With the development of our beginner rides from MeCycle on a Friday morning at 10am, we have enabled more riders, who are less fit, active or confident to ride, the opportunity to get involved and get out on the bike and enjoy the benefits that cycling brings.
Rider P has a great story of how he went from not riding for 30 years to attending weekly led rides of up to 18 miles!
After visiting his GP back in February 2017 our rider discovered, much to his surprise, that his cholesterol was 6.7, well above the national average of 5.7 and way above the recommended level of below 5. Our rider knew he had to do something and within conversation with a friend, who was a regular cyclist, she advised him to take up cycling, our rider has a long standing medical issue with his foot which inhibits walking, so knowing this, cycling was a great option; well apart from the fact that our rider hadn’t ridden for 30 years, didn’t own a bike and was apprehensive of riding on roads that are much busier than they were all those years ago!
His friend advised that Sefton has a Freewheeling bike loan scheme for all Sefton residents over the age of 16, so this could be a great option to get started, she also told our rider to take a look at the Sefton Walking and Cycling Newsletter for other opportunities. On further inspection of the newsletter he realised that not only could he loan a bike from MeCycle but that there was a beginners, shorter ride from the cafe on a Friday at 10am…….perfect.
Our rider rang up and booked a bike and helmet and then arrived excited but unsure on the Friday morning. The ride leader took him out on a short ride, simply around the block to assess his confidence and ability. Our rider was keen to keep close to the kerb and stopped when every vehicle approached from in front on behind. With encouragement and advice from our ride leader, our rider began to progress and understand the benefits of road positioning and how to operate the gears effectively.
After a few weeks of attending the beginners ride, our leader felt our rider had progressed both from a fitness point and a skills and confidence point to progress onto the regular ride.
All of the regular riders welcomed him with a smile and knowing nods of a path they had previously trodden or ridden! Rider P is now a regular rider on the longer rides and regularly completes group rides of between 10 and 12 miles at a moderate speed. He has even attended a ride of 18 miles but felt this was a little too far at this point.
Our rider is now looking to purchase his own bike and venture out on independent rides but still attending the MeCycle ride on a Friday; he has been very pleasantly surprised with his increase in cycle confidence and skills along with his new found fitness which has been helped with a change of diet too, he’s looking forward to discovering more of the traffic free cycle routes in Sefton that are available, enabling riders to access great parts of the borough without having to cycle along busy roads.
Posted: 3 September, 2017
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