We don’t know about you, but right now we’re dreaming of warmer weather! Spring and summer are the best cycling seasons, with wonderfully longer days for exploring new places by bike. With that in mind, we’re delighted to announce an extension of our Cycle Buddy Scheme for the Over 55s, which kicks off in June.
What is a cycle buddy?
Cycle buddies are volunteers aged 55+ who want to share the gift of cycling with others (also aged 55+) in their local area. Buddies are confident cyclists who can reach out to people who may need some extra support to get cycling. Together you’ll explore your local area by bike, at a relaxed and unhurried pace. You’ll meet new people, enjoy gentle bike rides and help others build their cycling skills as you go:
“We create a supportive context, in terms of choice of route and tips about cycling technique... Buddies provide role models of confident cyclists who don’t have to be lycra-clad and can be of any age and gender. I get a buzz from seeing someone become more confident” – Hilary, cycle buddy
Who do buddies reach out to?
Buddies are there to connect with anyone aged 55+. Some people may not have cycled for years and need some help getting started again, others may simply be looking to cycle in company. It’s open to anyone, but we especially want to reach out to people who may be feeling lonely or isolated, or looking to take more exercise for health reasons.
Alan (name changed) hadn’t cycled for years, but had been thinking about getting back on a bike for some time. However, he lived quite far from the city centre and was looking for local rides that were suitable for beginners or returners. Meeting up with a cycle buddy gave him a gentle reintroduction to cycling in friendly company:
“On retirement I was looking to get back in the saddle, and overcome fitness concerns and confidence issues. It is very sociable - creating friendships and combating loneliness. Most importantly, I can now cycle to my friend’s house in Keynsham. I’m very pleased!”
Where does Life Cycle fit in?
All our buddies receive training before they start the scheme, and our project Coordinator Julie will be on hand to provide advice and support along the way. Life Cycle can:
- Connect you with likeminded people in your neighbourhood;
- Provide free access to an electric or regular bike, and;
- Share information about local cycle paths and quiet routes to try.
“I liked the idea of helping people - who may have stopped cycling for some reason as they got older – to get back into it… This is a good way to get some fresh air, activity and the company of like-minded riders” – Mike, cycle buddy
We’re looking for cycle buddies from all over Bristol (and surrounding areas). If you are interested in becoming a cycle buddy, please contact Julie on 0117 353 4580 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.