Reclaiming the AbandonedBicycle started out as a double metaphor: it was both the reality of getting back into cycling and the journey back from despair. Initially I used to chart my personal build up to the 100 mile challenge of the 2010 Tour Ride in Stoke-on-Trent. Yet more importantly it became an opportunity to talk openly to others about my road to recovery from a breakdown which frequently, particularly at the beginning, felt like a cul-de-sac in life.
Cycling is getting ever more popular in the UK and at the same time it is estimated that at least one in four people have some form of mental health illness with stress, anxiety and depression being the most common forms of this. I am a recovering cyclist and recovering from my own period of depression, stress and anxiety.
As time has moved on I have recovered. I’ve learnt to live with myself and with the support of some fantastic people I’ve learnt the skills I need to navigate life. And so the blog has moved on. I still want to highlight some of the more personal moments and insights I have had but inevitably the subject matter has broadened. I hope it still makes an interesting read for friends, cyclists and those interested, in the words of Frasier Craine, in good mental health. Along the way I’ve acquired new readers and I hope you all enjoy it for your own reasons. Some of it will might provide helpful advice or a shared experience. Some of it is just my musings on life, bikes and the world around me. Most importantly I still want to raise awareness that whilst extremely difficult admitting to a mental health problem isn’t the end of the world and can be an exciting turn in life’s journey.
I’m a middle-aged, recovering workaholic. I am a husband. I am a cyclist. I take photographs. I sometimes think though usually write first. Whilst waiting for the great leap forward I’m learning to take the small steps in the right direction. Please feel free to comment or even just say hello.