What do you do and where are you based?
Jenna: I’m home schooled but I would be starting college hopefully this year. I’m based in Derby.
How long have you cycled for?
Jenna: That’s a difficult question! Since I was about 9 years old and then I stopped for a while when I turned 11 because I crashed my bike. Every now and then when we go on holiday we rent bikes but I’ve not cycled properly since I was 11.
Onimim: Not for a long time. I cycled as a child, but I fell off my bike and then I stopped. I’m trying to get back into it now, after a big gap.
Tomar: I’ve cycled since I was five or six years old, with a 15 year break! I haven’t cycled in probably 15 years now, but I used to cycle almost every day to work, and everywhere.
Why do you cycle?
Jenna: When I was a kid it was just fun but when I was on holiday it was my first instinct. I got some really bad news and I just jumped on my bike and went because it felt really freeing. I really loved the freedom and fresh air. It really helped. Unfortunately I had to give my bike back but it was really amazing to sort of run away for a bit just to get some space and clear my head.
Onimim: For fitness. My husband cycles a lot too and it would be nice to ride with him and my son as a family.
Tomar: Now the reason is because my kids are learning to ride a bike and it would be nice to ride together, and I want to get fit again.
Where is your favourite place to cycle in Derby?
Jenna: Not very locally, probably my favourite place to cycle in general is Rosliston Forestry Park.
Onimim: Maybe not on the road, I think I will cycle in the parks around Derby, but not on the roads just yet.
Tomar: We have a park around our house and I think I will be riding into town now as well.
What is your best piece of kit?
Jenna: My legs and now my new bike!
Onimim: A lock – I think that is absolutely essential, and some lights, but I don’t have that much kit yet.
Tomar: I would say a lock! And a bike rack, so if I want to do some shopping I can put that on the bike.
What do you think could help more girls and women to cycle?
Jenna: Things like this. I’m very poor so when I found out about this I was like ‘This is absolutely amazing’ and I’m really glad that this is being done. Obviously I understand that it isn’t easy to give away ten free bikes all the time but events like this or even just events where you come and talk about bikes and cheaper ways of buying them. Just making it more accessible I think is really, really amazing. I really appreciate it.
Onimim: They have to have the bikes in the first place, so this is a really good scheme.
Tomar: I’m not really sure. For me, it’s just having a bike, and I think learning how to ride a bike. I know some other women that actually don’t know how to ride a bike. In some cultures, people think only men should ride bikes and not women. Maybe if it’s introduced in schools and every child can learn to ride a bike then we would have more people riding.
How do you feel when you cycle in three words?
Jenna: Free, exhilarated and happy.
Onimim: Free, independent and nature.
Tomar: Fit, healthy and environmentally-friendly!
Jenna: I don’t know specifically. I think it is just really important to try because obviously reducing your carbon footprint is really important. I definitely have been trying these past two years. Hopefully my new bike will make a big change for me. If other people are able to, hopefully it’ll be able to help them to make a big change and impact too.
Tomar: Thank you to Lifecycle UK for giving away free bikes and helping people get back into cycling, I think it’s a really good scheme!