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Bike Industry Professional with Terminal Cancer Nils Amelinckx Aims to Start 'Rider Resilience' Social Enterprise

Sep 15, 2022 at 15:10
by Sarah Moore  

In 2017, bike industry professional Nils Amelinckx was diagnosed with advanced bowel cancer despite otherwise being a fit and healthy thirty year old. He was given no more than five years to live.

He found that riding bikes and documenting his travels through photography and writing brought him mental clarity and physical resilience at this difficult time. His work has been published in Singletrack Magazine, MBR, MBUK, and more.

As time becomes increasingly precious, Nils is now likely talking in months rather than years, he decided to kick start Rider Resilience into an advocacy movement in order "to inspire people to turn to bikes to get through times of hardship as they have meant so much to me these past five years, to tell other people’s inspirational stories and to fund resilience inducing projects around the globe."

The movement's goals are to foster resilience through storytelling and the curation of an inspiration library and to generate funding to support causes that share the Rider Resilience ethos. Whether that be the provision of bikes to refugees, introductory bikepacking events for minority groups, enabling more diversity and inclusivity in the world of bikes or helping cancer patients gain access to two wheeled respite.

bigquotesMy aim is to keep having adventures for as long as possible, and to find resilience by doing so. I want to share my story to inspire others to live their lives to the fullest, and to turn to two wheels or whatever you love to find solace through times of hardship. I want to pull similar stories of resilience together to act as a resource from which people can draw strength, and hope to leave a legacy of inspiration by doing so.

If you find yourself in the “C club” nobody wants to be part of, or worse still faced with a similar death sentence to me, please feel free to reach out. It can be a lonely journey and I will delighted to share any resilience I can muster.

Most of all, stay strong and make the most of every day. After all, life should not be an expression of the amount of breaths we take but of the moments that take our breath away.
Nils Amelinckx

You can read Nils’ full cancer story here, read more about the movement here, and donate here.

Author Info:
sarahmoore avatar

Member since Mar 30, 2011
1,447 articles

  • 105 1

I have recently re-found my interest in cycling through participation in The Great Cycling Challenge Canada raising funds for childhood cancer research.

I was diagnosed Dec 22nd, 2012 with Stage IV colon Cancer with spread to liver, and lymph nodes. After surgery to remove 2/3 of large intestine, two large chunks from liver, appendix, and gall bladder, we started chemo in April 2013. In June 2013 I was told I was terminal with a life expectancy of 1 to 2 years at most. Bi-weekly chemo continued palliatively until they found Squamous Cell Carcinoma in my throat early 2017.

I am still here telling my story after 6 more cancer fights, the most recent being a kidney removed in August 2022. In 2017 I endured a 20 hour mouth, throat, neck surgery involving all muscle, cartilage, in left side of throat, part of my tongue removed, soft palette removed, 348 ish lymph nodes removed from my neck, all followed by 6 weeks daily radiation.

During all of that, I have also had bladder cancer 4 times, and the most recent kidney removal.

Too many surgeries to list
almost 3 years combined BCG Therapy

I am still the one telling my story.

I have also found a renewed love of cycling, and I am so happy to have found the thread in PinkBike Forums that led me to this story.

  • 10 0
 F*ck cancer and you are an inspiration to all of us here!!!!!
  • 6 0
 RichieB1970 - welcome to PB! Keep up the good fight, Granddaughter may want to go Riding with you someday.
  • 2 0
 Holy shot dude …. You are a hero
  • 6 0
 brutal, you're an inspiration and def a fighter. wish you all the best, lots of rides and full recover.
  • 3 0
 That sounds brutal, glad you've refound your love for cycling.
  • 3 0
 Like a true endurance rider who doesn't stop until the finish line or the top of the mountain, you have fought and you are still fighting, and it's an even braver fight as there is no finish line or "top", you fight to survive every day. You have my upmost respect! Ride on!
  • 3 0
 Hell yes! Keep pushing man!
  • 3 0
 Your story reminds me of the opening scene of the original Robocop. Friggen wild man.
  • 3 0
 In my head all I can hear is johnny lawrence from cobra kai saying "Totally Badass" about this.
  • 4 0
 We will 100% share your story! Stay strong!
  • 2 0
 @riderresilience: The sharing of your story, and how you have found a way to really reach out, and make a difference is the inspiring part Nils. As you say.... #rideitout
  • 24 0
 Good on ya Nils. It's inspiring that you're living a more fulfilling life then most people who aren't burdened with health issues.
  • 4 0
 Thanks all for the support and incredible encouragement. As someone said, you can’t choose the cards you get given but you can try to change how you play them. I am just an everyday kinda guy but if we can make some inspirational ripples and support some other projects in the meanwhile I can at least feel content that I’ve contributed back to the world of biked and this incredible community in some way.

Rider Resilience will rely on word of mouth and people spreading the message so please do follow @riderresilience and give it a share if you feel the project resonates with you.

Thanks again,
Nils - RR founder
#RideItOut // #BikesAreMedicine
  • 2 0
 Double posted by accident :-|
  • 13 0
 This is great. I'd also like to point out that cancer doesn't just affect the individual with the diagnosis. In 2017, my mom was diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer and, although her battle was relatively brief, I absolutely cherished my quick 45-minute bike rides between hospital visits and various appointments. Even if it was just spinning down a bike path, any time on the bike totally brightened my days during an otherwise dark period.
  • 12 0
 Great work Nils, you are an inspiration
  • 4 0
 You've got a great attitude Nils! Keep fighting and stay strong! I'm a Hodgkin's Lymphoma survivor, 5 years in remission, and I have my wife and my bike to thank for keeping me positive through it all. Mountain biking is the best medicine!
  • 3 0
 You’re an inspiration, Nils. We always worked nearby but never in together when I was in the UK scene. Your work at Lyon and your shaping of a great niche in the game was incredible. Go safely bro and thanks for passing on a legacy of inspiration
  • 6 0
 well done, great initiative
  • 4 0
 Been through cancer, can't describe how hard little stuff is and how you slow'y become a zombie.

Hod bless you mu friend and hope your project succeed ✌
  • 4 0
 Thank you for the inspiration, we can't choose the cards we're dealt but we can choose what we do with them. Keep riding!
  • 5 0
 Please consider stem cell donation. Thank you.
  • 1 0
 NIls, what a courageous and motivated man. Never allowed the illness to define him and it has been brilliant to watch the clever Rider Resilience grow into what it is now and exciting to imagine what it could become. Don't be afraid to put your hands in your pockets and give a few dollars, pounds, euros, krona or currency of your choice, for the fantastic international community of riders, it's such a great and exciting cause.
  • 1 0
 Very sorry to hear about your sickness. Very inspirational what you doing.You talked about red flag symtoms in your story..what were they if i may ask. Bowel cancer seems so hard to recognize.
  • 4 0
  • 1 0
 Yup, I dig it - rides lately have been just about perfect, and I feel like I'm getting away with something - but, that's what it's all about while it lasts.....

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