I’ m learning a lot while cycling – having done 16 miles tonight I know I can go the distance for the Cycletta event if I just push some more, I know to be careful of dogs, having had to shake a Jack Russell off my pedal the other night, I know that going fast down hill is terrifying and stopping too soon will pitch you on to the bonnet of (a fortunately) parked car, and that the mere sight of an incline brings me close to a panic attack, but I now know I can change gears smoothly on the flat at speed and so practice will get me to the point where I know how to synchronise gears, muscles and effort and get me up to the top. So I am learning that small things can make a big difference to performance and attainment.
I am learning everytime I go out on the bike and most of all I am finding space to contemplate and think as I pedal along. Tonight my thoughts were particularly focussed, as we set off I recieved a text from a friend telling me that rioting and looting had broken out in Manchester, last night I had watched the riots in London and our route tonight took us past the sites of the 2001 riots in Burnley. The media emphasis is on the role played by young people in these events and this brought me to revisit why we have committed to completing the Cycletta, its not just for fun and fitness our Daft and Determined team are riding to raise funds for our local charity – The John Bury Trust.
The Trust is a small charity which aims to help young people achieve their potential and our overiding criteria for assistance is will this be life changing for the young person? Often it is not a massive change we are assisting, it may not make headlines and it may not cost a lot but it makes a huge difference and allows the recipient to achieve a goal, something personal to them and something which may renew their faith in other people. Last night as I watched events unfold on the television I spoke with John Bury’s daughter and she said how if he were alive and watching he would be wanting to do something to help ensure young people had good opportunities and could take advantage of them.
In doing such a small thing as taking part in a fund raising event which is loads of fun and which is affecting changes big and small in my life I hope that I and my team mates will be able to ensure that we keep the spirit of John Bury alive and allow us to continue to make small differences with big results in the lives of the young people of Blackburn with Darwen.