You hit a car, you nearly die, so what next?

Dan Hutchinson hit a car whilst out cycling around 6-8 weeks ago. He made a mess of himself (and a mess of the car). Many people would probably never want to get on a bike again, or at least consider taking life a little slower. This is what sets Dan apart. Cycling has helped him through dark times, brought him out the other side, and then sent him back into the abyss. So in the virtuous circle of life, cycling can play it’s role all over again; literally driving the road to recovery as well as supplying the support network. Read on too see where he is at, how he feels and where he is going next.

Dan Hutchinson: 52mm Collective : Wanted Dead or Alive

Now then cherubs!

So I am sure quite a few people will have heard about the accident, injuries and the start of my recovery over recent weeks. It has been really heart warming knowing how many of you care! Big love to all of you…

My recovery has been a slow process, but with Physio, training, more training and the support of friends and the cycling community; I am getting there.

I want to talk about some real shit that I am sure some of you will all be able to relate with (well I hope so because if you don’t this will just be me rambling)

Lets get down to it then, 

Here are 2 photographs of me…..dan hutchinson

The first shot was taken at the peak of my 27 years on this beautiful planet of ours; out in New York City. The reason for being in the big apple?

Cycling.

I always look back over the images from NYC to remind myself how far I have come since a very low time only a year previous to the trip. The catalyst for this upward spiral;  the support and care of others in the cycling world, which I will always be so thankful for! 

Even out in NYC I had eye opening moments, where people would come over to me in a room full of top riders, company owners, heroes of mine and say “Oh my god I follow your Instagram dude!” or “Aren’t you 52mmcollective?” which blew my mind!

Of course it built my confidence, but more importantly, reassured me that what I am doing is starting to affect others around the world. 

My goal from day one, help others who are struggling, like I once was, with the realities of life.

Every day I try to exhibit the freedom and escapism of cycling, and what this can do for you.

Onto the second image….

dan hutchinson, self portrait, cycling selfie

A good friend, photographer/videographer Chris ‘Fez’ Mcclean shot the image during the interview way back at the top of the page. Now this guy has helped me none stop way, before I even started my venture into the cycling world. He would turn up at my house at like 5am for trips around the country filming, already stoked! Lets just say I was usually half asleep until we hit the first coffee stop… 

I spent a long time looking over the footage for the interview whilst editing, I can definitely say the image represents exactly who I am right now. Deep in thought wouldn’t even cut the butter right now, I have never been so concentrated on my future until recent events, which I guess would effect everyone obviously in very different ways. 

So, outside of a some real focus, what else has come out of the accident?
A huge realisation for me has been the level of interest people now show in my life… 

Firstly, I want to thank everyone who got in touch post the smash. I massively appreciate the positive vibes and it’s got me through some dark hours. One things has stuck out though… a question; a nagging little devil sat on my shoulder:

‘Does it really take a serious accident/death for people to realise who I really am, or that they really care for me?’ 

‘What makes me any different to the people out there struggling everyday without anyone caring?’

Now I really do not want this to come across all self indulgent, self help shit.  Curiosity is my main motive here, I want to be able to understand why people take so much interest in ‘Public figures’ or ‘Professionals’, when in reality everyone out there have the opportunity to push themselves in any direction they choose and take the risks they want to take.

Recently I’ve suffered massively because of how I live / who I am as a person, people say ‘oh don’t blame yourself’. Why would I? Come on look at the facts; I’ve always been a fan of the fast lane, but again I’ve always known the consequences! 

You’re either alive winning, in a lot of pain or dead. I can’t just change my entire way of living nor do I want to.
I have a second chance at life, nothing will ever compare to knowing that. The support that comes from my family, team and sponsors is unreal, and can sometimes be confusing, especially when they thank me (laughs to self).

dan hutchinson, metal core

I’m as broke as it comes, no joke but I won’t settle for ‘normality’ because I did that in my first try at life; it didn’t work. I’ve always had this crazy fire, dream or whatever you want to call it inside me that everyday I wake up screams ‘You will never be one of those’, which I seriously love; I never want to be anything but myself in this world, where it seems everyone wants the same goals.

So is it this single minded focus which attracts people, or is there something else?

Side note:

I had a brief chat today with a good friend at the bike shop which really made both of us laugh. So I turn up with a cut up face, glued together and a few scrapes an scabs clearly looking as if I’ve been through yet another war…

Adam : Hutch you know I am glad you’re not one of those wimp kids who get hurt, then never leave their bedroom again…

Me : Me too bro, can I have a hot chocolate with a straw please?

Adam : Sure thing, also if you’re going to die can you ring me just before it? I’m fed up of customers coming and and saying ‘I’ve seen 52mm collective has hurt himself again’

As you can imagine we both had a little laugh and a slow victory drink of hot chocolate… through my straw.

So, some days I do wonder “should I just take on a 9-5 job and settle?”, and you know what I couldn’t do it, not just for myself but the amount of people who over the years have come to me and said how much I’ve inspired them! I’d feel like a complete sell out ….. I’ll suffer the joy of injury after injury to make sure you all know anything is possible if you really want it.

I’m not sure how I would answer in depth questions on myself an my life.

Do you ever think ‘How on gods green earth did I end up here?!’

Yeah me too, everyday, I’ve always been a firm believer in we have a chosen path no matter how we look at the future.

So at this great moment in time I have two paths… (greedy I know right)

1. Photography (I’ve always been able to point and shoot a camera)

dan hutchinson, 52mm collective

Sometimes I feel I should just stick to photography, it would definitely be a lot safer…

2. Cycling

Team Paria, Dan hutchinson, 52mm collective

Cycling, it’s my entire world.

Trust me, I’d love to write a huge passage on how much my life has changed since I clipped into a track bike, I could write a damn novel on it! In summary though, what it means to me:

A. The test of mental ability, to push yourself without stopping.

B. Being apart of a steel machine, smashing it at full speed, theres no better feeling.

C. Its purity; you can build a street beater ‘fixie’ for £50 and have the best time of your life skidding around laughing, or, putting in 100’s of miles of country views!

Whats the worse that can happen? 

I’ve never found any special formula to become who I am today. If there is a common theme to soundbites from mates, and those who are closer to me; it’s pretty much ‘he has no clue and has always winged’ it.

So, to the future; I’m going to carry on pushing myself. Infact, I am going to push myself more.  My life is my own now, I live by my rules and I want the world to know that I have dedicated my life to cycling be it un-paid, sponsored or paid.

Here is the real sick twist in the story I call a life, 

Cycling has given me everything… Cycling almost took it all away.

Respect the power you’re harnessing.

 Dan Hutchinson: 52mm Collective

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