#TotalBuddies

Are you trained in mental health and would like to help others more anxious build their biking confidence?
If so please read on.

Are you wanting to get back out on your bike but anxious about it or wanting to start biking but anxious about it?
If so please read on.

#TOTALBUDDIES is something new we’re looking to set up where people who’re either wanting to get a bike and start going out or already have a bike and are looking to get back out but both are too anxious about doing it. (SCROLL DOWN TO READ MORE ABOUT #TOTALBUDDIES AND A FIRST HAND ACCOUNT OF WHAT IT’S LIKE TO GO ON A RIDE WITH A BUDDIE)

Please see the available #TotalBuddies below

Feel free to contact them yourselve and organise a ride (if you do so please mention it’s about #TotalBuddies) or ask us to introduce you if you prefer.

Wayne Henderson

Town – Leicester

Local trail – Cannock or Pines

SM – TwitterInstagram

How to contact – Twitter or Insta

Bob Ellison

Town – Newcastle upon Tyne

Local trail – Chopwell / hamsterley / thrunton

SM – Instagram

How to contact – Insta

Matt Cain

Town – Gateshead

Local trail – Beamish Woods & Northumberland Moors

SM – TwitterInstagram

How to contact – Twitter or Insta

Leanne Wrightson

Town – Glasgow

Local trail – Arrochar, Kilpatrick or Cathkin Braes

SM – Instagram

How to contact – Instagram

John Martin

Town – Camberley

Local trail – Swinley, Surrey Hills, QECP

SM – Instagram

How to contact – Instagram

James Sloggie

Town – Midlothian/Scottish Borders

Local trail – Glentress, Innerleithen, Pentland Hills

SM – InstagramTwitter

How to contact – Twitter or Insta

#TotalBuddies in Australia

Brad Sara

Town – Koongamia, Perth WA

Local trail – Goat Farm Bike Park, John Forrest, Heritage Trail

SM – Instagram

How to contact – Instagram

MORE INFO ABOUT #TOTALBUDDIES

We’ll have a list of people from all across the UK who’re trained in mental health but also keen bikers who know the local trails well and can therefore take you can a ride to help build your confidence.

After your confidence is built you may want to go out by yourself, join a shop/social ride or even help others who are in the same place you were.

If you’re trained in mental health and would like to be a #TotalBuddies please get in touch.

Why do you have to be trained in mental health to become a #TotalBuddies?

What we’re trying to do with #TotalBuddies’ is extremely important and I feel if people who’re anxious and would like help would feel more relaxed and confident going for a bike ride with someone who is trained in this area.

Also I would hate for something to happen while you’re out on your bike ride and the #TotalBuddies not have the correct training to be able to help in the appropriate way.

Maybe in the future we can open up for more buddies to join even without the training.

If you’re interested in either being a buddy or joining a buddy on a ride please let us know.

FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE WITH #TOTALBUDDIES

Adam (@DirtChronicler) – #TotalBuddies (@bobtknob)

I have suffered from anxiety from a very young age and in the last year have been hit with depression to the point that I needed an extended period of time from work. As a result, mountain biking, my one element of exercise and hobby, was forgotten. I felt guilty every time I couldn’t bring myself to get my bike out and giving it up completely seemed a sensible option. If I didn’t have the drive to leave the house most days, then what good was an expensive bike in the garage! 

After many months of depression and not seeming to feel any better, I was directed to TotalMTB and their #TotalBuddies idea, where volunteers with mental health training take riders out to rebuild confidence, talk, explore or just clear their head for a while. I was understandably really anxious and didn’t really want to take part as my own anxieties told me I wasn’t good enough and would become a burden for someone else. I eventually built the confidence to get in touch with one of the volunteers. Bob was incredibly welcoming, was easy to engage with and I instantly felt comfortable enough to explain my situation, my worries and my challenges of getting back on the bike and rebuilding the confidence I had completely lost. 

We met on a weekday morning and I instantly felt reassured and welcomed by Bob. We rode for the whole morning, exploring new trails that I had never ridden, talking about mental health and our lives in general and it was very easy to open up, to not be worried about my lack of confidence and not feel pressured to put on a brave face or hit trails or features that made me uncomfortable. I couldn’t recommend the project any higher and I will certainly be getting back in touch and going for a future ride. 

It took a bit of bravery to do it. But I hope after reading this, people will be brave enough to get in touch with someone. I’m not a skilled, confident or experienced rider, but I drove home with legs like jelly from a well-needed bit of exercise, a bike covered in beautiful mud from all the trails and more importantly, a massive smile. Thank you to Bob, the volunteer, and TotalMTB for the project. Get involved!

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