Orange to Montelimar



Today the donations to the National Autistic Society ticked over the £2500 mark. This is more than double the original target I set when setting up the Just Giving page - and far more than I imagined would be made when I had the idea to do this ride. I won’t amend the target again, but please do not be put off making a donation if you haven’t already done so. Thank you to everyone for their generosity. I am sure NAS will put it to good use. 

In terms of Not the Tour, the trend today and tomorrow is very much to head northward. Tomorrow is the last “flat” day before two more lumpy days in to Geneva and another rest day. Mont Ventoux which may be visited on another trip was on the horizon for much of yesterday and today – but nearer to the cycle paths and roads were the apple trees, vines, herbs and lavender for which this region is famous. I have been in different parts of France before, but never have I travelled around so much in a single trip. It has been possible to see the way the buildings and the countryside change as you move around the country. The mountains on the now on the horizon are a bit intimidating – even if I will be missing out the really big ones. Yes I am a wimp. At one point on the way down the east side of France, the night before the ride to Bordeaux it was hard to imagine even getting this far – so hopefully it won’t be that hard getting to Geneva. 

Speaking of imagination, what is it exactly? In short it is the ability to think up different scenarios or stories, different settings or situations, or even cycle routes. There is a myth that being on the autism spectrum means an impaired or absent imagination. This is not the case, those on the autism spectrum have just the same scope to imagine as neurotypical individuals. In fact their imagination might result in even more vivid stories, and settings than someone who is not on the autism spectrum – because of the way they perceive the world around them. However, where those on the autism spectrum may struggle is with social imagination, the ability to empathise with those around them and imagine how they may react in a certain situation. 

Because a child on the autism spectrum is not playing in what might be considered a ‘typical’ manner does not mean that they lack imagination. Instead of building a car or a building with Lego bricks for example they may develop some sort of pattern using the different colours and sizes of the bricks. While it may not be apparent to you or I what is going on, they might be solving some sort of mathematical problem that you and I had not considered. If you follow through with them and try to understand their train of thought who knows where it might take you – there will probably be a few gems in these kinds of situations because someone on the autism spectrum may imagine things in a different way to someone who is not autistic.

Thank you again for the generosity you have shown in making donations, and thank you for reading.

Best wishes,