It started a few years ago, a screenshot to capture the special moment,
I've lost count now, it's become the norm, and it's only sunk in recently.
The realisation that I’ll never be able to take a last-minute coffee, pop over for dinner, or enjoy a long comforting hug.
The realisation that our future children will never grow up playing together.
Multiple countries, all spread out around the world.
I’ve slowly had to accept the fact that my family will ever agree on one country.
However, with acceptance comes comfort.
Maybe we all have different destinies, life has a unique plan for us all.
So here I am, on my way to make my Cambridge heart route, my mum and sister by my side. Their faces not on a phone, but right here, next to me.
What I once took for granted, I now cherish with every inch of my being.
To be with them, and not through a screen, is the best birthday gift.
No longer a screenshot.
But here side by side.
Congratulations to Sustrans worker Clare Dowling for completing a fantastic heart shaped cycle route where she lives in Bracknell!
View map in Detail
What motivated you into cycling your heart out?
I work for Sustainable transport charity Sustrans and we enable people to travel by foot, bike or
public transport for everyday journeys. I am very passionate about my work, and when I saw this Cycle Your Heart Out challenge, I knew it was for me!
Tell us about cycling in Bracknell
I love where I live! I'm lucky to live in Bracknell- a very green and tree-filled town with gorgeous local parks and a great network of cycling routes. I use cycling and walking as my main forms of transport around the local area, and in addition often cycle just for fun or exercise too.
Please share with us the highlights of your heart route
I really enjoyed my little ride today- 4.5 miles around my local area, starting and finishing where I live. I passed gorgeous autumnal trees, dew covered spider webs, foggy fields, cats on high walls and children playing in the park, cutting through the estates on cycle routes and pootling down traffic calmed streets. A good way to spend 30 minutes of my day!
A huge thank you Clare for sharing your Autumn-tastic story with us, we love your photos! Clare is also a photographer in her spare time and you can check out her beautiful photos on her website here.