When Matthew Falconer got back on his bike after a mountain biking trip in Cornwall it started a passion for cycling that has led him to ditch the car, take on plenty of challenges and shed six stone / 84 pounds of weight in the process.
What got you back on a bike?
“In 2012 I went on a stag weekend to Cornwall, where one activity was mountain biking. I was incapable of pedalling my weight up the first hill, and was soon left behind by everyone.”
How did you make in-roads on your weight loss?
“With the London Olympic road races happening on my doorstep, I was motivated to buy a bike. I replaced a lot of car journeys with the bike, and in the end I sold the car and bought another bike.
“I’ve got a bit carried away since — I have a heavy steel bike for commuting, an aluminium cyclo-crosser for off-roading, a carbon road bike and an adventure bike for long-distance bikepacking.”
What changes did you make to your diet?
“After taking up cycling, my appetite increased and I was eating more food, but healthier stuff; porridge instead of a bacon sandwich, fruit snacks instead of crisps and chocolate.”
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How often do you ride now?
“I commute to work by bike almost every day. At the weekend I often have a big ride on the Saturday — maybe a bit of an adventure to explore further afield, such as a round trip to Brighton or heading to the Chilterns. On Sundays I often lead a group ride from G!RO Cycles cafe in Esher, Surrey.”
Where has your passion for cycling taken you?
“When I first got into cycling, and every year since, I’ve been looking for challenges to put on the calendar to use as motivation. I’ve done the London Night Rider, an overnight lap of London in 2013, L’Étape du Tour in the Pyrenees in 2014 and the Transcontinental Race No. 4 — racing solo and unsupported from Belgium to Turkey in about 11 and a half days. I finished 12th and wrote more about it at mattonabike.com.”
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