What a bike ride across Britain is teaching me about life

Here are just 5 life lessons I’ve picked up during this intense training.

Here are just 5 life lessons I’ve picked up during this intense training.

‘Life is like riding a bicycle; to keep your balance you have to keep moving’

– Albert Einstein

A few weeks ago I signed up for a 54-mile charity bike ride. As a bicycle enthusiast (who has never cycled more than 10 miles in one go) it seemed like an obvious and perfectly sensible idea; doing something I love to do to raise money for a very good cause (more to follow on the cause).

In the process of training for this bike ride across Britain, I’ve encountered some wonderful human beings and discovered a lot more than how to build up my bicycle-riding stamina – some of life lessons of my own too! 

Here are just 5 life lessons I’ve picked up during this intense training:

  1. To ride a bicycle, you must pedal forwards – Have you ever tried pedalling backwards? It’s fun… for about 5 seconds. Then you realise you’re actually headed nowhere, unless it’s a hill… in which case you’re headed for the bottom. So forwards is really the only direction. How’s that for the positive life? You fall forward, fail forward, fight forward… and then someday you win.
  2. If you sit too long, it hurts – This is something I learnt the hard way, trust me! We are not made to be stagnant, stationary, stand-still creatures. We are dynamic, driven and determined human beings. Get up and move… move towards your goals, dreams, and aspirations. Take small, constant, consistent steps, because if you sit too long, you will only hurt your potential.
  3. Team work makes the dream work – Surround yourself with good people. They say that you become the sum of the five people you spend the most time with. Just imagine if they were all the crazy awesome, positive, motivated, ridiculously kind folk – that means you’d end up the crazy awesome, positive, motivated and ridiculously kind! So your life team is important, build a good one, love them, appreciate them, and learn from them… and don’t forget to inspire them back!
  4. Fuel up! – This whole event is just a big excuse for carbs – rice, porridge… donuts (basically, the good things in life). However, in all seriousness, you simply cannot live your life on empty. Whether sleep, physical, mental or spiritual energy, make sure you take the time to fuel your mind, body, and soul with all the goodness they need. Fuel up so you can hit the world with all your energy, enthusiasm, and potential (see point 2 for more on that.) 
  5. ‘It’s not about finishing first – it’s about making sure everyone gets to the finish line.’ Encourage, motivate and help the humans around you. We can never perceive what the person next to us has been through, what their journey has consisted of, and what kind of sacrifices they have made to reach that point in their life. All we know is that we’re riding this race together. So if you do finish first, know that it’s because you’re meant to go back, cheer other people on their way, and promise them that the finish line is near – because you’ve seen it!   

With that, I hope you’ll wish me well, and consider donating to this very good cause. See you at the finish line!

The Cause: Who is Hussain?

As promised, here’s a modest introduction to the organisation I will be cycling for. Who is Hussain (whoishussain.org) is global campaign that aims to bring positive change to the world we live in, through the values lived by an inspirational man called Hussain ibn Ali. This revolutionary leader made the ultimate sacrifice for social justice in the face of corruption and tyranny. With projects in more than 60 countries, Who is Hussain endeavours to carry on this legacy, and serve humanity through its social wellbeing projects.

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I say modest introduction because in the time it would take to list all the activities it is responsible for, we could probably complete the bike ride – so perhaps you can join us instead! In the last two years alone, Who is Hussain has provided over 15,000 meals to the homeless in London, with a weekly food drive run entirely by volunteers.

The money raised from this bike ride will be used directly to take these services to an even greater level and to continue to improve the lives of the homeless in London. Who is Hussain is exploring a variety of options and avenues to do so, which include providing mobile showers, dental checks, sessions with housing association officers, and perhaps the most exciting of all, CV and employability workshops.

Remember; every time you walk past a homeless person, you are walking past someone’s brother or sister, someone’s son or daughter; someone with a story. Help us revive these stories.

You can sign up to the bike ride by heading over to the EventBrite page here, or donate to Who is Hussain London by visiting their JustGiving page.

By a Who is Hussain volunteer.


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