Cycling can be a life-changing experience for a great number of reasons. A chance meeting, the discovery of a new place, an introduction to a new way of life.
We recently asked Cycling Weekly readers whether a bike ride had ever changed their life. Here are a selection of answers, brought to you in association with Decathlon.
Has a bike ride ever changed your life? Let us know in the comments section below
I booked on a ride one evening about this time last year with my local Breeze group. Shortly after, I was diagnosed with very early breast cancer. The riding and the friendly companions kept me going through surgery and radiotherapy. Now treatment done, fitter, happier and a bit skinter after buying a carbon road bike. These ladies are inspirational and I’m not sure I would have come through it all without them.
London to Brighton 2008; I signed up despite having not ridden a bike since I was a kid and not even owning one. Caught the cycling bug, joined a club, did a few 100s, started time trialling, met my partner on the CW forum, moved to Scotland, had a couple of kids together and set up a bike shop together; Kirkcowan Cycles. If it wasn’t for L2B none of this would have happened!
A few years ago whilst taking part in an off-road challenge a chap that I had just met and was riding with complained of not feeling well. We stopped and he collapsed. At the same time two guys were riding past and stopped to see if help was needed. The poor chap stopped breathing and we had to set to with CPR.
Long story short, the guy had a ruptured artery with a one in 10 chance of survival. Thanks to all involved, the chap survived and every year since we meet up and ride together.
Watching the Milk Race pass my school when I was 10. Not my bike ride but someone else’s inspired me to want to ride and race.
On March 20 this year, after a 50 miler with the local road club, I got home feeling out of sorts. I texted my friend who I had just ridden with. When he tried to call me, all he got was me gurgling. I’d had a heart attack that was rapidly followed by cardiac arrest.
My friend found me on my lounge floor and immediately started CPR. After 40 minutes of CPR and seven defibs, I had just enough output to get me to hospital where I was put in a coma, where I remained for six days. Doctors gave me a 10 per cent chance of survival, and even if I did pull through I’d be severely brain damaged.
The next day I woke up. It’s been a long battle, but despite having permanent damage to my heart, and being diagnosed with heart disease, beyond all odds I’m back on the bike again. Despite everything my love of cycling continues and my heartfelt(!) thanks go out to my friend who saved my life! Love life, you never know what’s around the corner. That ride changed my life forever.
Did Manchester to Blackpool last summer because someone told me it was ‘flat’. Hated it and haven’t ridden a bike since.
Well it’s changed my bank balance a fair amount, if that counts!
Two years and four months ago l weighed 115 kilos. Through inspirational friends l got on an old mountain bike and cycled 7.7km in 43 minutes. This weekend, weighing 85 kilos, l climbed Port de Tudons before Chris Froome did in La Vuelta on an old Gios road bike. And today l did a 55km time trial in an ave speed of 34.4kph. I am 49 years old and that ride changed my life.
A bike ride that changed your life? Either you had a serious accident or a very very sad life beforehand. Can’t wait for the next feature ‘Where did you have your first Costa Coffee?’
Numerous & continual bike rides changed my life…..My wife decided to leave me. On the plus side, I now have a permanent bike/turbo set-up in the spare room.
If ending up in Birkenhead at 8am on a Sunday after two wrong turns, 35 miles in and being the one stared at for being in Lycra whilst the patrons were in dressing gowns and rollers, then yes. Cycling leaves many good spots in my mind.
Gino De Blasio
Riding to Brussels in memory of my younger sister who died that year of kidney cancer, my wife realised she was pregnant. She hid it from me till we got to Bruges, as she knew I’d make her get off her bike and into our support van.
First time I cycled 20 miles in 1:30:00 I wanted to better my time and cycle further. So I kept pushing my self and now have that time down to 1:05:00… I feel fit, healthy and a lot more happier since I started cycling that distance.
Danny Lee Lennon