Etape du Tour: It’s not about the bike
I devoted my column in today’s Magazine to Nick Dodds, an inspirational rider I met at last month’s Etape du Tour where, as I reported on this blog, I rather overdid it and had to vomit before I could finish the gruelling, 112 assault on the Pyrenees.
You should be able to find the column online here. It tells how Dodds, who was part of a 100-strong group of cyclists brought to France by their employer, Sky, battled with cancer and very nearly lost cycling rode to the rescue. For him the etape was about settling scores.
Of all the things Dodd told me in France, and later via email, this stood out: “Cycling for me isn’t just about keeping physically fit, it’s a mental thing too. I do most of my thinking on the bike, just about all of what I call mental housekeeping is done on two wheels. I think all of us have issues in life we sometimes don’t deal with or think about – I deal with them on my bike, even if I don’t always resolve them.”
I’ve written before about cycling’s ability to ease the mind (see below). With the help of Sky and the support of friends and family, some of whom travelled to France to cheer him on, Dodds has demonstrated just how therapeutic the sport can be. Congratulations to him again
As an oft-quoted (by me at least) 1896 ‘New York Times’ piece reads, cycling “yields a higher tone of mental exhilaration than other sports … With the great speed there are the subtle glide and sway of skating, something of the yacht’s rocking, a touch of the equestrian bounce, and a suggestion of flying. The effect of all this upon the mind is as wholesomely stimulating as is the exercise to the body.”Tagged in: cycling, etape
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