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    Scot from Skinny Tyres reflects on a life of cycling

    Scot Tares from Skinny Tyres (with Steve Marson from Veloforte) about to cycle through the Channel Tunnel on the support of the BBC television Children in Need Rickshaw Challenge

    It sometimes surprises me how much cycling has been part of my life. 

    Although it is my “day job”, it has always been a passion, and even now it is much more than just a way to earn a living.

    At two years old my Dad put me on a bike, which I immediately fell off and for years I had the gravel marks on my forehead to prove it. 

    Now I head to the mountains with my family on multi-day bike-packing adventures and enjoy aimless rides around the quiet roads of Highland Perthshire. Along the way I have made many friends – in fact there are very few people I know who don’t have a link with cycling in some fashion or other. 

    Scot Tares from Skinny Tyres out and about on some of his cycling adventures
    Scot Tares from Skinny Tyres out and about on some of his cycling adventures

    I was never an academic school pupil, and it was the Duke of Edinburgh Award that gave me the confidence to venture further afield and realise that there was more to life than qualifications. 

    I grew up painfully shy, and it was being in the outdoors that helped me overcome that obstacle. From once lacking the confidence to put my hand up in class and answer a question, I now revel in standing up in front of large groups and speaking about bikes and cycling and usually whatever else comes to mind.

    It would have been hard to imagine then that my future self would travel the world, meet amazing people and cycling would be my career and my passion that permeated every part of my life.

    I have cycled through the Channel Tunnel; and ridden with celebrities from Tom Daley to Zoe Ball; I have been involved in large-scale charity events and supported individuals achieve their goals.

    My children have just completed their exams, and my daughter has just finished her final year at school. 

    For them, their journey is only at the beginning and they are still at such a young age with so much to experience, but the pressure and expectation to consolidate learning and results with a view to future careers is immense. The idea that this is the most important time of their lives and the choices they make now will have a lasting impact on their future lives can be suffocating and paralyzing.

    I left school with few qualifications and even less of an idea of what I wanted to do with my life. It has been a bumpy, but fascinating road to where I am now. Along the way I have had many jobs and roles and it wasn’t until I was in my late 30s that I decided to start my own business and do what I loved, rather than what was expected of me.

    It is amazing that the humble bicycle can have so much impact and shape somebody’s life.

    If I could tell my younger self one thing it would be not to stress on the details. 

    The idea that money makes the world go around is a source of much unhappiness and leads to people making all sorts of decisions that are often not in their own best interest.

    If you believe in and are passionate about something enough, then you will enthuse others and you can make a success out of whatever you want to do. You may not end up rich in material wealth, but your life will be rich in happiness.

    A young person stands astride their bike watching the sunset