Boro Bicycle Clip Voyage of Discovery
By Nick Raistrick
Thursday 15 Oct 2020 18:04:00
Browse all Boro Views articles

Boro fan Nick Raistrick has cycled around the globe but never forgotten his Boro roots and routes. Nick chronicles his exploits in a recent publication The Bicycle Clip Diaries, where a chance discovery in a Marton garage clear out led him on a world odyssey.

You can read about how he attempted to solve the riddles left to him in an envelope from his grandfather. Donning the cycle clips left to him and riding ordinary, utilitarian bikes he began a voyage of discovery and self discovery. Riding in the slow lane and cycle paths from Columbia to the Netherlands gives you plenty of time for reflection. Nick mulls over so many alternative ways for us to square up to the many challenges that we are all facing now in an ever shrinking world.

I really enjoyed the read and commend it to you but as an added inducement Nick is going to make a donation to a charity in east Africa with a personal connection for him. And actually the part of the world where his Bicycle Clip Diaries sparks off.

I asked Nick Raistrick to tell us more about himself and his Boro life and times as well as the charity offer to a book that was profiled last week by Gary Philipson on BBC Radio Tees.

I first started going to Boro matches with our Dad when I was about 5, so players like Billy Ashcroft and Jim Platt were some of my early heroes. I was a ball boy once, and a couple of times I was pitchside because our Dad was in the St John Ambulance. I remember getting told off for picking up the coins which had been thrown by the fans. But mostly the Holgate End, the atmosphere of the mid 80s was the best, totally mad. I’ve watched matches all over, and even the Nou Camp couldn’t beat it for atmosphere. I was there when we were locked out of the ground in 86 and it was great to see a generation of local lads come up.

During the first lockdown I did PE with Nick, me and my stepson would recreate Bernie Slaven goals from YouTube in the back garden.

I left Middlesbrough when I was 18 and I’ve lived all over since. I travelled a lot with work too and I like pointing out Dorman Long bridges to confused locals. Back in the day our Dad would send FMTTM, before the Internet, when it was too expensive for phone calls. Juninho was my favourite player. He put Boro on the map. That season… but the Premier League is a bit much these days.

I worked as a volunteer on a community sports project in Tanzania for over a decade now, every June. It’s education and cultural exchange as well as sport, and through it I’ve met some amazing people, one of them is a referee called Maqulate Onyango. She was the first female Kenyan Premier League referee, and CAAF commissioner. She started a charity (Mathare Girl Power) to help girls in a Nairobi slum, but at the moment they are busy distributing food parcels and supporting local businesses.

The next 10 people who buy the book I wrote (the Bicycle Clip Diaries) will be contributing the £12.99 cost to her charity, and if you visit my website you can donate directly to her charity. Up the Boro!

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