I am Matt Seward, a 32 year old cyclist from Kent in England.
I started cycling around 8 years ago to keep active. Up until then, since turning 18 my life mostly involved going to the pub and partying. I started out on a mountain bike and I joined a cycling group and went on group rides most Saturdays and Sundays. I enjoyed going out on the trails, but it wasn’t long before I realised that my bike skills weren't the best, I had a bad crash in the French Alps in July 2015 on the first day (before lunch). On the return flight home I thought ‘let's get a road bike’.
I have always loved the idea of long distance cycling so in December 2015 me and 3 friends had planned a trip to the lake distance for new year, I decided to ride there from by home in Broadstairs it was around 430 miles and I had 3 days to do it leaving a boxing day midnight I rode through the night to Birmingham got a hotel and rode on through the next day, day meeting my friends the following night. It rained most of the time but I loved it!
This lead me to think of other challenges.
I cycled ‘End to End Sea to Sky’, John o groats to Lands End hiking up Ben Nevis en route - 5.5 days 2016
I completed London Edinburgh London in the top 50 2017
2018 I was planning on doing the supported Race Around Ireland, but due to my dad becoming seriously ill, I cancelled any long rides and just did local rides so I could be close to home and care for him. The day before he passed away, in Sept 2018, I had been out cycling and he asked how many miles today. I replied 115 miles and he said ‘oh is that it!’. I think he knew that this was what I needed to hear to light a fire in me to pursue further adventures. By November that year I had signed up for the solo unsupported Transatlantic Way Ride, intending to push myself and raise money for the hospice that had supported my Dad.
I started training rides and in January 2019 I started thinking about getting a coach. I knew of Pav Bryan and his success in the local Kent scene and decided I wanted to really make I go of this event, raise money for charity and make my dad proud. 6 months of training really paid off and I didn’t just first the event I was first to finish, 2343 km in 6 days 10 hours 24 minutes beating my good friend Steve Abraham by only ½ hour. Money raised was £3500 of the hospice who cared for my dad.
Also in 2019 R24 399 miles 6TH
Spokes Coaching have been great with support and one thing that was really great was as Pav is now Based in America we were able to exchange voice messages at 3 in the morning with support and advice because let's face it when do you need motivation 10am in the sun are 3am in the pissing rain.
This year has been very changeling for everyone I was due to do race around the Netherlands the original dates was postposed and I couldn't make the new date due to work commitments still managed a vEverest in 10.5 hours, although I haven't archived as much this year as previous years the coaching has been more important than ever to keep me motivated and hopefully by next summer things could maybe be a bit more back to normal.
Training routine and goals
My training routine is around 8-12 hours a week mostly on the turbo depending on events coming up and workload it can be adjusted very easily if life gets in the way and I am short of time. Spokes is not just coaching it is a community of riders all with different abilities and goals and I am sure you can meet a likeminded riding buddy with similar goals.
My Goals for the next few years are race around Netherlands TCR, Race around Ireland my life goal is race across America since my ultra-cycling started this has never been far from my mind.