Bikes for the road to recovery
Bikes for the Road to Recovery,
The Lefty Cycles Project is a new organization in Connecticut that was created with the overall goal to Perpetuate Pure Goodness. Like all new groups on a mission to improve the lives of underserved populations, you should start with the basic question of “WHY”? With the unwavering support of experienced consultants and a newly established Board of Directors, the Founder of The Lefty Cycles Project (TLCP) wants to begin with the story of how a bicycle saved his life.
Dylan Howley has rediscovered his love for cycling over the past four years. There is a strong network that has evolved throughout his journey of creating a meaningful brand identity that incorporates ways to help others. At the age of twenty-three, Howley began his journey to sobriety. Over fourteen years later and he is sharing his story in a variety of ways to inspire determination. Dylan has battled many demons in his life which include a devastating motorcycle accident, substance abuse and mental health issues.
On one particular day five years ago, something cracked inside of him while on a family vacation. For the first time in his sobriety, Dylan wanted to drink. Not just the normal urge to drink but one that dragged him the closest to relapse he had ever been. The urge brought him to a liquor store which was closed. He was unable to purchase alcohol at that moment but instantly, another temptation appeared. On his drive back to the vacation house he was renting with his wife, baby daughter and a few close friends, he spotted a six pack of Guinness sitting on top of a garbage can.
So what did he do? He opened a beer and drove around, weighing his options. He came dangerously close to drinking that night but never took a sip. The next morning he woke up and found a small bicycle in the garage. Instinctively he started pedaling and ended up close to the beach to contemplate what the hell was happening. That bike ride answered his prayers.
“I saved my sobriety that day. I like to say that sobriety saved my life but biking saved my sobriety” said Dylan on a recent podcast interview.
When he returned home from vacation, he went and bought a bike and has refused to stop moving forward since.
In 2016, Dylan was inspired to train for a 100 mile bike ride in honor of a friend’s daughter who was battling cancer. From there he was hooked on the idea of setting rigid goals and working tirelessly until they were accomplished. In 2018, he added Spin Instructor to his resume and this past July he hit his colossal goal of completing Ironman Lake Placid which required a 112 mile bike ride!
To give a real assessment of Dylan Howley’s ability to inspire people in recovery, it’s also important to highlight one small detail about how riding a bike is not easy for him. Throughout his early years of fighting for sobriety, he was also rehabilitating from a motorcycle injury that left his right arm paralyzed. It’s been an entirely different journey of patience and willpower to focus on staying dedicated to recovery while relearning how to tie your shoes with one arm or operate a bicycle hand brake.
“When I see the word “impossible”, all I see is “I’m Possible” said Dylan during one of his latest public speaking engagements. With the benevolence of mentors who believe in Dylan and his story of overcoming adversity, The Lefty Cycles Project was officially born last month. A new website, an upcoming inaugural event (3 Cans of Pure Goodness), accredited partner organizations and sponsors are the foundation of this idea, turned into a reality.
Dylan’s journey is a community journey and its building strength. What type of Goodness is TLCP going to Perpetuate? The concept is simple: get bikes into the hands of people in Recovery. A bike is a mode of transportation, encourages exercise and fosters independence. Improved mental health is one of the top benefits of riding a bike and The Lefty Cycles Project is already collecting bikes and preparing to distribute them in a sustainable way to help the Recovery Community.
We are a new organization and appreciate any level of support. Follow the journey on social media, donate a bike, visit the website, contact us, talk with someone in recovery or refer someone who could use a bike on the road to recovery.
The Lefty Cycles Project would like to acknowledge the support of our Sponsors and Consultants: Empowered Indoor Cycling & Strength Studio, Liora H. Cannon Consulting llc and The 5th Color Designs. Without their support and guidance, the vision of TLCP would not be where it is today.