Mind Mapping

Mind Mapping is an idea of Boru McCullagh’s, a 23-year-old rider and friend of Albion’s from South East London.

In simple terms, he’s attempting to ride 34,000 kilometers around the world, crossing 25 countries and passing through 2 antipodal points. Look a little deeper though, and it’s clear that his ambitions for this project are about much more than just covering long distances.

In Boru’s words:

My relationship with cycling has been lifelong, but not always straightforward. In my late teens, it was a contributor to a crippling downward spiral into a depression which changed the way both me and my life looked for a number of years. I had to drop out of school before my final exams and got lost in the world, struggling to see how I could fit in with any of it. The depression led to an eating disorder, drug use and being too anxious to be comfortable anywhere resulted in admissions to psychiatric units several times over the course of my late teens.

I still loved the sport and worked in it, coaching being one of the few things I felt I was good at, but the thought of riding was an idea long abandoned.

In early 2020, Boru had been coaching at Herne Hill Velodrome but no longer riding. Just before the pandemic, he decided to start again by committing to one ride a month. By 2021 he had ridden from one end of the UK to the other, and the joy he experienced through cycling had returned. Things took another twist in 2021 when a crash caused him to fracture his back, but luckily he was able to get back on his bike not long after and has enjoyed riding the Race Around Rwanda and spend countless hours exploring by bike since then.

These experiences have allowed Boru to reconsider his relationship with the bike, understand what makes him happy and to enjoy embracing the challenges that riding long distances presents.

On Saturday 27th August, surrounded by friends, family and riders who he’s coached at the track, Boru set off Mind Mapping around the world.

The route

The plan is to be on the road for 8 months. Sticking to the route, this will mean riding 34,000km, visiting 25 countries and passing through 2 antipodal points. You can follow Boru anytime here, as well as exploring the routes he’s planned on komoot.

Packing for 8 months on the road

Boru will ride in every weather imaginable, so when it comes to kit it needs to be lightweight and packable. Highlights include a Leatherman which was a leaving present from riders he coached at the track, a journal, plenty of spare parts and a couple of cameras.

Donate to Mind

As a coach and a friend to hundreds of riders, Boru’s journey will hopefully inspire people across the world. Most importantly though, he’s determined for Mind Mapping to be a force for good so he is raising money for his chosen charity, Mind, to help people who are going through difficult times. Please support him on his ride by making a donation here.

Photos: Finley Newmark

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