How Riding Helped a Veteran Beat PTSD

Ex-British soldier Andy Brown was having a difficult 2019. Twenty years of PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder, had taken a toll. His roles in the military – bomb disposal, anti-terrorism, and rapid response – finally hit home. “I lost my job, my career and nearly lost my life because of mental illness,” Brown said. “I lost all faith in myself – if you can’t trust your brain, how can you go on?”

During his struggles, Brown had a desire to get back on a motorcycle. (He owns a BMW R1200ST.) Using some of his pension money, he enrolled in a nine-day rapid training course. Rapid training is the most advanced motorcycle rider training in the UK.

“Doing the course was life-changing – it not only improved my riding but gave me confidence in myself too. It made me realize that my brain does work and can process information at high speed, and that I can learn and develop quickly.”

Brown noted how riding a bike can improve mindfulness and concentration. The adrenaline rush doesn’t hurt, either. There’s a freedom on the open road that is difficult to describe.

According to Brown, “…getting back on a bike has changed my life for the better.”

Read more about Andy Brown.

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