I don't think I've ever spent £45 so wisely, but at the same time, paying a graphic designer to clean up the Epilepsy Forward Cycling logo, feels like a massive step. It's a wonder I didn't do it before, but it will mean that the O2 Creation kit that will belong to the club, will now be able to be made. I believe in this team, club and the project as a whole, more than I can say and at the moment, nothing is giving me more heart during my training rides, than seeing the club come together.
I genuinely think that epilepsy has a far better future than it does now and while I don't know how much of a part the club will have to play in that, I do know that people who are proud to wear purple, or the Epilepsy Action logo, will finally have a cycling team to call home.
For the last 6 years I've cycled with other teams, my university, my RAAM team, but I've never felt as at home riding as I did cycling for Epilepsy Action last year. In a huge way, I'll still be riding for Epilepsy Action, with the new Epilepsy Forward team - any profit from the club will go to the charity, with the jerseys able to be bought without people wanting to become a full member and the money generated going straight to the charity. But there's something about riding in full high quality kit, that makes you feel better about your abilities, feel better about your cause.
But there's another reason for the investment...
When the club launches at the end of July, we want to attract strong riders to it, so that the name Epilepsy Forward will be seen in British Cycling's results page. I want us to be able to build a club that can win races and be visible across the UK. It's an ambitious target, but I always think if you don't put your faith in something and go into it half hearted then it will never work. So I want to be able to have everyone ride in high quality kit, because I know that in cycling, little gains matter. If the little gains can make a difference then, it's my hope, that a strong brand which is so much about epilepsy as a condition, will make a positive impact.
Being one of Epilepsy Forward's riders however, also requires another type of investment, in time and sweat, making sure the hours spent out on the bike, will make for a good ride from me personally. It's fine to talk the talk, but riding 12 hours, like I will tomorrow, means commitment and hard cycling. The only way to prepare for my challenge I have set myself for this summer, including 200 mile 12HR rides and a 400 mile 24HR ride, is to put those kind of miles in every weekend. While so far while my training in on schedule, I'm not there yet.
At the end of the day, I just need to keep riding. While a bad workman blames his tools, I know I'll have the best tools possible.
I want to make sure that I'm deserving of wearing the purple kit and Epilepsy Action logo on my back.