Cycle Confidence For Mums
One of the biggest challenges for mum’s and cycling is getting back in the saddle after having a baby. After having a few months away from the road, it can take a lot of confidence to start riding again, not to mention carry a small child with us. However, it is a great way to get around the city and get in shape*. Brighton & Hove Council facilitate Cycle Confidence training to support those want to get out on the road again. Mandy, a recent participant, shares with us her first lesson on becoming ‘roadworthy’.
Previous to my first cycling confidence session, my level of ability was to be able to cycle round The Level’s cycle path. Luckily my session was there. I had only had a bike for a couple of weeks (courtesy of a kind Freecycler) and before that had not ridden since I was 11.
I was, to say the least, apprehensive at the prospect of meeting my tutor, and pretty scared that she might expect me to go on the road. I needn’t have worried. My tutor Maria is a lovely patient lady who is very aware of the worries of unconfident cyclists.
The first thing was to have a look at my position on the bike. Maria could tell that my saddle was far too low (cheeky!), which meant I was more wobbly and had less control This was quickly dealt with. I could feel the difference straight away and was more comfortable too.
After a couple of practice slaloms on the grass through and over cones, we decided I needed some practice before hitting the road. I practiced several emergency stops and could see a vast improvement within a short space of time.
I’m going to carry on practicing for homework and am very much looking forward to the next session. I feel totally comfortable with Maria and am grateful for this opportunity to become road worthy!
Need some help to boost your cycling confidence? Most of us have a bike at home, 55% according to a recent Council survey of central Brighton, but fewer of us used one in the past month, 24% says the same survey. Would some gentle training help you to get back into the saddle?
If you live in the Lewes Road transport improvements area (from The Level to Falmer and including Hanover and Elm Grove, Hollingdean, Moulsecoomb, Bevendean and Coldean), free confidence-boosting training is available from the City Council, in return for a one-week travel diary. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 290498.
Brighton’s “She Rides” have some very friendly folk who organise women-only rides and their volunteers may even be able to find you a ‘buddy’ to help you to regain confidence on your route.
*check with your doctor before starting post-natal exercise.