Cycling represents something different to every person. For a long time, all it represented to Hammerhead ambassador Beau Marksohn, aka @DadBod_Cyclist, was an unapproachable sport that was for people that look nothing like him.
It took Beau hesitantly hopping on a bike during the pandemic to discover what was hidden behind the barriers to entry for him; community, a more positive relationship between his body and mind, and a platform to use his life experiences to set a positive example for others.
“I didn’t think, at the time, I wanted to be a cyclist. Everything that I knew about cycling - and cyclists - just looked visually like everything that I’m not.”
After a traumatic and abusive childhood, Beau has experienced a lifelong struggle with mental health issues. It took someone explaining what body dysmorphia was for Beau to understand that it was something he experiences and therefore could work on.
Dialogue like this is partly what draws Beau towards cycling nowadays. Beau rides with a London club called Chain Gang Cyclists which was founded on the principles of inclusivity and positivity. Their group rides always welcome new invitees and are an opportunity for people to talk and connect with others.
“Part of the journey that I’m on is to try to change people’s perception of what a cyclist is”
Beau’s focus is now set on changing how people think about the sport of cycling. He uses his social media account @DadBod_Cyclist to discuss topics of depression, anxiety, body dysmorphia and more. Cycling now represents a tool that Beau uses in his constant struggle to keep his mind and body healthy.