Pedal Slip has been through several different iterations to this point. At first, it was a place for me to share thoughts about products and rides. As I fell in love with mountain biking, back in 2015, I wanted to share that enjoyment with others and set up a blog right here on pedalslip.com. It didn’t really serve much purpose other than being a journal and something for me to exercise creativity through. I don’t suppose it ever got many views and I didn’t have any interest in tracking the traffic. More than anything, it was a place for me.
At some point after that, my social media started to get some traction and the community and audience around what I’d created grew. I attended plenty of meetups and dedicated all my spare time to riding in different places and sharing those rides online. There was a YouTube channel too and this blog slipped into being a space for me to write reviews rather than just chronicle rides. I wanted to give something back so the more I rode, the more I wrote and created in the hope that it might give a little inspiration or information to someone else out there.
Somewhere in 2018, I decided to mesh my love of photography and cycling. By this point, I’d already been shooting a fair bit but hadn’t combined photography and bikes properly. It went better than I anticipated. My social media channels continued to grow and I started being valuable to brands as the content I could produce had been improved. Sometimes, when it suited me, I swapped photos and videos for products and first dreamed of being able to shoot for a living. I knew I’d already missed the boat on being a fantastic rider and my interest in technical specifications just wasn’t there for deep reviews. I had no intention of racing and didn’t want sponsorship. But I loved cameras. And I loved creating. So, I started using Pedal Slip as a way to generate relationships with brands as well as people with the distant dream of working together with people, perhaps even as my job.
Fast forward to 2020 and the world stopped. My full-time role as a teacher became a sort of weird mix of being on a rota in the school alongside planning and teaching virtually. I was lucky; I came out of the situation with more time than I’d had before… and that time went into Pedal Slip. I created more than I ever had, sharing illustrations since I couldn’t get out to the trails in an effort to scratch the creative itch. Then came the products. At first, they were stickers, then mudguards, then beanies, hip flasks and custom-painted helmets. From there, it’s grown into a small selection of things I use myself and love to stock. Without the online community which rallied around me and gave me encouraging nudges, I’d have never even started the helmet painting in the first place. It’s now a thing Pedal Slip is becoming known for but I had no idea at the time. I was offered a role with Atherton Bikes in 2021 but couldn’t find anywhere to relocate our family to. Then I landed an interview with Ribble but was tied into my teaching contract and they needed someone ASAP. For a time, I felt like all the work I’d put into Pedal Slip just wasn’t paying off but the validation these companies brought with their feedback lit a bigger fire than before in me. When someone trusts enough in your abilities to offer a role in their business it shows you’re capable. That showed me that I could become a photographer after all. Imposter syndrome began to disappear and the dream of working with cameras edged ever so closer.
And last year, 2023, was a rollercoaster. Early in the year, I shot with Patina Clothing and brought a second shooter on for the day. It’s the first time I’d booked extra folks to take on bigger projects and it brought a sense of growth in Pedal Slip. In April and May, I did some soul-searching and had many deep conversations with my other half. I love teaching but had worked my way into management and was quickly falling out of love with the reality of the job as I spent less time in the classroom and more time on paperwork. Ultimately, it was time to take the plunge and leap into the creative world. So, in June, I handed my notice in without a real plan but hoping that Pedal Slip would be part of a better life and work.
At the start of 2024, I’m pleased to share that I’m freelancing with video and photo work across different industries. I’ve had the opportunity to work with Stif MTB for some of their marketing materials which is an absolute dream come true. I’ve had more support with helmet bookings than ever before. I’ve had the most successful month ever through my online shop. I’ve taken more helmet bookings on and been able to complete three last year for charity or community events free of charge. And, most importantly, I’ve felt happier. I’ve got time to spend on a morning walking outside and my day is filled with capturing images and videos rather than writing plans and marking books.
But it’s not the end. Pedal Slip has more to give yet and, in 2024, I’m looking to grow the brand even more. I’ve got plans to travel, film, record, photograph and generally create more than ever. You can expect more regular blog articles, a revival of my newsletter, and a wider product range. But one thing that won’t be changing is the approach. At its heart, Pedal Slip has always been just a little corner of the internet where I can share things without any egos. Where I can create and enjoy the process without pretending. Where I can share things that are happening in the hope they inspire.
I’m just a chap who likes bikes and cameras and that’ll always be the case.