Days left on the challenge!
This is the fundraising page of Jade Rides
“Let me tell you my backstory…”
Having experienced mental health difficulties for most of my life, I never could quite understand how to escape my own head, even when doing everything you’re “supposed” to do: exercising daily, eating well, getting outside etc. things have always been tough. In fact, until I was about fifteen, I just thought planning your own suicide daily was the norm, and thanks to a school assembly I realised what I was experiencing was some sort of mental health condition. From being bullied most of my childhood to then struggling with university, which I started in 2014, seeing a doctor to get a diagnosis was needed. Anxiety, clinical depression, and a panic disorder was just the beginning of the list, but it wasn’t really until I started having counselling that I realised so many of us have these battles in our minds, I wasn’t alone after all. Although, the CBT therapy I received wasn’t much help and I didn’t continue with it unfortunately.
In 2017, the abusive relationship I had been in ended and days after that, I lost a close childhood friend to suicide. At 21, I really was on the verge of giving up on life. From the struggles with the grief and coming to terms with the abuse I’d suffered, PTSD was now on the list of illnesses, and this is when alcohol came around giving me no option but to take a year out of my degree as I just couldn’t cope. Everything was spiralling quite rapidly out of control…
Skip to 2018, I’d graduated university, I started my first teaching post, everything was getting better, I was still struggling of course but things were on the up. I’d made some great friends during the year out of my course and one of these was a motorcyclist, Nye, who set out on a three-month trip across Europe and North Africa. When he returned later that year we met up and I went pillion on his Tiger 800XC, I didn’t know at that time, but this was a pivotal moment in my life.
We ended up getting serious and come February 2019 I thought it would be fun to go for a horse ride with him as his Mum had nine horses back then! Things were going great until I was thrown off (bikes don’t bronc the same) resulting in a lovely broken pelvis and a minimum of six weeks no walking, not ideal! During that six weeks, Nye’s plans of a four-month RTW trip tracing a similar route to Charley and Ewan’s Long Way Round, was at the forefront of my mind and I really wanted to join him, (mostly because I couldn’t cope on my own!). There was no way we were going to ride the Road of Bones in Magadan two-up with all our luggage though so it was set (in my head anyway), I would have to get my own bike and learn to ride!
We hitched the trailer up and set off to buy a Yamaha YBR 125, but ironically came back with a rough but lovable Suzuki Vanvan instead, and what a bike that was! Within three months of getting the Vanvan, I did my CBT, travelled to Switzerland as pillion (with Nye) and I took my little Vanvan to ride the North Coast 500, I was loving it! The freedom, the people you meet, the spectacular views the world has to offer, and above everything else, for the first time in my life, my mental health problems weren’t problems anymore.
It’s almost three years since my little Vanvan purchase and I’ve now had eight motorbikes and with circumstances changing, our original RTW trip plans are gone but I’m now planning my own solo four-month trip across Europe.
A little more information…
Changing my life...
I know the trip itself is going to change me and my life and I still have days where I can’t face going to the shops alone, where I have panic attacks during the night and can’t sleep or have PTSD flashbacks from a TV show or something someone says so I hope that pushing myself will encourage others to do just that too and I can’t wait to share my adventures with you all! I leave June 2nd and aim to come home late September, you can keep up with my adventures on
Me in 5 Questions...
What has been my biggest achievement so far?
My biggest achievement was getting my Maths degree with teaching qualification whilst going through some really tough situations, it wasn’t easy and I wanted to give up most days but I persevere and with some help and extensions I got through it all and am loving teaching, four years on in my career.
What makes you angry?
Loud exhausts really fill me with rage but in terms of serious problems, animal cruelty is just unforgivable and makes my blood boil.
How would you describe yourself to a stranger?
Mmmmm…. a bit crazy but very passionate about what I care for.
What is you favourite food and drink?
Now that’s a tough one, I just love food, pretty much any vegan cuisine as long as it’s not salad!
What is you ambition in life?
I suppose there are two sides to my ambitions – the teaching side where I want to inspire and motivate students with maths but then with bikes and adventures I really hope to encourage others to push themselves and do things that are out of comfort zones as it really does amazing things for your mental health and, ultimately, your life.
Why mental health?
This trip will be to raise money for Mental Health Motorbike, a charity I believe so strongly in for helping people like me, bikers in need of support, but also, I hope non biker who are struggling will see how brilliant bikes can be for mental wellbeing and I really aim to encourage other people, maybe more women too, to try riding to see how it can change their lives too. When I first heard about MHMotorbike I was so excited, finally a charity combining such wonderful things – motorbikes and discussions around mental wellbeing, having done the MHFA course with Andy and Paul I genuinely want to help as much as I can with fundraising and raising awareness. It will be an honour to ride over 20 countries this year showing off the MHMotorbike badge and tell people all over Europe the amazing work they’re doing.
I’ll also be raising money for Forgotten Animals and will be splitting the money 50:50 to both – if you’d like to direct your donation to one or the other just let me know though.
What is Mental Health Motorbike?
Why Support Us?
The Mental Health Motorbike exists to create meaningful opportunities so that together we grow the wellbeing of the motorbike community. Our ultimate aim is to reduce the suicide rates amongst bikers in the UK.
Over the next 12-18 months we aim to train a bikers from across the UK in Mental Health First Aid and create the countries first free dedicated mental health support network for bikers of all ages, gender and backgrounds.
All money raised will go into a bursary fund to pay for those dealing with financial hardship wanting to go through the MHFA training and become part of the biker support network. We aim to remove barriers to providing access to the training.
Having the network in place will save lives by providing vital support those in crisis.