Geoff Geoff “I was looking forward to retirement in 2012 – feeling a little overweight, with high blood pressure, a bit bored and full of terror as to what would happen to me now that I wouldn’t be working. I saw the Simply Cycling group in Longford Park one day and was struck by the good time everyone seemed to be having. Helen very cordially invited me to join them. I did and although it had been 50 years (yes 50 years!) since I had ridden a bike, I found I could still do it.

Within a couple of weeks I began to feel better and now 10 months on I have lost about 7 kilos in weight (a stone in old money) and found not only a great hobby but many new friends. I go very regularly now and have had a great Summer in 2013 being out in the open air and getting some exercise.

Helen and Sue allowed me to become a Simply Cycling volunteer which means I help around the place welcoming newcomers, helping to get the bikes out and putting them away. Sometimes I even help to collect the subs for the sessions – a whole 2 pounds! Besides my own positive experience at the club I am in awe of the project that welcomes so many people from all walks of life, no matter what their age or ability. I am looking forward to spending many years cycling with my mates at the Simply Cycling group.”

Mu2My had no confidence in her own ability to ride a bike and was very worried about the possibility of falling off. Three months down the line she has completed the Manchester SKYride and cycled 20 miles from Buxton to Bakewell with us! She is a great advertisement for us; in how learning to ride in our safe environment can lead to a long-term improvement in physical health and activity as well as general wellbeing. She has even brought along several of her neighbours from the block of flats where she lives and they are all thrilled with their progress and involvement in such an enjoyable physical activity. View some of our photos from the Sky Ride.

Jay has been cycling with us for over six years, primarily with her school. She has always cycled two laps on her favourite tricycle and has finally stopped declaring that she has ‘done cycling’. Just this Summer she started coming along with mum and dad and enjoyed cycling with them. She regularly does 14 laps and they have even been around the local park together. Join us!

Jodie can now come with grandma and granddad to give mum a break and takes them around the track too! This is such a huge personal milestone for Jodie, as well as getting the whole family cycling. Join us!

Jo has been brought to the track, by his mum, most Saturdays. He is severely autistic. He sometimes does a lap or two or can just abandon his bike and walk around the perimeter fence. This Summer holidays he came, with his mum, to Talacre beach with us and cycled to Rhyll and back on a trike, a total of 22 miles! He then continued to Buxton and cycled with us to Bakewell and back – another 20 miles! Both mum and Jo absolutely loved it and the delight on Jo’s face at being rewarded with an ice cream at the end was brilliant! Join us!

We brought Hester, aged 5, to the track never imagining that with her level of disability she would ever learn to ride a bike. However, within ten minutes she was using a fixed wheel trike with a little steering support and whooping with joy at her own success. She was so eager to go home and tell daddy and big sister that we all had to go back and do it again the next day! We have since been down to the track every week and Hester is still thrilled with her own progress. Join us!

Jez was a keen cyclist until he had a stroke three years ago. He is now paralysed down one side of his body and longed to cycle again. He came along to our sessions after recommendations from The Stroke Society. It was a real struggle just getting on and off various bikes, trikes and hand-cycles until we found one that he could use successfully and single-handedly. He was totally blown away by this success and came back the following week with his wife and two teenage children. They all had so much fun and were delighted to be able to cycle alongside their dad once again. Join us!

If you know someone whom you think could benefit from the activities at Simply Cycling please contact us.

Some recent comments in our Visitor’s Book include;

“You have saved my husband’s life! He was so depressed and wanted to end it all, but coming here, watching the grandchildren have fun and make so much progress, chatting to the very friendly volunteers has lifted him beyond where I ever thought he’d get back to.” Laura

“What a brilliant time we have all had. Six of us had the most fun ever – considering that this week we have already been to Alton Towers (£125.00) and Chester Zoo (£86.00) – this was very telling as the whole day cost us a picnic and £10.00! The kids said this was the best thing they’ve done all Summer!! Aaaargh – why didn’t I find you sooner!” Cath

“Everyone was so helpful and encouraging and I can now ride a two-wheeled bike – yeaaah!” Bibi

“Fantastic activity that we have all enjoyed so much. Thank you.” Claire