I thought I'd start this blog with a bit of an introduction about me. Cycling has been in my blood for as long as I can remember, my dad taught myself and my sister to ride bikes as early on in life as possible, and family cycling days out were often a thing when we were youngsters. Over the years I tried many types of cycling, MTB, BMX, trials riding (hopping about on the back wheel), dirt jumping, apart from downhill, I've pretty much tried it all.
When I started my first "real" job I couldn't drive, so I bought myself a road bike to get to the office and back from the train station. Little did I know that within a few months, I'd have £5k worth of bikes in my parents garage (the joys of disposable income and living at home) and would be riding constantly. That was around 2010. Late in the year I joined a little startup website called Strava, and with my very expensive purchase of a power meter, I started "training".
I did one race, ever, and that was enough for me, turns out I wasn't anywhere near fast enough and so I gave up. But I continued cycling, including trips to Portugal with friends, and a few sportives here and there. Then around four years ago I had the bright idea to make myself a Tool Roll. I was fed up with not having a saddle bag big enough for my spare tubular tyre, but not so big that it was hanging under the bike like a carrier bag. So I bought some fabric, a sewing machine, and with the help of my mother, "practice sewing a straight line on this handkerchief", I made myself a Tool Roll.
After giving Tool Rolls to my friends to try out, they came back with ideas to improve them, and then for other products. A few months after that, Mack Workshop became a reality, and over the last three and a bit years, the company has grown from just being a nice little bit of extra spending money here and there, to allowing me to drop a day at my full time job and make bags for people from all over the world. However, the popularity has come with a decline in riding, and I went from riding nearly 5000km in a year only a few years ago, to less than 600km this year.
So I am going to start cycling again, I've signed up for an audax as my sister enjoys them so much, as well as agreeing to go to the Isle of Mull with my dad in summer, which is where his family lived when he was a child, and I am going to start "training" on the watt bike at the gym, and out on the roads early in the mornings, to try and get some fitness up to finally hit that 5000km target, in 2018.
While I love making bags for every single one of my customers, I hope you can find it within yourselves to forgive me if your order takes a little longer to arrive because I've been out cycling myself, rather than sitting in front of the sewing machine from Friday morning to Sunday evening, or living through the pictures that you tag me in on Instagram.