Week 98 - Karting, Cycling and Flying.

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The last few months have been really great. My support setup is working well and i took some time of work to recharge a little after a few busy months.

I also had my 28th birthday. Here is some of the things i have been up to in roughly chronological order.

Mountain Biking

Right at the start of August i visited the Velopark at stratford. It’s a small mountain bike park they built as part of the 2012 Olympics. It’s all based around the velodrome by the Olympic staduim.

It only about 10 miles so a group of freinds, the lion and me decied to go and have a try.

I love mountain biking. It is one of my interests which has persisted over time since i was a kid. I don’t follow it as obsessively as i used too, but i still love a good ride.

We took the train to the bike park and then met some other friends there. I took my own bike and a few freinds rented bikes.

Riding at Velopark.

After paying £5 to get in we explored the blue and red trails. In places they are very fast and swoopy and in other places they are very technical, with sharp drops, rock gardens and jumps to ride at speed.

Overall the riding is good. They don’t have much elevation to play with and the climbs tend to be sharp. It’s nothing like Bike Park Wales (with the uplift service and long trails) but its not bad. They have done well with that they have.

My favourite trail is the start of the red trail. It has a couple of fast jump sections leading into a long flowing piece of single track for around half a mile.

We stayed for a few hours and explored the park. It was a really good day and we are planning to go back again in a few weeks.

I am very unfit, so it gives me something to work on for my fitness. The fitter i am, the more i can ride at the park!


A few weeks after we went mountain biking it was my birthday and to celebrate we went to the local karting track. Much like mountain biking, i enjoy karting a great deal and haven’t been able to do it much in recent years as i recovered from being ill.

We went to the karting centre at lakeside in Essex. The track is a nice mix of flat out bends and twisty sections.

What i love about karting is the sense of flow. Being totally in the moment, not thinking much and driving with my relfexes. What i dislike about karting is the noise… It can make focusing on the track very difficult. In the past i have preffered electric karts as they are quiter.

At lakeside we tried the single engine and dual engine karts. Both are quite loud but they are just about okay. The karts suit the track well and its great fun doing 15 minutes of racing at a time. The dual engine karts are harder to drive which makes them a nice challenge.

As a bonus, i set the fastest time of my session and got into the top 99.3% of all lap times ever.

Karting is expensive so i cannot afford to do it often, however i am hoping to go back soon. I am around 1 second outside of the top 100 fasted times of the year and with some more practice (and good luck) i think i can get there.

Cycling (park!).

After cycling at the velopark i really wanted to cycle more closer to home. I enjoy cycling, but i find roads extremely difficult.

I have tried cycling near to home a few times but near misses with traffic have put me off. However, over the last week i used some of my spoons to explore the local area on my bike. In doing so i found a safe route up to a nearby park.

I can do laps of the park to work on my fitness so thats what i have done. I have cycled every day for the last 5 days and in total done more than 20 miles.

Hopefully the park cycling can help me improve my fitness for more mountain biking and faster karting. Win win.


The last adventure activity is flying. It hasn’t happened yet but its all booked for early September. A few friends and me are taking some lessons together.

I am pretty sure i wont pass the medical for a unrestricted license, however i can take a few lessons and have some fun.

These adventures are all possible because i took some time off work and i have good support in place at home. My friends don’t mind looking after me during cool things like karting or cycling, but they can’t commit to the day to day support i need.

By splitting the support needs up more effectively i can have a stable home life and enough spoons to have great adventures.

Onwards, and (very soon!) upwards!


Spaced Out & Smiling is about exploring the fun side of Autism, and trying to understand what it means to be Autistically Happy.

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Jamie: @JamieKnight
Lion: @Lickr