Since 2016 I have been Head Lad for Noel Williams Racing and this year I am taking on the Transalp and proudly supporting Headway the brain injury association in memory of my friend and 2009 Grand National winner, Liam Treadwell .
After Liam’s death last year, I was desperate to make a difference and keep his legacy alive. There has been a big drive within our industry to help jockeys and racing staff with mental health. In 2020 I had my own personal struggles and when a friend offered to take me out on his mountain bike, I accepted. It gave me something that had been missing since I retired from race riding. It also helped me with mindfulness. When I am on the bike, my focus is purely on what I need to do to stay upright or beat my times. Riding my mountain bike has got me through my darkest moments and this led me to start setting up The Treadwell Foundation. Unfortunately, with the current pandemic, the process is taking a bit longer than anticipated.
In July last year, Clare Williams showed me the Transalp and I decided this would be a great challenge for me to take on to launch Treadwell Foundation. I found a coach, trained hard so I was competitive and now, at just six weeks away, I have decided to take on the challenge for Headway, the brain injury association. A charity that means a lot to Liam and his family.
The Transalp is a mountain bike endurance race across the Alps. It covers three countries (starting in Austria, Switzerland, and finishing in Italy.) We will take on seven stages, across seven days, covering 550 kilometers and climbing over 18000 metres of elevation (that is over twice Mount Everest!) It has been compared to running a marathon every day for seven days! I am aiming to complete as a single rider using the skills and training that I have acquired over the last eleven months provided to me by Oliver Beckingsale (Represented the UK at 3 Olympics and winner of multiple national races as a MTB rider) and, a hell of a lot of mental grit!
I want to help raise the profile of Headway’s work because I am a firm believer that concussion and mental health issue come hand in hand. There has been a lot of research into this, particularly into the longterm effects of multiple concussions I also want to show anyone in the racing industry that there are ways forward when it comes to mental health. To highlight that you aren't alone and there are multiple ways you can help yourself move through the toughest times. Just like with Transalp, if you focus on the road ahead, not the whole journey, you'll get through.
After funding the last eleven months of training, kit, physiotherapist etc, I now need help to get this challenge over the line and to raise as much money as possible for Headway. I am looking for supporting through donations on this page but also I would love to get some sponsors on board. I need cycling kit, tyres, spare parts for the bike and I am looking for transport for the Transalp. A motorhome would be ideal so my kit can be transferred between the stages.
Transalp has offered me support as one of their supported riders. This means we are getting great press coverage in Germany, Switzerland, Italy, France and the UK. Macchina Media are kindly giving me their time for free and will work with partners to help create activation for businesses.
Rawvelo have come on board in the last couple of weeks to help supply me with all my fuelling. I wanted to do Transalp on a completely natural diet and their products have blown me away.
Thank you all so much for your support and I will keep you updated with my progress over the next 6 weeks. Please also follow me on Instagram Facebook and Twitter
You can also subscribe to my YouTube here
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