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Happy Mondays star Shaun Ryder: 'Cycling got me off drugs'

Joseph Delves
3 Jul 2017

Black Grape and Happy Mondays musician credits mammoth cycling sessions with helping him get drugs out of his system

Notoriously hard living Shaun Ryder claims that cycling up to 15 hours a day helped him put heroin and amphetamine use behind him.

'It was cycling that got me off drugs,' the Black Grape and Happy Mondays singer told the Guardian.

'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.'

Ryder's well documented struggle with excessive drugs use led to the break-up of Happy Mondays in 1992. In 1995 he founded the band Black Grape who found critical success with their album It's Great When You're Straight... Yeah which reached number one in the album charts.

He spent much of the following decade trying to change his behaviour, before eventually finding success in his early forties.

'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 murderous,' he said.

The father of six children finally found that huge cycling sessions helped him where more traditional approaches had failed.

However, overcoming the mental effects of years of drug use proved harder, with the singer suffering from panic attacks.

Luckily they haven't stopped him working, with Black Grape’s new album Pop Voodoo set to be released on 4th August.

Lead image: Wikimedia Commons

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