Just a quick post to remind you that if you wish to continue to be informed when a new post is published you need to subscribe to the new website: riding2recovery.com. Although both sites are now linked, so you get taken to the new one automatically, nothing else is, so if you don’t subscribe to the new site you will not get a notification.
I hope you enjoy the new, fresh look. I am looking forward to developing it further as well as many more adventures.
See you on the other side………………
After seven years of writing, I now have a new website on which to display my adventures and air my thoughts. riding2recovery.com is the place where you can find all things related to my cycling and my ongoing battle challenging the stigma attached to poor mental health.
At present the pages are a little bit thin. It will take some time before they become what I envisaged at the outset. I hope you will follow the new website as you have this one. There are exciting things in the offing.
Best wishes and see you on the other side.
It has been an incredibly sad couple of weeks since I last posted. Mike Hall, perhaps the greatest endurance cyclist in the world, was killed while riding in the Indian Pacific Wheel Race across Australia. He will be remembered as a humble and passionate man who loved what he did, gave openly to others, often dominating some of the toughest endurance races in the world. In the early hours of the morning, nearing the end of the race, he was in collision with a car, ending his life. It is not the place of this blog to speculate on causes, but just to remember this quiet man for what he had made himself into, an awesome competitor. We are all Inspired to Ride by your effort, passion and determination. Rest in peace Mike. You will be sorely missed.
It’s that time of the year again, time to re-grease bearings, replace worn cables and parts and shine up your bike for whatever it is you are planning for 2017. I am one of those weird people that enjoy all this. Giving Kermit the love and attention he deserves is a way of minimising the chances of being let down on a long ride later in the year. But for me it goes beyond practical necessity. I love getting covered in grease, understanding how things work and knowing that every part of my trike is how I wish it to be.
Pictures like this get me through the winter: Brittany, north coast, 2014.
It has been quite a week here in Devon. A week without cycling, yes, you did hear that right. A week with lots of health appointments and miserable weather. What it meant for me was two-fold. Firstly, I had to drive far more than I would wish to and secondly, I would be thoroughly shaken up by the emotional nature of the various conversations I would be having with health professionals. Please don’t read this wrongly. I have waited a long time for more professional input and are glad of it, but opening cans of worms and then stirring them has a cost.
Yesterday felt like the first day of spring. It wasn’t typical of February but it was very welcome none-the-less. The complexities of riding regularly and managing my mental health can be frustrating beyond words. Riding in Devon always has plenty of ups and downs, but when they are out of synch with my mental fluctuations it can feel all but impossible to go out. The opposite of that is when everything falls nicely into line and I get what I call a ‘bonus day.’ These are quite rare, but happen enough that I can use them to measure where I am in my physical fitness rather than feeling held back by my mental limitations, which can leave me sensing that there is no point in even trying to go out.
Even winter has a stark beauty.
This past week has been a mish-mash of thoughts, feelings and ideas. Nothing feels concrete in my mind. Instead, it flows like viscous lava, slowly and relentlessly, regardless of my input. As a consequence, my mind feels full of treacle and my thoughts are ponderous and unclear. I have four health-related appointments this week and any cycling I do will be fitted in around those, squeezed in where I can. The weather is not playing ball either, with wet, windy and difficult conditions forecast throughout the next week.
England: Still green and pleasant.
So here we are, over halfway through January 2017. It isn’t that I want to wish the time away, simply that I yearn for warmer months and more time so I can escape by trike to new places. My current medication has its benefits and its downside. Firstly, it is holding me in a more level space, something I haven’t known in years. Secondly, and not so good, I feel flat and demotivated, unable to wake early or to get going even when I do. Once I force myself out and about things improve for a while, but on my return I still fall asleep, curtailing my days at both ends.
Sutherland: One of my favourite places in Scotland. It looks empty …………..
It’s another bright winter’s morn. The fog that hugged the ground and hid the view is now dissipating. The sun is taking charge, even though it’s weak in January. There isn’t a cloud to be seen and that is as good as it gets at this time of year. Crisp, dry mornings are my winter preference. You can keep those soggy mild days as far as I’m concerned. These cold, clear days are ideal for pedalling off some of the Christmas excesses and for rolling along gently and dreaming of what is to come in the new year. They are also good for recharging cognitively after holiday stresses.
There’s a storm coming. Are you ready?
I’ve travelled in all kinds of weathers and would like to offer some detailed tips on surviving cold and rain. So here are my top 25 tips for touring in the rain: