Brenda’s story – learning to ride a bike with Cycling UK

Brenda can now join in local cycle rides

Brenda’s story – learning to ride a bike with Cycling UK

Brenda was keen to join in one of the local led rides; the only problem was, she’d never ridden a bike before! Through the help of Cycling UK’s Ross Adams, she’s now riding a bike and cycling with her family.

Cycling UK’s cycling development officer, Ross Adams, received an enquiry from Brenda who was keen to take part in one of the newly-launched ladies only cycle rides in Sefton, Merseyside. The only problem was, she’d never ridden a bike before!

Ross was eager to make sure that everyone had the same opportunity to attend the rides and arranged a day to meet Brenda for some one-to-one cycle training at Litherland Sports Park. On the first day, Brenda arrived with bags of enthusiasm and - with a bike, helmet and a dedicated cycle track to practise on - everything was set to begin.

First, Ross got Brenda onto a conventional two wheeled bike but it quickly became obvious that cycling wasn’t going to happen overnight. Even after removing the pedals to turn it into a giant balance bike, staying upright was still proving a challenge. In order to make some progress, Brenda had a go on a tricycle and BINGO, she was away! She was pedalling and steering like a natural.

The following week, Brenda and Ross met back at the sports park and this time the session started with a ride on a tandem. With Ross steering and Brenda as stoker, they rode two full laps of the cycle circuit. This gave Brenda the feeling of riding a two-wheeler and how balancing on a bike can be achieved. After, she got back on a two wheeled – smaller framed – bike, and, full of determinism and her new found skills, they got practising.

Not only can Brenda join in the ladies only cycle rides, as was her goal, but she can also go out cycling with her daughter - something that just a few weeks ago, didn’t seem possible.

Ross AdamsCycling UK Cycling Development Officer, Sefton

Initially, only a small amount of progress was made but each session gave Brenda a sense that she was getting closer to her goal. Then, after her fourth session, it all clicked. The hard work and dedication really paid off. With a few turns of the pedals, Brenda was cycling unaided, something she had never done before.

The sessions continued and Brenda’s cycling skills have gone from strength to strength. She can confidently cycle unaided, completing full laps of the cycle track. She now has her own bike, a gift from her daughter as a reward for her success. Not only can Brenda join in the ladies-only cycle rides, as was her goal, but she can also go out cycling with her daughter - something that just a few weeks ago, didn’t seem possible.

Since Brenda’s story was published in the local walking and cycling newsletter, more people have come forward to learn to ride. Ross says: “Brenda's story really struck a chord with others. Within two days of the newsletters being delivered, I’ve had two more ladies in exactly the same position as Brenda booking sessions with me. It feels great to help people to learn to ride.”

Ross Adams works as part of the Active Travel Sefton project, which aims to get more people out and about cycling and walking in their local area. Active Travel Sefton is a partnership between Cycling UK, Sefton Council, Sefton CVS, Sustrans and Travelwise Merseyside, and is funded through the LSTF.

For further information about cycling and cycle training in Sefton contact Ross Adams.
 

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