How a 3,427 mile bike ride around Britain saved one writer's mental health

Simon Parker, author and critically acclaimed travel writer, says that journey by bike around Britain in the height of the pandemic uncovered some of his best stories yet

Simon Parker at Lands End
(Image credit: Simon Parker)

In the dark days of the Covid-inflicted lockdowns, Simon Parker had hit crisis point. A career in travel writing and journalism had vanished into thin air, and shortly afterwards he, like many others at the time, received the news that a close friend had passed away. 

It has been well documented that due to the tsunami of sorrow that the pandemic unleashed, cases of anxiety and depression skyrocketed. Simon’s life was no different and he soon found himself feeling the effects of panic attacks and anxiety. 

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Tom Thewlis

Tom has been writing for Cycling Weekly since 2022 and his news stories, rider interviews and features appear both online and in the magazine. 

Since joining the team, he has reported from some of professional cycling's biggest races and events including the Tour de France and the World Championships in Glasgow. He has also covered races elsewhere across the world. 

As well as on the ground reporting, Tom writes race reports from the men's and women's WorldTour and helps with coverage of UK domestic cycling.