What Warmley Wheelers offers speaks to me on a very personal level and that’s why I decided to take part in their cycle challenge
My 12-year-old son has special needs and can’t cycle independently. My family have always enjoyed cycling and we’ve always brought my son along with us, whether it’s been on the back of a bike or in a trailer.
As he gets older, independence is becoming increasingly important to him. We went to Warmley Wheelers together for the first time in June, and this gave him the opportunity to try out different bikes to see what might work for him. It was great to be able to go somewhere where there’s a supportive environment and there’s an extra adult encouraging him, it’s not just his family.
What Warmley Wheelers offers speaks to me on a very personal level and that’s why I decided to take part in their cycle challenge, which involved setting yourself a cycling-based challenge to be completed during July, raising money for Warmley Wheelers in the process.
For my challenge, I chose to cycle 1,000miles in a month. It was an ambitious target but I felt like I had to go for a big number to make people take notice and sponsor me.
Completing 1,000 miles was a logistical challenge as well as a physical one, with the arrival of the school holidays meaning additional childcare responsibilities. There was also a heatwave in the middle of the month, which I definitely hadn’t expected.
One of my favourite places I cycled to was Hawkesbury Upton, on the edge of the Cotswolds. The route there goes along a ridge, so if the visibility is good you can see for miles, across the Severn bridges, over to Wales and down into Bristol.
The only time I really felt like I was on my knees was on the final day of the challenge. I had 23miles to go and I was so tired. I couldn’t face planning another route, everything I thought of or that my husband suggested just sounded so uninspiring. It was only after having a nap and eating some lasagne that I felt able to make a plan and head out on my bike one last time. I was so glad when I finally reached my target of 1,000 miles. I was always the person who finished last at sports day, so this felt like a real achievement. I was proud of myself.
I have raised over £600 in total. I’m so grateful to my sponsors for believing in me, but more important is the help that they’re bringing to others. I really want my son and other people with disabilities and special needs to experience the same joy that I get from cycling. Thanks to Warmley Wheelers, they can.