Ollie Jones - Finding love for cycling after racing.

Ollie, what is your background in the sport and how did that lead you to where you are today?

Wild that this feels like a pretty big question, when at the end of the day it's just riding your bike!  It all started when I was maybe 13/14 and the Tour Series came to my town, Ipswich. From there I decided to stop playing football, like every other kid, and joined the local cycling club. I borrowed someone's bike for my first race, and from then on I was hooked. This was what I wanted to do and from there I followed the path most people do. I raced for my club, then a shop and then a team. Driving and competing all over the country. Getting stuck into races every week and getting my head kicked in! 

Eventually I cracked some podiums in national time trials, and then decided to move out to France. Racing U23 in French national races was a new kind of hard. Turns out for a bigger dude that likes going zoom down dual carriageways, the French mountains were a new challenge. It was a challenge that led to some issues with food and weight and I stepped away from racing after that. After plenty of time without a bike, I suddenly found myself wanting to get healthy and fit again. Cue buying a gravel bike and just riding for the pure uninterrupted fun of it. And that’s pretty much where we are. Bike packing, gravel grinding, vibe searching. Now you can catch me riding my bike pretty much anywhere, over anything. 

What’s a normal day look like for you?

When I’m not out riding trails, you can catch me riding my Fixie round London! I work for a non-alcoholic aperitif company from Cornwall (called Wavelength, if you’re into that kinda thing). So I’m always out and about in bars and restaurants enjoying tasty drinks, training staff or sampling new products. I’ve worked in hospitality pretty much the whole time that I was racing bikes so that led me to a career in the drinks industry. I was very lucky to finish up my time in the on-trade at my favourite bar in the world, Swift in Soho. If you haven’t had their Irish coffee, I’ll take ya!

Tell us about Hospo Fixed…

Ah yes my little baby! Hospo fixed is an all inclusive, hospitality cycling club, based in central London. 

So many members of the hospitality staff ride their bike to work, or ride for fun, but all the other clubs around the city meet on Fridays or Saturdays. This doesn’t work if you work in a bar. So one day I thought what’s the worst thing that could happen, and I started my own. Now we are growing pretty quick! We run monthly rides, drinks, catch ups and then full on bar takeovers, and we’ve been lucky to partner with some of the biggest bars and drinks companies in the world!

 If you haven’t been to one of our events, then you need to get yourself down to the next one! We are doing a tour of the country in different bars this year and it is SO much fun! First we did Bristol, but I can’t tell you just yet where we are going next!  If you’re reading this, and work in hospitality, and love riding your bike, slide into my DMs or come on the next ride! 

What are your target races for summer 2023?

July is probably the most hectic month I’ve ever had! If you’d asked me at the start of the year, I probably would have said Traka 360 but that ended with 5 punctures and me scratching. So now it’s the SSX Mystery Tour, a 290km hack round the north and South Downs designed by good friend Liam Yates. A few weeks after that is Basajuan - my first proper ultra. 800km, 15000m elevation and mostly off-road. I really have no idea what’s going to happen! I guess I’ll fill you in afterwards! But instead of targets, it’s more just having fun, adventuring and enjoying being healthy and riding my bike. Rather than just targeting any results or times. 

What led you to targeting ultra-distance stuff and how is it different to what you’ve done in the past?

I don’t really know. I’ve been sucked into that world and it seemed like the smart thing to do. It keeps feeling like the smart thing to do until you’re on the start line of one.. I think it’s a very different mental game compared to pure racing cycling.

In a time trial it would be pushing yourself to the absolute limit but for twenty minutes or an hour. And you knew it would end. The long distance stuff is a completely different mental battle. It feels like an eternity on the bike, but you’re never actually going that hard. It’s almost like running yourself to exhaustion. The longer you can go the better. Saying all this, I’m not even close to attempting the suuuuper long stuff like Hellenic Mountain race or Pan Celtic. Maybe one day?

And how is your training? What is the motivation behind running?!

Training, if you wanna call it that, is certainly going. I try to consistently ride my bike, kinda however I feel. I really hunkered down on the ergo all winter and it did me some good. I like to aim for about 10 hours of stuff a week, whether that’s riding, running or yoga.  I put in a big block of events in April, and now in July I can feel it in the legs.. 

I’ve found training is about controlling the fatigue more than what I put in on the bike. I’ve normally got 50 things going on at once, and then riding on top of that. I kinda feel like there’s enough miles in the legs from over the years that I can go pretty deep if I want to. I just have to be in a sensible state when I start! 

Running is a weird one. I kinda started doing it a bit during lockdown, like everyone did, and then found it quite fun. There’s something very freeing about it, but it’s so bloody hard. When you start fresh you get gains quite quickly and I thought it can’t hurt the bike riding. It’s something I wish I’d done more of during the off season back when I was racing.

What’s the hardest part of your riding project?

Trying to ride as much as I want alongside a job isn’t the easiest. I’d do pretty much anything to go back to the days of only having a bike ride to do each day. Times were certainly chiller! The hardest bit is probably balancing it all mentally. I seem to always have a plan in my mind for something and that can get a bit much every now and then. 

Tell us about the bike that you’re riding?

Ah the trusty purple cannondale! After I stopped racing and sold all my bikes, this is what I bought, and it’s put in a hell of a shift ever since! 

It’s a Cannondale CAADx, with Ultegra 11spd mechanical. I’m kinda on a journey to make it the most pimp alu gravel bike around. Also  can you tell I like anything anodised purple? The new BB from SN-Vitae fits the bill perfectly! Simple, works really well and looks good doing it. It really is a jack of all trades kind of build. The more you look, the more weird and bodged it gets

The one piece bar and stem is direct from the EF service course, and it rolls on Veloelite carbon gravel wheels with 40mm gravel tires or 32mm road tires. You’ll normally never see it without the trusty frame pump either. 


Age: 25 

Years in Cycling: 12

Born: Ipswich, Suffolk

Living in: Central London

Working in: Wavelength Drinks / Content Creation 

Favourite place to ride: Probably Majorca, I’m there every year and I can’t get away

Favourite race: As a spectator, it has to be Paris Roubaix. From what I’ve raced, probably Rutland Classic. It was my first UCI race, and the hardest day out I’ve ever done

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