Following his mental ill-health recovery, Martin’s dad introduced him to road racing which led to exercise becoming his antidote. Martin has since applied his passion for cycling towards helping repair bikes as a volunteer at Bike for Good.
Martin, why did you choose to volunteer at Bike for Good?
I have got experience of mental ill-health and had a breakdown in 2012. In 2013, I started my recovery. In 2014, my dad introduced me to road racing, which I’m now addicted to. He gave me a bike and took me out on the road and my life basically changed. Exercise is my antidote to mental ill-health. Following a recent MRI scan, I found out that I suffer from a brain condition called Hydrocephalus which impacts my mental health. I train on my bike to keep myself physically fit, but more importantly it helps to keep me mentally stable. It’s more than a hobby, it’s a necessity. I now also have an indoor spin bike that I can train on in the winter, which has made a huge difference especially because of the pandemic and the gyms having been closed.
How do you spend your time here at Bike for Good?
As a volunteer, I help with bike stripping and refurbishing. I’m independent in bike maintenance now. I was trained by a number of people over the years. I’m happy as long as I’m working on bikes. I may like to get a qualification in bike maintenance going forward.
How has volunteering impacted your life?
Volunteering at Bike for Good keeps me busy and gives me a focus. I like the routine and obviously I work on something I’m very passionate about. I know that my volunteering benefits a good cause. I need to live my life in my comfort zone and safety bubble. Bike for Good has been great for me as it’s one of the few places I feel really safe and anxiety free.
Thanks to Martin for sharing his experience with us, we’re so glad that cycling and volunteering at Bike for Good has helped him with his mental health recovery.