Deaf Sports Stars25th June 2015
For Mainstream Deaf Cyclist Tom Smith, the Competitive Season Finally Gets Underway
Following injury, Tom Smith is back in the saddle and pursuing a professional career in mainstream competition
A frustrating year so far, but I am pleased to announce that racing has commenced! After a bad start to the year during which I suffered a knee injury, racing has finally gotten underway in June, although I musdt confess, I may have started a bit out of my depth with a 100 mile race after an 8 month hiatus from racing. I finished 33rd, but it was a worthwhile day which enabled me to find out where I was in terms of my conditioning and how far I had to go to play catch up, before I head out to Belgium for the Summer.
Rolling back to January, training was going brilliantly well. I had enjoyed my best winter training for a long time, and things were looking good for racing. However, on a hard training ride, I found that my knee was niggling me, something was not quite right. A quick visit to the physio, I was told to put training on hold for a few days and then re-evaluate. Unfortunately, those few days escalated into weeks.
One of my primary sponsors - Superfeet - were first to step forward with custom made insoles in a bid to aid my knee recovery. Their knowledge of foot biomechanics is extraordinary and yet the concept is so simple. They are definitely worth trying out. I use Superfeet insoles for everyday use, gym work and of course racing and training. You can check out their range on http://www.superfeet.com
Another great sponsor of mine - Resound - upgraded me from their Linx model to Linx2 hearing aids. This was a very precious moment as many things changed. Sound was more spatial and more clear. The Linx2 also enables me to use bluetooth with my iPhone for better listening with music and phone calls. This is great in busy environments. The biggest help came from the wind protection programme on the hearing aid which better helps me to hear friends whilst I am out riding. If you think this might be useful to you, you can find out more on their website: http://gnresound.co.uk
Back to racing. I now ride for Bush Healthcare CRT. Bush Healthcare are located in Aberdare in South Wales and cater for people with mobility issues, providing instruments such as stairlifts in your home. Being the only rider in my category, gives me the freedom I need to concentrate on my knee and a steady progression back into racing. So after race number 1 I had 3 more races left in Britain. Race 2 was a 100km affair and in this race I finished 5th. Race 3, I also finished 5th. On the weekend just gone, I had a 7th place finish.
Whilst this was not as good a finish, the way I raced was better and more positive, as I was able to breakaway and do strong turns on the front of the group. Had it not been for an untimely puncture I would have made the breakaway. Instead, I settled for being best of the rest winning the bunch sprint with ease.
Today, I am off to my adopted home in Belgium for 3 months where I can get some hard racing under my belt and attempt to improve on my results so far and those of last year.
If you would like to support me in my pursuit to become a top British cyclist in mainstream competition, I welcome donations to help me cover my rent and food for the 3 months. Please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are interested in sponsoring, supporting or participating in Great Britain Deaf Cycling, please get in touch with Sarah at email@example.com
Article by Tom Smith, Deaf Cyclist
posted in Deaf Sport / Deaf Sports Stars
25th June 2015