From Dirt Issue 113 – July 2011
Words by Josh Bryceland. Photo by Sven Martin.
If you had of asked me six months ago will I ever move out of my parents home, the answer probably would have been no. I love my home life, it’s rad. I get on really well with my folks so there’s never really been any need to. The only thing that would have drawn me away was the idea of a warmer country with better training facilities.
I don’t know what changed but I’m in the process of buying my first narrow boat. If you don’t know what I’m on about then it’s what Guy Martin (TT racer and mountain biker) was building in his BBC show ‘The boat that Guy built’. They were originally for transporting goods up and down the country through the canal network. Nowadays it’s mostly leisure, but let me tell you, the pace is nice and steady!
Boats have been a part of my life as long as I can remember. My dad started and ran a narrow boat building company for over 20 years and built 100 boats before retiring, so I guess you could say it’s in my blood. The first time I was in the Manchester Evening News I was jumping over a boat that my dad was taking down a lock in Marple. As you most probably know, locks are how they get boats down hills! Way less exciting than rapids, but good upper body training.
About 10 years ago, Steve Peat’s mechanic at the time and owner of the North West Mountain Bike Centre, Andy Kyffin, had my dad build him a new boat. It was 70ft (as big as you can have on the canal) and pretty open plan inside like a super relaxed layout, not really in the least bit traditional. When dad mentioned to me that it might be coming up for sale the idea of buying it to live on as my own 70ft of ‘Man Cave’ sounded like a fantastic idea!
So at the minute it’s all in the pipeline as you might say, which pretty much just involves me selling all my belongings and being really nice to my bank manager! If it all comes off, which it really should, then I will be absolutely stoked! Just like a new adventure, because lets face it, if I can hardly string a sentence together then I’m gonna struggle living solo. Lets hope that by the time it comes to Windham and MSA I have made it out of the Man Cave and that when I return she’s still afloat!