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  • Your cycling stories

    Meet Becca

    Becca


    Sheffield CycleBoost offers free pedal and electric bike loans for employees and residents of Sheffield. 

    Our Becca loaned an e-bike earlier this year and tells us why she’s made the switch to a pedal bike for her daily commute.

    ‘Loaning the electric bike has been fantastic. It’s been a platform to get me into cycling to work, and I’ve really enjoyed it, so much so I’ve decided to step my commute up a gear and now cycle to work on a regular pedal bike. 

    For me, the e-bike was a great introduction to cycling – the loan allowed me to see if cycling was for me and ease myself into commuting by bike every day. It allowed me to discover cycle routes and become more confident on the roads. It’s a less intensive introduction.

    I cycle around 27 miles a week now whilst commuting plus I cycle in my spare time too, out in the Peaks.

    Compared to using the e-bike my journey into work is still around 12 minutes as it’s mostly all down-hill. Coming back home is slightly more challenging and takes around 17-minutes. It only adds a couple of extra minutes coming home commuting by regular pedal bike than e-bike. That’s much quicker than taking the bus or walking to work. Before the bike, my 2.6-mile journey could take up 40 minutes by bus and around the same on foot. So, considering both journeys, I was saving on average 50 minutes of travel time a day. In a week that’s 2,500 less minutes (41 hours) a week of sitting in traffic.

    The e-bike allowed me to get a bit of a work out during my commute and that’s what I decided to build on by switching to the pedal bike and really increasing my activity levels during my commute. 

    My daily commute burns around 200 calories which means I can enjoy a guilt free treat. I do feel the burn coming back up the hill at the end of the day but enjoy the challenge. But, I’m finding the 160m elevation hill climb on my way home getting easier over time - which hopefully means my fitness is improving!'

    CycleBoost aims to help more people make journeys by bike, more safely, more often. It’s a partnership between Sheffield City Council, ReCycle Bikes and Pedal Ready and is supported by our sustainable travel team. If you would like your workplace to take part in the CycleBoost programme in Sheffield, contact us: SustainableTravel@sypte.co.uk 

    For further information visit www.sheffieldcycleboost.org


    Meet Ruth 

    CycleBoost Bike


    Ruth is making a #LittleBigChanges pledge to travel more by bike following her Sheffield CycleBoost e-bike loan

    Ruth, who works at Sheffield City Council, told us: ‘We don’t own a car but I’m fortunate enough to be able to walk to work and live on a well-served bus route. So, I am an active traveller but wanted to try cycling.

    Cycling is something I wanted to do more of, for fitness and for ease of getting about the city. My husband cycles regularly so I know all the benefits, I just hadn’t felt confident enough to give it a try. 

    I came across the CycleBoost team when they were hosting an event in Tudor Square. I chatted to the team and signed up on the spot.

    I was really impressed with the whole experience – especially the kit I was given, including helmet and pannier bags. The team also helped fit me with a bike that was right for my size. I really felt fully equipped.

    The e-bike really gave me a confidence boost. Knowing I didn’t have to worry about speed so much in high traffic spots and up hills helped me concentrate and get more experience cycling around traffic. Seeing how many people are out and about on bikes was reassuring too and I picked up hints and tips on routes to use.

    I’m considering getting an e-bike now to share with my daughter and will definitely be getting an e-bike before a car!’


    Meet Yvonne 

    Yvonne



    Yvonne Witter, Community Health Trainer 

    Yvonne first began her cycling journey in 2009 when through a colleague, Avril Wragg, she heard about Pedal Ready cycle training sessions in Hillsborough. Knowing she would be able to attend using the 52 Bus or Supertram services, Yvonne borrowed her nephew’s bike as she didn’t have her own and took up the offer of some 1-2-1 sessions. Since then Yvonne has never looked back.

    Her 1-2-1 lessons and subsequent training took her on an adventure that has continued to this day and much to her delight Yvonne passed the training to become a Cycle Instructor in her own right in December 2018.

    “I always push and challenge myself. In my work as a Health Trainer I am encouraging my clients to get out there and use exercise as a natural remedy to help manage some of their health conditions. Exercise is a great way to improve health & wellbeing – whether that be walking or cycling!”

    Building confidence with regular cycle rides has been crucial for Yvonne to achieve her qualification as a Cycle Instructor. Yvonne recently took part in a ride to Penistone in September with two friends covering 26 miles, during which Yvonne’s skills were called upon.

    “As part of my interest in cycling I also volunteered at the Arches helping to repair and maintain cycles for charity. When my friend got a tyre puncture I was able to step in and repair it for her – something I was really proud of and wouldn’t have been possible without the opportunity to learn cycle maintenance.”

    Incorporating cycling into her life has meant Yvonne can include it in her work. She worked with Tinsley Meadows School and Pedal Ready to set the current Learn to Ride scheme for women in the area. The participants will have the opportunity to go further afield for a group cycling trip to the Peak District with funding from E.ON Tinsley Community fund.

    “The benefits of cycling go further than the obvious health implications. To encourage people, I tell them how much it will help their confidence, mental wellbeing, any feelings of isolation and how it gives them the chance to get out there and explore the area we live in.”

    Crediting Pedal Ready with supporting her endeavours to have not only learned to cycle but to now be ready to teach others, Yvonne says it’s surprising how much it becomes a part of your normal routine. She also offers to help friends and family to become more confident on the roads of Sheffield on a bicycle.

    “I even stopped using transport for work in summer 2018 and clocked up over 100 km in June - "Love to Ride" month! Something I want to keep achieving.”


    Meet Ben 

    CycleBoost case study - Ben Griffiths(1)


    Ben Griffiths works for Jolly IT in central Sheffield. Recently taking part in the CycleBoost bike trials in the city, he took delivery of an e-bike for a month and shared with us his experience…

    “I actually used the e-bike several times per day - travelling to and from work in the week and then taking 1.5 to 2 hour bike rides most evenings and weekends too. It was simple to adjust to it from a conventional bicycle, it's considerably heavier than my bike & the gears need changing more often than a regular bike. The bonus was it’s so much easier on the hills, I wasn't breaking a sweat when I reached my destinations, and I didn't at all get out of breath (despite being asthmatic!)

    283 miles was my final odometer reading when I returned the e-bike, it's considerably more than usual but not too far from it. I cycle between work & home four times every weekday anyway. As I mentioned I went on a bunch of trips in the evenings and on weekends - these trips were more frequent considering I had this electric bike to try out. Favourite spots I ventured to were Meersbrook Park, Parkwood Springs, Ringinglow lane, Boston Park & Hathersage.

    Overall, it was a huge convenience to me being able to travel so far so easily - I was also able to bring three huge carrier bags back from Aldi each time I went food shopping too. It's ever so tempting to invest in one, but for £1700 I could just about cover a car + insurance.

    This was a great scheme that I thoroughly enjoyed, and I got a lot out of it too. Found some of the most fantastic views (as I was actively seeking up-hills) and I've added a few pictures from my trips too. My only wishes are that I can do it in the heat of summer next time, and for longer!

    Thanks so much to CycleBoost for putting this scheme together!”


    Meet Joel

    Joel_CycleBoost


    Joel was looking to make his commute from Leeds to Sheffield a little easier on his wallet and better for his health. He found the solution when he came across a CycleBoost event in Sheffield City Centre back in March. 

    Joel, who lives in Leeds, joined the HGF Ltd Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys as a Trainee Patent Attorney in September last year, and works from their Sheffield Office. Joel told us why he was so keen to sign up for a CycleBoost bike loan:

    ‘I’d been making the journey to work by car or train. Driving was proving expensive and although the train was a better solution I was still looking for a way to be more active. I popped out for lunch and came across the CycleBoost team at their event in Tudor Square. I chatted to the team and signed up there and then for an e-bike loan – easy! I’ll still need to get the train for the biggest part of my journey but cycling to and from the train stations will mean I get more activity into my day.’

    Fast forward four weeks and Joel told us:

    I loved loaning the bike! It actually encouraged me to move to Sheffield, so I could enjoy riding around more, especially along the canal, that was great. So, I have been looking at flats for the past couple of weeks in and around Sheffield with a view to find a flat that is on an enjoyable cycle route.

    It also highlighted the difficulty in trying not to drive (and be greener), as biking to and from the station was fine but getting the bike on and off the train was a bit cumbersome and awkward.

    Ultimately, I’m more aware of how costly driving is, not just for my pocket!’

    CycleBoost, which is delivered on behalf of Sheffield City Council, is particularly keen to encourage more people to replace shorter car journeys by travelling to work by bike.

    If you are a medium to large sized business in Sheffield, then CycleBoost can help you to encourage more of your staff to cycle to work.  For further information visit www.sheffieldcycleboost.org 


    Meet Craig

    Craig Nichol

    Paradise Island Adventure Golf Marketing Manager, Craig Nichol ditched the car and cycles his 9 mile journey to work.

    Craig is based in Glasgow and manages the marketing for the six UK wide adventure golf venues. He’s inspiring his South Yorkshire based colleagues to make #LittleBigChanges. He told us he decided to make the switch from cosy car to bike, but found cycling into work every day difficult. 

    ‘It was tough to break old habits but once I took a step back and committed to cycle twice a week I found it was easier and easier to do more journeys by bike. I worked out that I sat in traffic for an hour whilst travelling by car and I can do my whole journey in 45 minutes now! I pass 28 sets of traffic lights, so the time spent sat waiting for them to change from red to green has reduced dramatically now – I’m moving more and feeling healthier.’

    Paradise Island Adventure Golf is at Valley Centertainment, Sheffield, accessible by bus, tram and tram train. Share your #SummerofActiveTravel selfies with us using the hashtag before the end of the 31st August and you could you could win a family pass for Paradise Island Adventure Golf. Winner drawn at random.

    Photo credit Andrew Crawley.


     

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