Cycling after many years away thanks to a bicycle swap and a trip to Dr Bike 

A middle-aged man wearing a green helmet sits astride a bicycle in a woodland setting
Dom Goodwin is more used to picking up ropes, harnesses and a helmet and heading out to go rock climbing at Avon Gorge than turning pedals, but that changed this year thanks to Cycling UK's Big Bike Revival

After swapping bikes with a friend, Dom also swapped rock faces for tarmac and trails on two wheels. He has now ventured beyond where he lives in Bristol for a memorable first ride to the coast. 

His aspiration to get riding was fuelled by the Big Bike Revival after attending a Dr Bike event held in the city by Life Cycle UK.  

Dom, 47, cycled when he was younger, but after moving to London to study at university, he didn’t ride for another 25 years.  

Dom says: “I started to cycle occasionally when I bought a bike off a mate. He had five bikes and wanted another and his wife wouldn’t allow it unless he sold one first! So I got a second-hand bike from someone I trusted at a reasonable price. I then cycled once a month or so on quiet residential streets and off-road paths while I lived in Malvern. 

“After moving to Bristol, I hadn’t cycled again until I went to the Dr Bike event. I live near the Bristol Royal Infirmary and the roads are quite busy and Bristol is also pretty hilly. 

“My friend has a bike she doesn’t really like and much prefers mine, so currently I’ve lent it to her as she cycles quite a bit. Recently we cycled to Portishead, me on her bike, her on mine. It is probably the furthest I’ve ever cycled for 30 years.   

"It’s the only time I’ve cycled in Bristol other than cycling to get my bike looked at by the Dr Bike mechanics who adjusted the brakes, tightened loose spokes and oiled the chain." 

Dom has not been personally enjoying the benefit of the mechanics' hard work but says his friend who is a more experienced cyclist said it felt a much smoother ride afterwards. He is hoping to continue riding his friend’s bike and exploring new areas, including visiting Bath on the 13-mile disused railway path.  

Just knowing that the bike is in good condition following the free safety check makes me feel happy to go out for a ride

Dom Goodwin, Big Bike Revival beneficiary

Dom who has a PhD in maths, works from home, trading online betting markets and enjoys getting outside after hours in front of a computer screen.   

He says: “I work from home and don’t own a car, so I am generally used to walking everywhere. In good weather, I climb most days, often in the Avon Gorge." 

Thefts of bikes and other items left at the base of the cliff are sadly not unheard of, and so Dom usually walks to the gorge. “I am also usually carrying lots of ropes and climbing gear, so walking will probably be the main method of transport to go climbing," he said. 

"Just knowing that the bike is in good condition following the free safety check makes me feel happy to go out for a ride. It’s good to have an alternative to going climbing if it’s too damp or cold to climb.” 

If you want help to start or resume cycling, the Big Bike Revival programme has been extended to provide free repairs and bicycle maintenance in communities and workplace across England, Take a look at our interactive map to find the delivery centre nearest to you.