Peter Berry and his bikes

Peter's story: 'When I cycle, I push my dementia away'

Peter, who is living with dementia, leads a healthy lifestyle and takes care of his well-being. With the help of his friend, Deb, Peter has penned his thoughts about his passion for cycling.

When I cycle, I leave my dementia at home. I become who I was, not who I am.

I have always had a passion for cycling and now that I cannot work, I have more time to cycle. So, there you are - despite dementia stripping me of so many things, that’s me taking back from dementia. It’s not a one-way street after all.

Peter and his bike

I’m a great believer that we should take responsibility for our own health and well-being as much as we can.

I eat a good diet, I have recently become vegetarian, and I help my wife prepare our food from scratch. The irony is that post-diagnosis, I am healthier than I was pre-diagnosis or at least I am from the eyebrows down! 

Cycling is my salvation. With every turn of the pedals, with every mile behind me, I feel stronger.

When I cycle, I push my dementia away, into the shade where it stays until I get home. 

Cycling is my medication; the fresh air is my anti-depressant and the sights and sounds of the countryside act as a balm to my hurt mind. (Actually, that last sentence has to go to my friend, Deb, who tells me she has plagiarised Shakespeare’s words. I suppose I have to believe her.)

But the truth is when I cycle, my spirits lift and the cloying thick cloud which was clogging my thoughts are shaken away.

When I cycle, I feel powerful, in control and strong. I get to see the countryside, and sometimes it’s like I am seeing it for the first time.

The world is a wonderful place when viewed through my cyclist’s eyes. Where there were dark and sinister shadows forming from the spectre of my dementia, there is now light and joy. 

I cycle because I love to cycle and it makes me Peter Berry, the cyclist, Peter Berry, the man, not Peter Berry, living with early onset dementia.

Peter and his penny farthing bike

Keeping active and involved

Activities can help you stay independent and provide a great sense of enjoyment. They can also keep you in touch with other people and can improve your quality of life.

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7 comments

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Well done to Peter and his cycling companions for all he does and shares ,helping people with Dementia.

Your are an inspiration to others living with dementia, showing what can be achieved with determination and support from family and friends

I have been for a walk this afternoon, about 2.6 miles. Normally, like Peter, I would cycle, and go further, but only had a hour available. Living now in a bungalow in retirement I am well aware that I'm not getting quite as much exercise as when I was cycling to and climbing stairs at work, and at home. I hope my walk today will keep my brain, and muscles, active for that bit longer.

Thank you for your words of inspiration Peter. I wish you many more happy miles cycling.

I used to be a distance runner( did a few marathons) but now am a walker. I walk for an hour or so every day and I find it helps with my memory loss! I got turned around one day on a long run and had to ask for directions, whuich was very humbling and scary!

We are all so very proud of you

Forging ahead into the light , fresh air is so good for us and the wind in your face must really make you feel so alive Brilliant Post Peter #rememberwhenltd love the penny farthing bike .. don’t think I could ride one though .

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