Do you need help?
Find out local help available to get you back in the saddle, to improve your confidence or get your bike ready to ride.
Donate your unwanted bike to be shipped to Africa and buy quality refurbished bikes at modest costs.
Colchester Cycling Campaign
For advice on what bike, local bike shops, routes beyond Colchester, Bike Drinks, local campaigning and much more.
CTC Cycle Champions
Regular, gentle rides, cycle confidence sessions, bike maintenance and lots more - welcomes families.
Does your school take part in the Essex Eco Race? If not check out this free and exciting initiative to promote active travel to school.
C: Shall we start by introducing your family to our readers?
Well, me and my husband have three wonderful children- two boys and a girl. The youngest one is four years old and the oldest is eight...As for me, I work as a textile artist [trust me, her work is amazing!- visit her website if you don't believe me] and my husband works in art project and set building.
C: Is cycling something you enjoy doing as a family?
Yes, definitely...I mean, the youngest one is still on a bike seat, so he isn't yet quite confident to cycle on his own bike.
C: He is still very young, only 4 years old...
Exactly, so we take him along on a bike seat- my bike has one at the back. And the other two have started being more confident and can cycle on their bikes. We thought this is the perfect time to encourage them to take up cycling.
C: When did you teach the kids to ride a bike?
I think they started cycling over the Christmas time. They all learned on a balance bike initially. Myself and my husband taught them together, we would go at the University early in the morning on a Sunday and practice there. It's great because there is a big open space and the kids really enjoyed it because there was no traffic. They could just learn without having to worry about that...
C: Do you have a favourite spot or route where you go cycling as a family?
Well, it is probably the University, like I said, because we can always take the kids there and cycle.
C: So the children have just recently started cycling; when did you take up cycling and what does it represent for you (e.g. means of transport, leisure activity)?
Me? God...I must have been around five years old, I don't remember exactly; my uncle taught me how to ride a bike. I cycle mostly when I need to get from one point to another, so I'd say it's a means of transport. It's probably the same for my husband as well.
It's also good for the environment, so that is probably another reason why I do cycle. And it gives you independence; you just get on your bike and go wherever you need to...I think that's great.
C: So you are not preoccupied with the sporty side of cycling?
Oh no, not really. To be honest, I was probably more involved with cycling when I was living in London. There are loads of cycle paths up there and the ground is flat! Colchester is definitely more challenging-there are quite a few hills. And it could benefit from more cycle paths, I think. I mean, there are nice cycle routes here as well, for example the one by Abbey Fields.
As for the hills, I still haven't ventured to cycle up the North Hill!
C: I don't think anyone could blame you for that!
My husband has cycled it several times; I don't know how he manages to [laughs]
C: Is there anything else in particular that you would like to talk about?
Well, I'd just like to say that, in my opinion, bike helmets make a huge difference and I think it's a good thing to keep in mind. I encourage my kids to wear them because you never know what could happen and it's better to be cautious.
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