How it all began

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We're doing a bit in What Mountain Bike about making your love of riding bikes into your living. We're asking readers who have make cycling their living to get in touch and tell us how and why they did it.

To kick off, here's my story.

Justin Loretz - Christmas 1990

â£Youâll never make a living messing with bikesâ a famous quote made by my father at the Loretz family dinner table. Undetered, six months later I was doing just that, and just to put one in his eye, I was employing him as well.

I was riding MTBâs 24/7 and not really concentrating on getting to university. While doing the odd half day at Johnâs Bikes in Bath, a mate â who worked at Future said â£guess what â Future have bought MBUKâ. In an instant I could see the way ahead.

I pitched up introduced myself and set about making myself indispensable to the day to day running of the magazine. That is, making copious cups of tea, making people laugh, doing the post and building bikes. This eventually mutated into testing products (we all went riding together and they liked the way I thought about products and bikes). After six months of this, earning lots of easy freelance cash, I played my joker. I took a month long summer holiday to Turkey.

In my absence, tea cups ran dry, humourless tumbleweeds rolled through the office, post was left unopened, bikes unbuiltâ¦I was missed.

The day I got home I received a call from the Editor saying â£When could you start? Would this afternoon to too soon?â A week later I was calling my dad (a photographer) to book him for a magazine shoot. Oh how I laughed.

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