Ileene began cycling to get fit and lose weight and after some of her friends decided to join her and looked to her for advice, she decided to undertake some training so she could more confidently support them. After realising that female cycle trainers were not too common and in high demand, she became a Cycling Scotland tutor and continued sharing her skills and teaching others.
Ileene Mulholland said…
“My name is Ileene and I just love to get people cycling!!
“Like many people I returned to cycling in my later years to lose weight and get fit and also like many people I struggled with my skills, hills and spills! Some of my female friends were inspired to join me and looked to me as the expert but in reality, I hadn’t a clue... so I resolved to learn the basics and enrolled on a Cycle Trainer Course. It changed my life!
I resolved to learn the basics and enrolled on a Cycle Trainer Course. It changed my life!
“The fabulous course tutor introduced me to an organisation that was providing led rides and cycling skills to families and community groups so I volunteered to help them and by working with these inspiring people and great cyclists I honed my skills and had great fun.
“It soon became obvious that female cycle trainers were thin on the ground yet there was a high demand from various women’s organisations and ethnic groups, so very quickly what started as a personal challenge became a developing career.
“So many adult women had never had the opportunity to learn to ride and their enthusiasm and sheer joy at making their first solo ride was exhilarating and emotional and the sessions were all full of hugs and laughter.
Training beginners is my favourite activity – especially those who, for various reasons, missed that opportunity in childhood
“Training beginners is my favourite activity – especially those, who, for various reasons, missed that opportunity in childhood. Adults with children who now want to cycle, bucket-list pensioners, women for whom it hadn’t been socially acceptable and most especially children with cognitive or physical challenges.
“The pleasure I get in giving a child a life skill that allows them to play on equal terms with their able-bodied friends and gives them a little bit of personal freedom is nothing compared to the overwhelming joy and emotion that the parents and children get on succeeding – these sessions usually end with all of us in tears when another cyclist pedals away.
“I was given the opportunity to train and qualify as a Cycling Scotland Tutor so now not only do I teach people to cycle but I train people all over Scotland to deliver cycle training and take groups on led rides.
“I am lucky to be working with several organisations, full of inspiring people with endless enthusiasm to get folks back on bikes or refresh skills whether it’s working in schools, community groups or one-to-one’s with all ages and backgrounds. I regularly run courses for all of these groups. It’s an opportunity to pass on all that I have learned to others and I always come away feeling re-enthused about cycling. I just love my job!
I regularly run courses … It’s an opportunity to pass on all that I have learned to others and I always come away feeling re-enthused about cycling. I just love my job!
“Cycling has become a way of life for me – my husband is now also a cycle trainer and we work, rest and play cycling taking cycle/camping expeditions around Scotland and Europe.
“My original female group still meet up regularly for a ride or chat and we occasionally have a weekend away on our bikes. Some of them are now Cycle Trainers too! Cycling is infectious!”
Ileene was nominated for the 100 Women in Cycling by Nina Saunders who said:
"Ileene came to cycle training slightly later in life. However, she has embraced teaching others and has worked her way up to become one of the very few female cycling tutors at Cycling Scotland.
"She is an inspiration, not only to the people that she teaches, but also to me when I was an Aspirant Tutor. I shadowed her delivering cycle training and learned so much from her technical knowledge and practical riding - in urban environments.
"She is wonderful at building confidence in people and developing skills. Not only that, she excels in teaching the youngest of children to cycle and ride their bike for the first time without any support.
"She has been a great advocate of cycling as a mode of transport since I first met her six years ago and I have watched her confidence grow as a tutor in this time too. She works and volunteers with a wide variety of people from nursery children to older adults getting back into cycling.
"She's not afraid to try new things, reflects on what works (and sometimes what doesn't work) and has a great sense of humour to go with it. She essentially puts the fun back into cycling."