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Shaun Ryder: Cycling got me off drugs

Hours a day in the saddle didn't deal with the mental toll of heroin though...

Sean Ryder has said that cycling got him off drugs.

He told the Guardian that he would ride through the day to detox, but that it was still a huge struggle to kick heroin.

He said: “It was cycling that got me off drugs. I’d get on my bike very early in the morning and keep cycling until very late at night, day after day, until it was out of the system. 

“I was pedalling from 8am until 11pm. But once that’s done, you still have to deal with the mental stuff.”

The Happy Mondays singer, who says he left school without knowing the alphabet, said that he tried multiple routes to get clean. 

He said: “Trying to quit heroin using a stomach implant was disastrous. I tried it in 1995 when it was still a new thing. 

“The problem was that they withdraw you while you’re out unconscious, and I expected to wake up feeling fine. But I didn’t. I woke up and it was fucking murderous.”


After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on

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