: Hi David! Very happy to have you talking to us, what would you like to start with?
D: Well, maybe I should say a little about myself as a cyclist and how that has changed in time…For a very long time I have been a cyclist purely for commuting reasons- my job was in London and I was based in Colchester, so I would normally cycle from my home to the train station, get on the train and then cycle again from Liverpool Street to where my company was based. This journey’s length varied across the years depending on my work location, but the most I would cycle was 15 miles. And this would be the case every day, unless it was raining when I left my home because I didn’t rejoice at the prospect of being in wet clothes all day.
C: How did you find cycling to work, given that you were an employee in quite a corporate environment?
D: It was great actually; the employer was very supportive of us doing this- there were quite a few of us who cycled to work. We had facilities like showers, bike parking, lockers and so on, so I never found it to be an issue.
C: So I understand that you are now retired- how have your cycling habits changed?
D: Like I said, I used to cycle for commuting purposes, never for leisure. Now that I have a lot more spare time I can finally enjoy cycling in more ways. I now do it to relax or to exercise rather than as a means of transport. I have joined CTC and I go on rides with them and it has made me realize that, even though I have been living in Colchester for over 20 years, there are many of parts of it that I am completely unaware of. This is the beauty of cycling: it takes you places you would never otherwise see from your car of from a bus.
C: Have you been on many cycling trips then?
D: I suppose you could say so- I have done several charity rides and been abroad on a few journeys. For example, I have visited The Netherlands using one of their bikes for rent and it was absolutely beautiful, it’s just a completely different experience you get this way. I have also been on a two weeks trip to Cambodia where you had bikes you could ride, but there was also a mini bus accompanying the riders and if anybody got tired, they could just hang up the bike and get on the bus.
C: That sounds like a great experience!
D: It was and I also witnessed the progress of a lady who was lacking confidence in her cycling abilities when we first started our journey and by the end of the two weeks it was amazing to see how much she advanced and what a great cyclist she became.
C: I guess there is a lesson to be learnt there- anybody can take up cycling and overcome their fears with a little practice and determination!
D: Absolutely, without a doubt.
C: Well thank you very much for these great insights, it’s been great chatting to you!