Mik and I became friends through bouldering on Peak District gritstone. The local crags were one of the main reasons I’d come to Sheffield and Mik was keen on getting out at every opportunity. We spent countless days and after-work evenings sending the Peak’s (easier) problems, scaring ourselves and mucking about on the rock.
One Summer Mik tried mountain biking and it changed his life. I’ve never seen anyone fall in love with riding so quickly or so totally - once he got that first bike he never looked back. He wasn’t the fittest or the fastest rider, his bike wasn’t the greatest and his technique could best be described as brave; he seemed to enjoy crashing that bike almost as much as riding it.
Mik enjoyed mountain biking in a humble, honest way, almost like he was a kid again. He just loved every minute of it, no matter what. He didn’t care how far we rode or how many times we stopped. He didn't care where we were going or what time we’d be back. He didn’t give a shit what anyone else thought or what he looked like... because he was having the time of his life.
If I ever find myself taking it all too seriously, or trying too hard, or worrying about how things look, I try to follow Mik’s example: do what you believe in and enjoy doing it. You never know when it's going to stop.
I like to think that if he was here today, Mik would approve of what we’re doing.