I don’t think that anyone will disagree when I say that 2020 wasn’t what any of us planned for or expected. I am however, looking forward to a much more constructive 2021 and would like to begin by sharing a small gift to those who share my love of going a little bit further than last time!
In 2020, a significant amount of cycling events were cancelled, this included both of the 24hr events (Mersey Roads and Kielder Chiller) I was planning to ride. I did however, on my third attempt, complete my everesting (not so subtle Brag)!
I’m pretty good at problem solving and have always wanted to put on a 24hr event: so In 2021, I’d like to put on the inaugural ‘Mary Mary off-road TT’, which has been designed to be as Covid secure as possible and minimise personal loss if it does need to be cancelled or postponed. In line with Breaking Cycles CIC’s beliefs, its also designed to have a tiny environmental footprint too!
I want this to be both brutal and inclusive so, although its a great 24hr challenge, I’d also like to invite people to use this event as an opportunity to ride the MTL for the first time or set their own goals, like a fast lap, night lap or double lap…
The next time I post, I’ll be sharing the first part of my 2021 Vlog series: “#FatLadsCantClimb – Been there, done that, the T-Shirt doesn’t fit” which follow up on the themes of #FatLadsCantClimb as I document what it takes for me to get down to ‘race weight’ for this year’s cycling challenge…
You may be reading this because you know who I am through Cycling and be more familiar with me talking (or writing in this instance) about bikes or an event, or more likely some daft idea for a ride that might not even be possible to do! If this is the case, I’d like to ask you to bear with me as you read on. This is not specifically about cycling or bikes but it is about endurance and determination and where that skill-set comes from.
Some of you may already know that I am dyspraxic and live with depression; in fact, I hope that most of you already know that as I feel like it’s quite important to raise awareness about hidden disabilities as a matter of course. In the very nature of the fact that someone who has a hidden disability like a mental health condition or a specific learning difficulty does not display any physical characteristics, it’s really easy for our awareness to slip and for discrimination to take place without any acts of malice. I have no specific, high profile case to cite and no data to support it, but I’ve been there personally and I’ve taught young people who have been there too.
I don’t believe that anyone sets out to dis-advantage and marginalise people like me in day to day life so there isn’t anything that people need to stop doing so that Neuro-diverse people are included but there is something that you can do and its easy!
If someone is behaving in a way that seems different, its probably because they are thinking or experiencing the world in a way that is different.
I’d like to point out that I didn’t do my Everesting attempt to raise money for a charity, but I did do it for a good cause (raising awareness of Neurodiversity) and this is the part where I ask you to give; not money, but time. Watching #FatLadsCantClimb will cost you 24minutes and might help you to understand the subtle differences between how we all experience the world. I’d also appreciate you spending 5 minutes to forward this, along with a quick note from you, onto a friend, colleague or family member who you think may benefit or find it interesting.
If you don’t know about Neuro-diversity, please ask. I think a lot of people nod along without asking the question on their mind for fear of it being seen as rude or ignorant where actually it could make a big difference to the way we understand each other: I obviously, can only speak for me, which is where some of the social awkwardness around this stuff lies. The next person might really dislike explaining how they are!
To make it easier for you to come up with the questions, here are a few topics that they might fit into…
My cycling achievements (please stroke my ego!)
Questions about cycling
Specific Learning Difficulties
Being a fat lad and wearing lycra in public!
How to get into cycling
Learning to ride a bike
How to create your own strategies
Anything else (literally anything: if I can’t or don’t feel comfortable answering it, I’ll just move on or answer privately later!)