by Eileen Sutherland
Changing Gear is about love, loss and adventure. It’s available on Kindle here.
In the summer of 2006 Allan and Eileen cycled from Britain to Bulgaria. He was a fit 52 year old with a new Dawes Galaxy bike and she was an overweight 54 year old with a dodgy knee and an old Trek. They set off with only a hazy idea of the route and not much money.
Three years earlier, on the 8th August 2003, their son Matt had died unexpectedly while on holiday. Things were never the same after Matt’s death. Allan and Eileen had tried living normally and found they couldn’t do it. So they looked for alternative ways of being, one of which was to cycle from Britain to Bulgaria.
‘As we got on our bikes I experienced an intense sense of freedom. A fraying of the cord of sadness. I felt light and irresponsible. With few possessions to worry about and a sense of space stretching ahead, anything seemed possible…’