As a novice cyclist, Jane came along to a Cake Confidence session and we were delighted to see her again at a recent bike maintenance workshop:
“I have never been able to cycle. As a child I tried and tried, but never seemed to conquer the knack and assumed it was something I just didn’t do. I tried again at university, but still no dice. I always wanted to, though. I believe in more environmentally ways to travel, living in York with lots of cycle routes around me tempted me more and it just looked fun.
York Bike Belles were amazingly helpful in getting me cycling. I didn’t ever feel stupid (which is a big thing as an adult who can’t ride a bike), they were endlessly patient and there was no chink in their confidence that I would be able to do it. All this made me feel like I wasn’t ridiculous for trying and it was within my grasp and, strangely, they really did get me confident enough to go cycling on my own after just a couple of sessions.
After all this time the only real barrier was me, and the Bike Belles helped me get over that by being friendly and approachable and answering all my questions no matter how basic. I have found winter weather a bit of a downer recently, but I’m trying to make sure I don’t wimp out because of it and keeping on practicing and enjoying it.
My favourite thing is that cycling is fun! I feel like a kid zooming about on a bike. It gets me in and out the city quickly when I don’t have time to walk, it’s great for some headspace when I’m stressed and it’s an easy form of exercise to get into for the unfit, and it makes your bum look good 🙂
For me, there has been the added benefit that it has tempted my daughter (who was previously disabled) to try cycling and all sorts of other things. Seeing me as an adult learn something from scratch purely because I wanted to, has motivated her to learn and keep trying at many things. It’s a great lesson that you can always learn something no matter your age or what others are doing around you. Now I’m looking forward to family bike rides too!
My main advice would be to contact the Bike Belles. They are amazing and it really is one of the most freeing things to feel you can get around by bike”.