Working with TotalMTB has been an interesting recent development. For a few years now I’ve been growing a bit of an online presence. Nothing massive, no money spent and with no real ambition. It’s been a laugh though and I’ve enjoyed sharing my experiences and photos with other mountain bikers. That’s what it’s all been about really – growing a bit of a community and using social media to meet some other people.

Sometimes it means I get stuff sent to me, but it’s never been about that. I don’t make any money from it and I absolutely refuse to use my social media for advertisements. Even if I get sent things, I have to like them enough to promote them, and if I do say it’s good stuff then it really is. There’s a few things I’ve been sent that I’ve never really mentioned on social media. Ninja Mount was one of them. It’s a decent bit of kit that I do use when I wear the full face helmet, but it’s not worth me mentioning because I don’t rave about it. I’d sooner just use social media to chat to people and organise rides.

Ryan from TotalMTB spotted me online at some point last year and we got chatting a bit. He came out for a ride at Grenoside and then invited me to the JE Cycles Cyclefest. We got chatting a bit more there and he was telling me how Pedal Slip has the potential to link with brands and create partnerships. I can remember telling him that it’s not for me – I don’t want the stress of having to deal with more emails on a daily basis; I feel I already do enough of that with my actual job. I just want to ride but admire TotalMTB because it’s so well associated with some really top brands whilst still linking riders together.

Another year on and Ryan has been working so hard on TotalMTB that it’s outgrown him. It’s now got to a point where he’s finding it hard to manage on his own. His life has changed a lot since I first met him and he’s now a father so there’s no wonder he’s a bit spinning plates with his designing, TotalMTB and family. I suppose that’s why he messaged me and asked if I’d like to get involved with TotalMTB.

For me, TotalMTB has so much potential to link with other mountain bikers that it really gets to the heart of why I started up a mountain biking social media account in the first place. Already, I’ve been chatting to some new people that I’d not spoken to before and the TotalMTB team of riders will no doubt become a solid group of riders for semi-regular group rides. So, when Ryan asked me to come on board, I decided it was the right decision to make. I’d still have Pedal Slip just the way I like it – unlinked to brands; all about chatting to other people; and there to drop and pick up again as and when I’ve got the time. But I’d also be able to get involved with some photography for TotalMTB and meet some other people through their connections. The reviews side of things interests me because I get to try out some top stuff and share my opinions. It was something I was doing on Pedal Slip before but it costs an arm and a leg so I only managed a few reviews of stuff that I’d already well researched. I never got to try the competitors because I’d already spent the cash. TotalMTB is considerably bigger than my little blog so they get sent through stuff from all sorts of companies to compare. But more than that: TotalMTB is about bringing riders together and giving value back (whether that’s through reviews, the race team or one of the many other things we’re working on).

So far, things are going well. I’ve been at it about a month or two and I’ve been able to tick off a few reviews of some really good stuff. The photography side of things keeps me interested and it’s no secret that I like to share my opinions of stuff so reviewing works perfectly for me. There’s some plans to send me to trade shows and events too so that we can write about some new products – that sounds good. I already feel a proper part of TotalMTB and I’m looking forward to seeing how much it grows in the future.