Only since February when I decided enough was enough and I should brave a bike again!
Up until February, I hadn't been on a bike - properly - for about 20 years. I learned as a kid but as an adult I haven't had much reason to re-engage. That was until the social media consultancy I run decided to live a different consumer trend every month of 2017 - and that month was cycling. My way of living it was to get back on the bike.
I run my own business so I'm always looking for ways to be more efficient. I travel around London a lot so there's huge appeal in being able to jump on a bike - it's quick, easy and cost-effective. I love the fresh air!
At the moment, the quieter streets of London, in the future - everywhere!
If I can get back on a bike after 20 years, anyone can do it. I've been quite nervous of London roads but actually, it's more perception than reality. Just start slow and build it up (and I can highly recommend the free cycle lessons TFL provides as a first step!)
Being able to take the time to see the amazing things about the city you live in. It's so easy to take for granted how incredible, diverse and vibrant London is. You can't get up much speed in central London but you do have to concentrate on your surroundings so you actually see what's going on around you
Like I'm doing something good for myself and the world around me.
At the moment I use Santander Cycles, I'm working up to one of my own….
Aside from the embarrassment of saying you can't ride a bike at 33… I've got friends (mainly my business partner) who regularly cycle in London and have been very encouraging of getting me back on a bike. I've been able to go out with them and build up my confidence. The biggest thing though, was the Cycle Skills training I did in Merton. I like to know what it is I am and aren't supposed to be doing, and this was great for that.
My brother and my business partner are my (un)lucky frequent chaperones!
If you've thought about cycling in London, but want some help or need more confidence, get yourself booked on a Cycle Skills session. They're free, the groups are very small (I was the only one in mine) and if all the instructors are like mine (the fab Maeve) you're in excellent hands. In two hours they take you through the very basics through to skills such as road positioning, handling junctions and doing a U-turn. They must've known in advance I like to get lost… They provide a bike and helmet if you need one - there's really no excuse! My goal now - which I thought I'd never say - is to cycle all the way to work (Wimbledon to Kings Cross) on my own. It's a big step - for me at least - but Cycle Skills in Merton will also chaperone you on a route of your choice. How amazing is that?! Maybe not for poor Maeve :-)