We were soaked from head to toe, today – but we’re hardened gardeners and nature-lovers, not afraid of a splash of mud in the face or a good dowsing…
A word often used on a wet day in Scotland is Dreich, although it technically means cold, wet, dark and dreary, it was, by no means, dreary. It wasn’t cold or dark, either. Overcast and very, very wet. Very wet.
So we embraced what it was and – as we couldn’t get any wetter – we splashed through puddles and enjoyed the rather warm rain on our faces. It had to happen. We’ve been so lucky with the weather for our cycling group outings so far, so it came with full force.
We didn’t jump any chains this time, though Colin had a slow puncture that became progressively less slow along the way. The only other sense of deflation was from Colin’s moving on to new tracks, along new routes through life and we wish him only the very best for his future.
It was our group member Billi who first mooted the idea of a cycling group and approached Colin to see if it was feasible. Then he brought it to the group as a timely suggestion. What a great way to get close to nature – our number one aim.
Colin shared the plan within Free Wheel North and we were offered all the assistance and expertise necessary to make it work. No ifs or buts, Colin made it happen without any qualms with great support from the Free Wheel North team. We haven’t been treated like autistic people – we’ve been treated like people, in just the way we’d like to see happen more often – and it happens in small but significant ways through our random events, too.
And that’s why we just do it. We have our group with whom we can create our own successes, meeting some great people along the way – the best not purporting to be autism experts or representatives but sensitive to basic human needs and considerations, not self interest.
Our cycling group has been Billi’s gift to the group and a goal fulfilled. We’ve benefited hugely and – never averse to residual benefits – we have built our cycling confidence and improved our balance. We’ve enjoyed the freedom of two wheels in practical ways; improving health and well being, of course, but we’re each able to make our way to our gardens by a new, eco-friendly way, having learned the relevant routes and how to link them up from our respective areas.
Mark has bought a new bike and mine has seen daylight! So thank you Billi, for a brilliant suggestion: thank you Free Wheel North for believing in the idea and thank you Colin for delivering a great series of interesting and progressive routes for us. It’s really made a difference. Thank you.
We met John, one of our new Cycling group leaders, before our final log-flume-style run with Colin which we loved, feeling completely ‘connected with nature’ and exhilarated, from head to toe.