This isn’t my usual type of post but don’t worry it is still mountain bike related!
A few of you will know that I have Ulcerative Colitis, I was diagnosed towards the end of 2012. Ulcerative Colitis is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that is usually managed by medication or ultimately surgery. I won’t go into the full details of the symptoms (you can look at Crohn’s and Colitis UK for more information) but for the first couple of years I spent a lot of time in hospital due to ‘flare ups’, these flare ups can happen at any time without warning to the point of being fine when you wake up to being hospitalised and incredibly weak by the end of the day.
In the last couple of years I have been able to manage my Ulcerative Colitis fairly well having only needing one hospital admission, I consider myself very fortunate as my diagnosis isn’t as severe as others meaning medication is suitable to keep me in remission.
So.. how does this relate to mountain biking? Trust me it does! In 2016 I started mountain biking again after a long time of not riding one, my first ride was just through Endcliffe park in Sheffield and up to the top of Greenhouse Lane. I took a bottle of water, a bit of food, spare boxers and a roll of toilet roll.. I was so nervous of being away from an available toilet I kept packing these toiletries for the first few rides. Once I ventured out into the Peak District properly I felt an overwhelming sense of freedom and achievement. I found through regular cycling I was really able to manage my Ulcerative Colitis making it almost predictable, the toiletries haven’t been brought on a ride since! Everyone knows the physical benefits of cycling but the mental benefits are really unrecognised, the freedom and joy that mountain biking brings to me has changed my lifestyle and medical health completely.
As I kept up the cycling I fancied entering a few events, by the end of 2017 I had entered the following events: Moors & Shores (60 miles), Hamsterley Beast (40 miles) and the Hope Valley Challenge (30 miles) and a few more in-between. I did quite well in these events and am planning on doing most of them again this year! Now we finally arrive at the focus of this point.
Throughout 2018 I am fundraising for Crohn’s and Colitis UK. My first event is the Hamsterley Beast (66 miles) on the 13th May. I have plans to enter a number of the Midlands XC events and the Hope Valley Challenge again. 2018 will be a year of cycling events and throughout the year I would like to raise as much as possible for Crohn’s and Colitis UK or at least get the word out about chronic bowel diseases. I have taken to running recently, so running events will be on the table as well!
I would really appreciate any donations you are willing to give, I am paying for event entries myself so all of the money donated will go to Crohn’s and Colitis UK. I’d like to thank my family for all of the support they have given over the last 6 years I couldn’t have done it without them. A huge thank you to Dialled for supporting me (and letting me post about Mountian Bikes!) and finally a thank you to For Fit’s Sake for supporting me along the way.
Here is the link to my Just Giving page – https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/kieran-rowley
If you yourself have been diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis or just want to learn more in general get in touch with me through Dialled!