I often describe myself as an absent friend, missing birthdays, dinners and almost everything else most other nineteen year olds do. However it goes further than that, as my sport dictates I spent months on the road, ensuring I am often also an absent son, brother and boyfriend.
But really travelling is something I embrace, love and feel incredibly lucky to be able to do. Although I must stress ‘travelling’ would be a slight exaggeration. For whilst yes I visit countless countries, on the whole I mostly simply take in their airports, hotels and motorways.
It is ironic really, as Cycling, without the confines of stadiums and arenas, takes in a vast array of different environments. From the mountains, to the coast and across cobbled farm tracks, we race it all, and yet we actually see very little.
I often find myself explaining this to jealous friends and family alike. But while I may be an expert on hotel rooms and not foreign culture, I really do love this lifestyle more than anything. It does also mean I am a relatively absent ambassador for Leigh Day.
I rely heavily on the internet, something that wasn’t possible for the generations of young riders before me, to stay in contact with both my sponsors and family, and on the whole I am extremely thankful to have it.
My blog and the various other social media forums (namely twitter - @taogeoghegan
) allow me to engage with anyone who so pleases to have a read and get in contact and I really relish this connection with all interested in the sport.
This eternal ‘absence’ also makes it all the more special to have a sponsor like Leigh Day from my home city of London. Whilst all over the world, in the cycling bubble, it is great to feel like I am representing the company and helping to deliver awareness, however small an impact I may have.
The races have been going reasonably well this year, the fundamental part of my job, but I like to think I can try to do more than just ride my bike, after all it doesn't take up every hour of my day – my coach isn’t quite that brutal!
You can read about some of my recent races here
I have been in London for a few days, in between races, but early tomorrow morning I will be headed to Heathrow and then on to California.
Up ahead is by far the biggest race of my life, the Tour of California, racing alongside some of the biggest names in the sport – it really is going to be some experience.
I will be the youngest rider in the race, with 19years and 42days as I have just been informed on twitter! I hope to do my job for the team and leave some impact, in however small or big a way I can manage. Cross your fingers!
Tao (left) with German teammate Ruben Zupunkte - "I can make sure of one thing, I am not an absent teammate"