?
Yeah, Red Hook is the event most people are looking forward to! The team will be taking part in all three of the European stages, London, Barcelona and Milan. The RHC is the biggest race in our discipline and it has such an amazing atmosphere, I've never felt so much comradery as I have when we're at the RHC with the team. Everyone was so stoked last year when we found out it was coming to London, for the first time, and even more excited when we found out it was going to be returning again this year! Saying that, our favourite has to be when the race hits Barcelona, it's an amazing city and we use the race as a good excuse for a well needed holiday, we get in some amazing rides and a lot of team bonding.
What are your aims for the rest of the season?
With just coming out of injury, I'm fighting the urge to hit training hard and get as fit as I can before every race, all I want to do is murder myself in the gym every day - but I know it would just lead back to more injury at this point. So for the rest of the season, I'm just going to perform to my best with the training that I can do and enjoy taking part in the races. In terms of the team performance, without trying to sound too optimistic, I've got really high hopes for the guys. With the new talent we've just taken on and everyone performing fantastically, I can see everyone qualifying in races with good times, finishing them in the top groups and hopefully winning some too!
Brett and the rest of the team at East London Fixed have a busy summer ahead. To find out more about ELF you can follow them at www.Instagram.com/eastlondonfixed or head on over to www.eastlondonfixed.com