In recent years I have come to realise that the regular black days I experience are down to the fact that I have depression. Life has thrown numerous curve balls at my family and I, some of them decidedly spiky. I know that it does this to everyone, however, being predisposed to depression can leave me ill-equipped to deal with it well.
Cycling, however, is something that I have found to be helpful in regaining my balance: giving me the mental space to rediscover some equilibrium and reassess what is important in life; as well as challenging myself to be able to draw upon these experiences to know that I can get through. I anchor my memories on brilliant days in the saddle, so that when dark times reoccur, I’m able to convince myself that, with time, good times and happiness will return. Cycling has helped me rediscover that happiness more quickly as well.
One aspect of my cycling that really underlines this is Bikepacking. It has elements of self-reliance which reinforces my sense of resilience, as well as camaraderie from cycling with like-minded people who I can share memories, anecdotes and those inevitable funny happenstances. It is a way to unwind, tire myself out in a nourishing way, and reconnect with nature.
During 2019 I intend to explore the country on my bike and bike pack more. I cordially invite you to join me. These rides will focus upon improving mental health, without forcing it, but rather as a consequence of it.
If you would like to take part, then please fill in the form to be kept up to date on the rides: