The remarkable and inspirational true story of how one man battled grief and anxiety, one pedal stroke at a time, on a 3,500-mile adventure around Britain.
In March 2020, as Britain entered its first lockdown, Simon Parker’s life fell apart; his travel journalism career vanished overnight and shortly afterwards he received the tragic news that a close friend had died.
With a long-suppressed anxiety disorder starting to rear its head, he turned to the only therapies he knew and trusted: travel and exercise. Setting off on his bike from the northernmost point of Shetland with only a sleeping bag and a camping stove, Simon would end up cycling 3,427 miles around Britain.
En route, he would meet hundreds of resilient Britons, who were all, in their own way, riding out the storm just like he was. Even in his gloomiest moments he began to see that a chink of light was never too far away. Riding Out is a story of optimism and hope, and a ground-level portrait of Britain as it transforms from a country in crisis to a nation on the mend. From Shetland to the Scillies, Dover to Durness, Simon learns that life’s sharpest corners are best navigated at the gentle pace of a bicycle.
Simon Parker is an award-winning travel writer and broadcaster who has reported from well over 100 countries by the age of 34 for the BBC, The Telegraph and Amazon Prime. In this multimedia presentation of short films, photos, audio clips and anecdotes he talks about cycling 3,427 miles around ‘Pandemic Britain’ during 2020 and 2021.
Simon also talks about his own struggles with anxiety, bereavement and mental health. The talk will be followed by a Q&A and his new book, Riding Out, will be available to purchase.
He can be found tweeting @SimonWIParker.
For more information, visit www.simonwparker.co.uk