Hi, my name is Ange, I'm a 57 year old, slightly gnarly old lady. Home is Banbury in the UK. I've been happily single for the last 17 years.
Most of my working life has been spent in Motorsport, specifically F1. I have a lovely grown-up daughter living in Australia.
After a bit of a cancer scare and saving like crazy, in 2018, I was lucky enough to be able to take six months out, travelling and spending time with my daughter. Spending December and January in Australia, February in Hawaii, March in Australia and April in Nepal and on returning to the UK, having many mountain biking and hiking trips in England and Wales.
Unfortunately all that fun had to come to an end, I returned to work with a six month contract at the Haas F1 Team, that ended mid December.
I've worked hard for 40 years, the last 20+ years being in Formula One, prior to that in the motor trade, motor sport and engineering. I've a broad but shallow range of skills that used to count for a lot in Formula One, alas nowadays teams are looking for a narrow but deep skill-set. I'm feeling F1 has outgrown me. I'd never been on big money like others in F1, it was my passion, a passion that has dwindled over the last few years, for various reasons. And it's time to break free, time to follow another passion. What that is, I do not know.
I'm at a fork in the road. The left hand road leads to getting a job, any job, working in something I'm not passionate about, and living out my days quietly. Or taking the right hand path, where it leads, I am yet to find out, it's scary and it's lonely, but it's the one I have to take.
That road is going to be on the road, with no fixed abode! We will see where it leads!
Interest in all things mechanical begun at an early age, one of my earliest memories are of washing car parts down in a diesel bath at my father's repair shop.
My first car, a Morris Minor, was constantly under modification and tuning, around this time I had a keen interest in rallying, moving on to building and tuning a Lotus Cortina that I raced in the 80's.
Running a car repair workshop, it was necessary to learn management skills, book keeping etc., and I also found a great interest in computing and databases.
My first break in professional motorsport was given to me by the team manager at Peugeot Competitions department, a job I loved.
Over the years I gained experience in many other areas of motorsport, computing and databases, all of which were supported by having the hands-on mechanical experience. I also supplemented this practical experience with many correspondence courses.
My first real interest was horses. I learnt to ride and worked at the local riding school from age 12 to 16, then continued working with horses until I got my first car. Then my interests turned to motorsport for the next thirty years.
Whilst working in F1, at around 36 I was into motorbikes, having a good time, and shunts, doing trackdays on my Thundercat and R1 for a couple of years.
I took up martial arts around the age of 45, enjoying all disciplines such as boxing, Muay thai, BJJ, MMA but spending the most time practicing Filipino MA.
At the age of 52 I wanted to go to Space in Ibiza one more time, but didn't want a mental one. So I thought what else can I do, and ended up booking a holiday at Ride Ibiza, where I had my first taste of mountain biking. The Carl Cox opening party at Space was fab, but I'd caught the MTB bug.
On returning from Ibiza I spent time researching which MTB I should buy, ending up with a Specialized Stumpjumper, named Stumpy. I fell off at least five times every time I rode it. I spent most of the first year injured, having what turns out to be a partially detached supra spinatus on my LH shoulder So most of the next two years were spent riding with one hand and/or cautiously.
I've had to leave Stumpy in Australia, so in the UK my trail bike is a Specialized Camber, named Bay, that I bought in May 2018.
After a trip to Morzine with a fab bunch of guys I met on facebook, I really needed a downhill bike, on my return I bought Desmond, my Specialized Demo8.
I've got so many injuries from MTB, motorbikes, karting and MA activities; both feet, RH knee, both shoulders, both pecs, RH hip, RH bicep and delt, and a dodgy neck. Some would say I have brain damage too!!
I feel quite worn out, and with the lack of energy at 56, I have to be selective in my shenanigans, alas I don't seem to make good judgements! Strangely I seem to be able to organise my work life quite well but my private life is an accident waiting to happen.
Along with my other interests I've always done gym work too, but now limit that to just body-pump, yoga and weights. Cardio is only done on my MTB. I'm not good at pedalling, it makes me swear, a lot! In fact I have always sworn a lot, so get used to it!
In a nutshell, that's me. I'm fickle, I'm mediocre at my hobbies. I feel the need to excel at work but not in everyday activities. Probably my most success has been in F1.
Currently I'm learning to play guitar and learning to ride a skateboard, but I've left it in Australia so am currently without one. The skateboard hurts and I'm really not a natrual, but will slowly persist. The guitar, well that needs lots of time. I wish I could be a rad MTB rider, alas I have no natural talent, and the big balls I used to have (or stupidity) have given way to thoughts of self-preservation!