Author, Kyle Pepperman-Hackett
Just over a year ago I started working with Roadside Therapy after a few conversations via twitter and email. I heard about Roadside via twitter and was intrigued to know more about how they work and what working in a multi-day event was like.
Once contact was made, Tierney and I spoke about what the work was like and the opportunities that being part of Roadside Therapy can bring. We chatted via skype and Tierney explained what type of events I would be working, where these would take me and how she will always make sure the day rate is covered so as a self-employed manual therapist we not only gain the experience of working away but we also get paid to do so. That to me was music to my ears. It was the very reason I trained as a sports massage therapist, I love to travel and love to treat athletes, regardless of their ability.
Where have I Been?
I have been very lucky to have one of my first multi day events in the French Alps with a company called ‘La Fuga’ who offer high-end cycling tours around the world. My job was to treat the riders after each day. These riders were cycling the famous sportive race, ‘Haute Route’; a 7-day stage race though the famous “Tour de France” mountain routes.
The riders were from all over the world and because ‘La Fuga’ offer high end cycling holidays, they wanted to be able to give the riders an extra service; a full, pro-level service of soigneurs, bike mechanics and their very own feed station within the neutral zones. The group that I took were Turkish Ironman athletes using the event to gear up for Kona (which is the mecca and home of the Ironman world championships). That group of riders stayed with me throughout the trip. Not only did I just treat these riders but we also made sure we ate together. This meant we could all socialise and not make it a rider/ staff group but make it as a team environment.
I was accompanied by another sports massage therapist, Alex; a chiropractor, Iain; and Charlotte, a sports therapist. This meant we had the full range and ability to treat each and every one of those riders in any different form of therapy if and when it was needed.
What have I learnt?
While I was away, there were a few things thrown my way which I have never done before but has given me a great experience in the position I have now at One Pro cycling. One of my first roles was to travel to Italy to pick up a minibus and drive it from Milan to Nice, ready to pick up the riders from the airport and take them back to the hotel along with, cleaning and preparing the riders water bottles on the morning of the ride. The other experience I gained being able to work with other team members within our group and providing the best treatment possible to ensure riders are recovered and back on their bikes the next day.
Best part about joining?
Joining Roadside Therapy has been one of my best choices in my career. One of the main reasons for me leaving my 9-5 IT office job and training as a sports massage therapist, was to (hopefully) travel the world and work in cycling. With the contacts I have made at Roadside, that happened this year when I was asked to fill in for a trip to Belgium for One Pro cycling and since then I was welcomed as a regular Soigneur to their team.
The other good thing about joining was being able to work with different manual therapists and picking up tips and different ways I can treat people. A prime example was when I did last year’s Hot chillies: London to Paris, Jon Head and I were chatting about different ways to treat the back and he explained there was a really simple spinal mobilisation technique, he showed me how to perform it and now it’s the one of the I use most on my patients back home.
Being a self-employed sports massage therapist can be a fairly isolated job, joining Roadside allowed me to be part of a team whilst travelling and doing a job I love.