It’s quite tough having a younger brother with autism and I am constantly aware of this. Everyone just adores Edward, laughs at him and gives him lots of attention because he’s so cute. This must be hard for Matthew to deal with. Sometimes he will mimic Edward, both in how he talks and how he acts and I wonder if this is Matthew wanting more attention. We do however, try really hard to make sure Matthew gets plenty of positive attention. We take him to lots of sporting activities he loves his football and cricket. But there’s one sport in particular that he is excelling at and that is cycle racing, in particular Cyclocross. So I feel that he deserves a whole blog post dedicated to his achievements.
We started Matthew cycling when he was just two and bought him a balance bike for his birthday. He loved whizzing around on this. Then when we bought him his first pedal bike he just started riding it straight away.
When Matthew reached the age of five we decided to trial him in a cyclocross race at Mount Kelly school, Tavistock in 2015.
I can’t remember where he finished in this race but he really enjoyed it. As this was such a success we decided to enter him in more of them the following season. So he competed in the under 8 age group in the 2016 season.
Most races he made it to the podium but there were a couple of times when he had a meltdown and didn’t finish. This year he finished in second place overall in the South West Cyclocross League. The season culminates in a presentation ceremony for all the age groups.
The following season he was still in the Under 8’s and he absolutely smashed it and came first so that meant that he was awarded a shield (and a bag of Haribos) at the presentation ceremony.
So onto the 2018 cyclocross season. This time he would have to compete in the under 10 age category even though he had only just turned 8. At cyclocross the under 12’s also race at the same time so it’s an extremely fast race. The very first race of the season Matthew finished in 3rd place but this was the only time that he did. After that he won every race. We were amazed that he was beating cyclists nearly two years older than him.
Once again he received the shield for the Under 10’s south west cyclo cross champion.
Cyclocross is extremely gruelling and Matthew has amazed me with his determination. He knows to never give up and he will leave everything on the course and he’s only 8. On the way to the races we love to play motivational songs and Matthew’s favourite are Tubtumping by Chumbawamba and When the going gets tough by Billy Ocean.
We are really excited to see what the 2019 cyclocross season will bring, he will still be in the under 10’s and only just turning 9. Stay tuned to find out what happens.
First stop South West Cyclocross next stop Tour de France 🇫🇷