WHEN I SAY MY BIKE SAVED MY LIFE IT REALLY DID. I have always turned the pedals around, from about six years old. My first proper bike was a Raleigh with 24 inch wheels and a white saddle bag As I grew up life became more and more difficult until one day aged 13 years old my Mother sat down on my bed whilst I was in it and said she was leaving. I can’t recall what I said but I can recall the years afterwards crying my eyes out. It lasted no more than a minute and then she was gone. As close to a bereavement it was until her death earlier on this year.
The following years were not easy. I loved my father but we did not get on. It didn’t help him calling my mother for leaving us. I didn’t like what he said at the time but now much older I can see why he felt the way he did.
About the same time I was started to be bullied at school. Life was intolerable. Living alone with my Dad, missing my Mum. Its then that I picked up my bike and started to ride. I’ve been riding ever since if I’m honest.
My mum moved to Oxfordshire and I spent every summer riding the country lanes down there. It was the best time of my life and the worst. I left school and went to train as a photographer for the next five years and spent the next eight years working all over the world. In between I learnt to parachute and fly an aircraft.
At some point I decided to become a police officer. Maybe the years spent as an underdog spurred me on. To this day I champion the underdog and will always support those less fortunate. I joined the police to make a difference. I joined to protect those who could not protect themselves. I joined to make a difference. The tears roll down my face only to remind me how I felt and wished there was some one there when I was young.
So why is my bike so important? It stopped me falling into the dark side of life. It stopped me getting into crime, it stopped me taking drugs and it stopped me from giving up.
My Mum and Dad have now gone. I have my wife and my two lovely sons but ultimately it’s just my bike and me. Its all I ever known. And because of all that’s happened I love my bike.