We Can All Be Heroes: SuperCyclingMan Peddling to Inspire

British former primary school teacher Will Hodson has decided to spend the next 5-years cycling all over the world dressed in a super hero costume and known as “SuperCyclingMan.” He left the UK in May 2015 and is aiming to be the first person to cycle across all seven continents including Antarctica, on a record-breaking journey that will take around five years to complete. Will aims to cycle 100,000km, raise £100,000 for charity, and to inspire 100,000 school children along the way with his message that We Can All Be Heroes. GEORGIA TODAY met Will as he passed through Georgia.

Will, before you started cycling you were a primary school teacher. Why did you switch to cycling?

I’ve loved cycling since I was fifteen years old and I love now combining that to raise money for charity. When I was fifteen I cycled from the west coast of England to the east coast with two friends. I was encouraged to do more. I thought: if you can cycle across one country, why not cycle cross two countries and then the whole continent? That was step one. Step two was reading a kids book about superheroes. The message was that we all have talents and we can all help others. We can buy tea for someone or give a friendly smile. I like cycling so I made a super hero costume with my superhero name on it- SuperCyclingMan. I like diversity, for every day to be different. Life is too short to do things that make you unhappy. I decided to go for my dream and began to cycle around the world. I spent two years planning. I sold my computer, car, bikes and I am still trying to raise money to keep on my journey. Last week I wanted to sell postcards from around the world and almost a hundred people bought them. Sometimes you start a challenge and you find people want to help you. I am also selling SuperCyclingMan bracelets I made for five Lari each on my website. Half the money goes to charity and half goes to feeding myself on my way. My father has Parkinson’s disease and some goes to this charity, some money goes to a charity called PeaceOneDay that is trying to create more peace in the world and prevent fighting. On my Facebook Page and on my website I try and share stories about all the good people I meet around the world. I have cycled from England through Europe, and Georgia is the fifteenth country I’m passing. Nobody has done this before and I find that really exciting. I like doing something that is original. I don’t want my life to be all about just following in someone else’s footsteps.

What has cycling added to your life?

A whole lot of happiness. Great memories and a whole lot of new friends. I love the feeling of freedom cycling gives me. I feel like a child when I am cycling and some of my friends have even told me I look younger now than when I was teaching one year ago! I think teaching is harder than cycling around the world. It is a very tough job.

What is your aim of cycling through Georgia?

At the moment I’m trying to meet as many school children here in Georgia as possible. So far I’ve visited two international schools in Tbilisi and I want to visit a local Georgian school as well. Next I’m going to Armenia, Iran and Turkmenistan. First I want to visit the sights of Tbilisi and explore Georgia. It is a fascinating place. The people are really interesting, friendly and helpful. I feel really alive here. Georgian police were also amazingly helpful to me. I was near Poti and needed a place to stay. I went to a shop and they told me to go and ask at the police station. Normally, I try to avoid police because I might get problems. These policeman said okay, come and camp in the garden. The next morning they gave me breakfast. When I went to Zestaponi I stayed in the garden of another police station and they looked after my bike and bags for me. I travel around the world and wherever I go, I tell people that the world is not full of people making trouble and terrorists, but is far fuller of kind people.

What do you tell the school children you meet?

I explain what I’m doing cycling around the world in a superhero costume and I want to inspire them with my message that #WeCanAllBeHeroes. I want to inspire them to go for their dreams, not to give up. I also ask them to try to do a small act of kindness every day. Even one a day makes you a hero. Georgia is full of heroes, people here are super kind by nature.

Is cycling what you want to do for the rest of your life?

When I’ve finished travelling around the world, I want to write some children’s books about the adventures of SuperCyclingMan cycling around the world. While I’m on my way, many good ideas are being born that I will eventually write in my books.

If you want to follow SuperCyclingMan’s adventures as he peddles around the world, check out his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/supercyclingmanfacebookpage/ and his website: www.supercyclingman.com

You can also meet SuperCyclingMan in Tbilisi during a mass cycle ride through the capital on Friday February 26th and join him on a slow 10km loop of the city starting from Rose Revolution Square at 8pm.

Meri Taliashvili

18 February 2016 21:18