Its hard to know where to start so ill begin with what led me to write this.
Cycling has always been a part of my life. From four years old not allowed any further than the curb to my teens as a way of seeing friends into adulthood as both my sport, transport… and medicine.
Back in 2015 I decided after quite some time to walk away from my job due to an abusive boss taking over and being put on a zero hour contract after 5 years, often meaning it cost me more to go to work than I made. Overall it was causing severe anxiety and depression affecting not just me but those around me but after talks with my partner we decided it best for me to just walk away, something I found hard to do knowing id have to live on just savings and having always worked.
After visiting NHS Dr’s I was told there wasn’t much they could do apart from medication which both myself and my Dr weren’t keen on the idea of so I decided to concentrate on the one constant that kept my sanity….Cycling.
From finding new routes and scenery, the absolute agony and determination to complete a route acting as a purge to the system to the relaxed club rides on a weekend morning for good food and even better laughs. This all kept me on a high similar to that you hear runners speak of.
This all came to an end three months after quitting my job when a car pulled out without warning resulting in various injuries to myself… and more importantly my beloved bike.
Being out of work this wasn’t something I could simply replace and even if I could several Dr’s had advised me to stay off the bike and any heavy gym work till January, bearing in mind this happened in August.
By November my fitness had totally gone, my asthma had came back and so did the anxiety and depression but I had beat it once and would again I just had to wait it out. I also managed to get and hold a temporary job over Christmas which paid enough to top up savings and took away any financial worry for a while.
Once I had the all clear I was forced to use parts salvaged from an old bike one or two bought and a mend and make do attitude as insurance has still not came through and by the end of February I was back out on two wheels… now with the knowledge that all that time off and being away from the damaging affects of lycra shorts had resulted in me finding out that im about to be a dad.
By now we have had our first scan and the baby’s fine. This has given me a boost more mentally than anything. All previous worries causing the anxiety have been replaced with the nervousness of preparing for what is to come. Yes you get stressed but no more so than any other person would, this stress is not a burden more pure excitement but im still wanting to accomplish a few things this summer before being surrounded by romper suits and cuddly toys such as the coast to coast in a day.
Now though being well on the way to being a dad the question seems stronger than ever.
Are our roads now too dangerous for cyclists?