Where are you based?
What do you do?
I divide my time between part time work and several voluntary jobs. I am also working at getting fit by cycling, dancing, running and walking.
How long have you cycled for?
I have only recently started cycling regularly. Although I learnt to ride as a child, I was never allowed to ride on the roads, so at about the age of twelve I stopped. When I first moved to Derby in the late 70’s I bought a bike with the intention of using it to ride to work. However, I struggled with balance and co-ordination and didn’t feel safe, and decided that cycling really wasn’t for me.
Then, a couple of years ago I decided to give it another try, and this time I stuck with it, spurred on by the incentive of receiving a new bike as a birthday present from my family.
Why do you cycle?
I find that it is the best way to explore and see places. I can go further than I could by walking, and I can see more than I could by car. I was motivated to ride by my two grown up, adventurous children, and I felt that by not riding I was missing out on something good. I ride for leisure, both on my own and as a participant on led rides, and to get some exercise. I sometimes use my bike to go into town to do shopping or other errands, and I like the fact that it is an environmentally friendly way to travel: it feels good to ride past a traffic jam.
Where is your favourite place to cycle in Derby?
I don’t have a favourite ride, but what I enjoy doing is exploring locally and discovering a route as I go along. I like following the national cycle network blue signs, which I hadn’t really noticed as a driver, and finding off road, traffic free routes. It gives me a whole new perspective on places I thought I knew.
What is your best piece of kit?
I don’t buy specific or expensive kit. I wear whatever I feel comfortable in. Aldi has reasonably priced clothes that are good for cycling.
What do you think could help more girls and women to cycle?
I think that a lot of women and girls don’t want to wear a cycle helmet, but feel they should, and that deters them from cycling. Many young women, and girls in particular, would still like to feel fashionable when riding a bike and I think there are very few role modals that they can identify with. Safety is also a big issue, and we need more cycle paths and segregated routes. I would like to see more ‘women only’ rides and greater publicity of these. I think Breeze rides are very good, especially for new riders, but not enough women know about them.
How do you feel when you cycle in three words?
That depends. Sometimes I find cycling difficult and on those negative days my three words would be: slow, fat, failure. Usually, however, my three words are: free, adventurous, healthy.