John, Denzil’s local practice nurse was a bit worried about Denzil. Denzil had diabetes and high blood pressure, and he needed a sustainable way to manage the condition. John had heard that Life Cycle UK offered activities to help people of all ages and backgrounds to improve their well-being by supporting them to cycle.
John suggested Life Cycle UK to Denzil. He wasn’t too sure at first: He hadn’t cycled since he was a child so he didn’t feel he could just jump on a bike and get going. But when he learned more about the 'Get Cycling!' Courses he decided to give it a go. They were running close to where he lives in Bristol and were taught by a proper cycling instructor.
Denzil enjoyed being part of a small group of local people who were all learning to ride a bike as adults. They were all in the same boat and could have a laugh and a chat together, at the same time as supporting each other as they learned.
It was a nice atmosphere and Jacks, the instructor, was helpful and friendly. The Get Cycling! Course not only taught Denzil how to ride a bike again but went on to give him real-world, real-road practical knowledge and experience on Bristol's streets.
Photo: Denzil hanging out with our Get Cycling! instructor, Jacks and a fellow coursemate.
Taking the next steps
Once he graduated Denzil wanted to keep on cycling regularly. He had enjoyed cycling in friendly company so he asked to be matched with one of Life Cycle UK’s Cycle Buddies volunteers. Each week, they would meet near Denzil’s home and try out local routes.
This really helped Denzil to further build his confidence on local roads and find cycle-friendly routes to places he wanted to get to. Thanks to his fantastic Cycle Buddies volunteer, Denzil was able to join in one of Life Cycle UK’s Supported Leisure Ride by cycling himself from home to the Temple Meads meet point - a route he had practised beforehand with his volunteer buddy.
Since learning to ride with Life Cycle UK, Denzil says:
"My blood pressure is looking good. Better than before cycling - it is helping with diabetes too. I have more confidence in myself, and my cycling has 100% improved."
It’s been great to see Denzil go from strength to strength with his cycling. There’ll be no stopping him now!