Vantage Endurance 2.0
Gary (@garymorrismma) is our Reid rider of the month for August!
Gary has become our Reid rider of the month for August on his Vantage Endurance 2.0, after catching our eye on Instagram with his breathtaking shots of his adventures on his bike. We caught up with Gary to find out more about him and his adventures on his Vantage Endurance 2.0…
Hey everybody, I’m Gary Morris, I’ll be 33 this September and I’m from Dublin, Ireland. I’m a former professional MMA fighter who was forced to retire after my latest fight on September 10, 2016. I love sports and fitness and anything to do with being active or competitive (even against myself)!
What has 2020 been like for you so far?
2020 so far has been unusual but has taught me a few things. Pre-Covid I was always busy and knew no different, now I’ve actually realised I enjoy a slower paced life too. Best of both worlds I guess. I’ve been lucky in the fact I haven’t missed work due to the pandemic as eBay have set me up working from home – so I’m one of the lucky ones I guess.
When and how did you get into bike riding?
I hadn’t had a bike in about 10 years, but in mid-June I decided to get a road bike as I had been running 300km in the month of June for a children’s charity here in Ireland and the impact of accumulative running with the previous background in fighting, my legs just gave in on me. I decided I’d get a bike so that I could get out, stay fit and maybe see some places I’d not normally go to.
Basically it’s a way that I can compete with myself in relation to times, distances etc… so it has been fun getting out as often as possible!
So, what made you choose the Reid Vantage Endurance 2.0?
I was clueless when it came to bikes to be honest, I went into CycleBike in Dublin City Centre and the guys were amazing. They showed me 3 different bikes, and I’d kind of decided I wanted disc brakes already. They also explained what the Shimano 105 was so I jumped on that and ordered it there and then. I loved the features of the bike and how it looked too.
Is this your first ‘road’ bike?
Yes, absolutely my first, but I’ve fallen in love with cycling and this will be something I do forever going forward now!
How has it treated you?
It has been AMAZING! The combination of speed and control is brilliant … it has taken me to places that I’d never normally visit. However, it has also allowed me to push myself physically as well, for example, going uphill… wow! I have found riding up steep hills the most challenging and as a competitor I continue to ride uphill to see if I can push myself to go quicker and without feeling completely dead haha!
What and where have you been with it?
My very first journey of distance was a spin from Blanchardstown where I live, down the coast as far as Vico Baths in Dalkey. On a sunny day, it’s just so beautiful there.
I have also taken an 80km spin to Powerscourt Waterfall (which you can see in the picture to the right) where I discovered one of the most difficult hills ever after Enniskerry up to Powerscourt Hotel!
I cycle up over the head of Howth often too and I am utilising the nice weather and Irish scenery to enjoy the bike even more than just using it for fitness.
We are aware that during August you have been cycling for charity, how has that been?
Yes, I have committed to doubling the target distance for the month of 250km for LauraLynn children’s hospice which is Irelands ONLY children’s hospice and isn’t government funded, so I am always happy to help. Helping these children by simply getting out on my bike is something I’m always going to do.
You can check out Gary’s fundraising page by clicking here!
Do you have any other future adventures planned?
Yes, I plan to cycle to Tullamore in the Midlands when their local lockdown is over.
I also plan to do the Wild Atlantic Way in sections as I simply cannot get the time off work to do it in one go.
I will also continue to find beautiful locations where I can photograph my Reid bike and post it online for everyone to see!
Finally, what advice would you give to those who have never tried road biking or are interested in getting into it?
3 things that I’d say:
1. Look at the group set you’re buying. I have a Shimano 105 and I’ve noticed I comfortably pass other cyclists who are under pressure while I am comfortable.
2. Be realistic with your journey, distance/pace and research your route.
3. Do NOT get caught 30km from home without a spare tube, puncture repair kit and pump. They should be mandatory rather than optional.