Alison’s Car-Lite Life

“I cycle because it keeps me fit and active, not just as a means of transport but also for pleasure and social engagement.”

I arrived in York 7 years ago from the Land of the Long White Cloud (New Zealand – shown above).
I only knew one family in the locality. They were committed cyclists for transport and pleasure, so to be able to join them I made an early purchase of my Dawes touring bike. Of course, it needed to be ‘postcoded’ for security purposes, so I went to a cycle event in Rowntree Park. Whilst waiting my turn I got chatting to York Bike Belles (YBB), “You are just the kind of person YBB needs”, so to cut a long story short, I am now a Director!
I used to drive a 70 mile round trip to work daily. Beginning of the term it was no problem, but by the end of term it was a chore and challenge. Then I changed jobs and even after 15 years, I still appreciated only having a 20 minute cycling commute.
Now I no longer have to go to work on a daily basis, most of my trips to meetings / classes / social events are taken either by bike or on the bus.
I cycle because it keeps me fit and active, not just as a means of transport but also for pleasure and social engagement. I joined a Breeze Ride Group for beginners about six years ago and now I have some really good friends in that group and we cycle at weekends for exercise, chat and of course cake! We take our bikes on holiday both in England and abroad. Sightseeing by bike is so much fun!
I have a car but I only use it for when the journey cannot easily be done by bike or public transport. For me, it makes no sense to drive myself when I can take the train or bus and read my book or do my knitting on the way and arrive feeling relaxed and refreshed.
I recently went for a bone density scan and as part of the preparation I was asked did I do any exercise. I brightly replied “Yes I cycle up to 60 miles per week”. “Oh that doesn’t count” was the prompt retort.
So now I try to walk a bit more too, to get my weight bearing exercise as there are so few hills in York to require weight bearing cycling. The YBB monthly Walking Book Group is one regular opportunity. But we are in such a beautiful part of the world that there are numerous walks both within and outside York, so it is a real delight to go walking too.